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I don't know enough about the law to say authoritatively ... as to how much of what happened was his fault.

That's called comparative negligence, or contributory negligence, depending on jurisdiction. It applies in situations such as automobile accidents. It does not apply in situations such as Cate's.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up.
So it is my perception that the law does indeed take into account mitigating factors that could indicate that the victim was partly responsible.

The victim in this case was a dog. The law does not assign degrees of negligence to a dog.

My understanding is that the dog is Cate's property, and as it was her property that was damaged, she is the victim.
What counts as a mitigating factor, I don't know. I'm ... only to civil court and damage awards, not criminal court.

Bizby, you have no idea what you're talking about. Contributory negligence has absolutely nothing to do with this situation.

I didn't claim to know what I was talking about. I brought up a possibility and asked about it. Okay?
So, I have to ask. Do you have the legal ... factors would come into play in court where Cate lives?

Yes, I do. Thanks for asking. Mustang Sally

Bizby
I wasn't asking whether or not the dog would be destroyed. I was talking damages. shelly seems certain that Cate would collect 100% if she sued.

actually, that's not what i said. i said the neighbors bore legal and moral responsibility for what happened. i said nothing whatsoever about collecting damages.

shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com /
We talked to the neighbors today. It went well. We've struck a deal.

that's excellent news!

shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com /
I wasn't asking whether or not the dog would be ... seems certain that Cate would collect 100% if she sued.

actually, that's not what i said. i said the neighbors bore legal and moral responsibility for what happened. i said nothing whatsoever about collecting damages.

But......Cate started this whole thread about how much she should pay and how much her neighbors should, and you said the neighbors were 100% legally and
morally responsible. What on earth else would "legally responsible" mean?
Bizby
But......Cate started this whole thread about how much she should pay and how much her neighbors should, and you said the neighbors were 100% legally and morally responsible.

i'm pretty sure i said nothing about Cate taking her neighbors to court or about her collecting damages. Cate asked for opinions on how much she should ask her neighbors to pay for Orson's vet bills, which is a whole 'nother matter. my original response was 100%, as the neighbors were 100% in the wrong.
the post of mine you responded to addressed the issue of whether or not someone can give another person permission to act illegally, and thereby absolve the other party of legal responsibility for their actions. t'ain't so. illegal is illegal.
What on earth else would "legally responsible" mean?

it means that the neighbors broke the law by letting their dog trespass on Cate's property. they were legally in the wrong. because they were acting illegally, they bear the legal responsibility for anything that happens after that point.

shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com /
Most people around here, if it's agreed that a boundary fence is needed, share in the cost of that boundary fence.

That's not the case around here. The lots in my neighborhood average less than 1/5 of an acre. Every foot counts. The grass on the other side of our concrete driveway is on their property. They want and need a fence on that line to contain their dangerous dog. They've already started making efforts to put a fence there.
They will pay 100% to have a fence that's entirely on their property, just like we paid 100% to erect a fence enclosing our back yard (except the driveway). Paying for a fence that's entirely on your own property is the norm for this neighborhood.
Cate
Once their fence is in, this will have been resolved to my satisfaction. Thanks to all of you for your opinions; it helped me shape my side of the conversation today.

Good news Cate. They are your neighbors after all and trying to educate and keep a cordial relationship is important IMO. I wish more people had the guts to be honest and convincing in situations like this.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
In the past when neighbor dog issues have come up here I've been surprised by the number of people who've ... with or afraid that you're going to call in The Man. The incorrigible *** really is a pretty rare thing.

I was afraid but I did it anyway. The owners have shown themselves to be irrational about other things, so I really had no idea how this would go. It probably helped that I've had enough bad neighbor experiences to have a great need for a good one.
Cate
Paying for a fence that's entirely on your own property is the norm for this neighborhood.

and in this are in general from what I've experienced.

When I bought my first house (a rowhouse off 29th street), I had an 9 y.o. dog who I wanted to make sure to contain safely. He had never liked other dogs and trash collectors were not going to be popular. The yard was fenced with a 3.5' chain link. I asked the neighbors on either side if they minded me removing it (as well as inquired to who "owned" the fence). One side said "go ahead and take it down" , the other said "no - your wood fence will rot and I want my chain link". They were relatives of each other BTW!
I took down the one side and back and enclosed my entire yard with a 6' stockade fence (which I even got a zoning variance for!). The area between my fence and the chain link was a problem over the years, with weeds and such - you can only build another fence so close after all. I paid for the whole thing and didn't even think about asking them, since I was containing MY dog.
Because of how my house was designed, I had a small deck which was actually taller than the fence. My dog at the time, as well as ones that came after him, loved to sit and survey their domain. I think the first dog's highlight of feeling important in that role, was woofing at Richard Dreyfuss and Danny Devito, during the week they took to film an incredibly short piece of "Tinmen". I don't think they paid him much attention!

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
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