Thursday, October 8, 2009

Battery with dog...?

Prof. Jonathan Turley is reporting today on the criminal law implications of throwing a dog at somone else in Nebraska. Could that same conduct be the basis of a tort claim for battery? As you read the statement below remember that "assault" is the word used in criminal law to describe what we would call "battery" in torts. Here is Prof. Turley's comment: "A woman in Lincoln, Nebraska has been charged after she allegedly threw a Jack Russell Terrier at an officer. It appears, however, that in Lincoln a charge of assault requires a dog as large or greater than a Bulldog to constitute assault on an officer. Instead, she was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault. The charge itself is due to her alleged throwing of a cell phone that hit her boyfriend in the face. That would suggest throwing live animals is technically permissible while electronics falls squarely under the criminal code. Under the Nebraska code, a toy poodle is a misdemeanor. A Boxer is a simple felony of assault. A Mastiff is an aggravated felony. Many Nebraska residents, however, keep a small dog in the glove compartment for traffic stops and a larger breed at home for no-knock searches."

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