Maryland: OAG says court decision on “pit bulls” is not in effect

The Maryland Court of Appeals decision in Tracey v. Solesky, which put “pit bull” owners and landlords under a strict liability scheme, is now under appeal. Until the appeal is ruled on, the court decision is on hold.

Meanwhile, the Maryland legislature does not appear likely to meet for a second special session this summer. The so-called “pit bull task force” of the Maryland legislature will continue to meet and discuss legislative remedies for the discriminatory decision. We expect them to file a bill that would effectively nullify the court decision in December/January when the Maryland legislature reconvenes.

Pit bulls not ‘inherently dangerous’ just yet

Md. attorney general’s office says controversial court ruling must survive appeal before being applied

By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun
7:29 p.m. EDT, July 11, 2012

A controversial court ruling in April that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” is not yet in effect and must survive an appeal before it can be applied as Maryland law, according to an opinion released this week by the state attorney general’s office.

The opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Rowe in response to a request from Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur for advice on how to understand the ruling, says a motion for reconsideration of the ruling now before the Maryland Court of Appeals “delays the effect of the decision.”

In April, the state’s highest court held that pit bulls and mixed pit bull breeds are different from other dogs in that they are dangerous by nature. The ruling increased the liability of pit bull owners and others with a modicum of control over the animals, such as landlords, by removing the need for those bringing suit after a dog attack to prove they knew the dog had a history of being dangerous. That proof was previously required and is still required for other breeds. […]

Full article retrieved 7/12/12 from http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-pit-bull-ruling-20120711,0,7289478.story

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