Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vindication for a client

The other day I represented a woman who was charged with failing to register a cat, failing to vaccinate a cat and failing to restrain a (stray) cat. The complaints were raised by a "neighbor" who lived across the street. As it turned out, this "neighbor" made similar complaints against a number of people living on that street (I represented another resident in a similar case a couple of years ago).

While reviewing the state's file that morning I noticed that the probable cause affidavits weren't right -- the animal control officer never stated how he came to believe the cats belonged to my client, how he came to believe that the cats weren't registered or how he came to believe that the cats weren't vaccinated. Instead, he just listed the ordinance provisions my client allegedly violated.

After the prosecutor offered to reduce the fine on two of the tickets to $1 and dismiss the others, my client said "No" and asked for her day in court. The prosecutor then dismissed ALL of the cases. My client was ecstatic when I gave her the news and hugged me and thanked me.

These weren't important cases in the overall scheme of things - they were just Class C violations of a municipal ordinance. However, for my client, they were very important. Had she plead guilty she would have validated her "neighbor's" harrassment; instead, with the dismissals, she felt vindicated.

Victory, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

1 comment:

Cyn said...

Good for your client for standing up against that neighbor because she probably would not have heard the end of it had she accepted anything! Animal hater!