sorry, site problem caused some posts to be blank……we think we fixed it……
This case is a PRIME example of where a warrant is issued for SEIZURE and a POST SEIZURE HEARING IS REQUIRED under PC597.1 under current CA law. [HSUS trying to eliminate the hearing, see below.] Very dubious circumstances indicating probable cause was lacking, especially for a “felony” and especially where the dogs and kennel were in good condition. So the post seizure hearing is very important.
Ted Lieu’s HSUS proposed bill SB1500 in legislature would ELIMINATE the post seizure hearing if a warrant is used. Obviously if there is no post seizure hearing, then one cannot challenge the seizure very quickly.
*NOTE—— [The legislature did not pass the part eliminating the post seizure hearing. There was also one other part that did not fly, we think it involved the part about forfeiture even if acquitted. We did not print it out to check due to being too busy.]
The entire purpose of the post seizure hearing is to make sure there were no problems with the seizure. IF the owner can show the seizing officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe very prompt action, including seizure of the animals, was required to protect the health or safety of the animal (or health or safety of others)– then the agency employing the person who directed the seizure shall be responsible for the costs incurred for caring and treating the animal.
As typical of HSUS laws, they (HSUS) now come in now to remove the post seizure hearing. AR s typically make a law and then modify them to make them WORSE for owners.
HSUS’ other part of SB1500 is to state that if you are acquitted, you don’t get the animals back…………….. the agency still has a lien on the animals and YOU must prove you can even get the property back.
A warrant seizure in CA, this time for tiny dogs, against a well-known dog fancier, show/breeder…looking at the warrant, it appeared to be lacking and did not appear to contain the affidavit in support of probable cause, or any statement giving rise to what the probable cause might have been. Allegedly this was to have been based upon “anonymous” calls and perhaps some data given by another person who already knew the owner. However no facts indicating this or any other information was attached. The warrant was also not “returned” in the Superior Court file as it should have been, at least it was not there 4 days after the seizure. Had it been returned, it should have included the affiant documentation.
As far as our animal team goes, of the two attorneys that we normally would send out, one was in trial and the other had a major medical appointment, so the owner had a local attorney (plus his associate) plus President of a non profit SPCA (USSPCO, CA) who is also a certified Humane Officer, plus a local county former Humane Officer, and other local animal-related people in support of owner, attend what was to be the “post seizure” hearing. As stated above, Ted Lieu in CA is trying to push through a law which would END post seizure hearings when “warrants” are used to seize property, SB1500.
A strong showing turnout for owner, plus having two attorneys and SPCA people show up created, undoubtedly, surprise for the agency, which is known to be extremely AR oriented. As there was likely no probable cause at all for the seizure warrant, one would think that owner should have been able to take the dogs and walk away.
However, it was not quite that easy and apparently the “post seizure” hearing was not even done.
Instead, after several hours, there was some type of agreement made so that the dogs would be released immediately. Other conditions were allegedly entered into, and we are not positive if those conditions were made, understood, or in favor of owner since we were not present; however, we are in constant contact with owner and will find out. *[Although we saw that the show dog contact or others believe that they maintain a great working relationship with this local animal control, the fact remains that when an invalid search warrant is used as a ruse to seize property, no amount of alleged ‘good working relationship’ is going to fix it. If such a great relationship existed, there should have been no invalid search warrant. Perhaps the people involved don’t believe the warrant was invalid? It appeared invalid to two of us.]
The POINT is that ARs will USE INVALID WARRANTS, non existent probable cause—– AND ALLEGED “INFO” THEY “CLAIM” TO HAVE, IN ORDER TO SEIZE YOUR ANIMALS.
Any SEIZURE should not be considered as simple “harassment”, and calling the city council, the city attorney, or any other government agency in not the answer.
It should be treated as something extremely serious, requiring procedural due process, and the requisite criminal code requirements. This requires a very FAST call immediately—- to a criminal attorney, preferably one familiar with the way animal rights misrepresents situations.
EVEN IF YOU ARE A HIGHLY RESPECTED OWNER, SHOW PERSON, BREEDER…. illegal seizures happen. On purpose. And as you know if you show animals, you will likely be unable to show animals if they levy criminal charges against you. In this case, we are checking to make sure there are no legal charges against owner. As it stands, there might be. that is what the owner told us. However we do have some doubt as to the validity of charges. We don’t take the word of ARs (like the animal control) no matter what happens, so we have to check for ourselves. Meaning we wouldn’t be calling animal control for info.