Michigan City, Indiana – Lawyer Office – Dog Bite Lawyer – Vicious Animal Attack
Dog Bite Laws in Michigan City, Indiana
An unprovoked bite by a dog or cat does not necessarily mean that the dog or cat is dangerous or vicious. In the United States, all dogs and house cats, regardless of breed or size, are presumed to be harmless domestic animals. This presumption can be overcome with proof of a dangerous propensity as demonstrated by specific conduct of that particular animal. A dangerous propensity is the tendency of an animal to act to endanger the safety of people or other animals. Depending on the facts of a dog or cat bite case, that dog’s or cat’s biting of a person can be used as evidence of that animal’s viciousness.
Michigan City Ordinance defines “animal under restraint” as any animal either secured by a leash, harness or lead, or within the premises of the owner, or confined within a crate or cage; or confined within a vehicle or on the premises of another person with the consent of that person; or within an area specifically designated by the director as an animal exercise run when said animal is under the control of a competent person. An animal is not considered to be under restraint if it is secured by means of an invisible fence.
Michigan City Ordinance defines a “bite” as seizure within the teeth or jaws of an animal so that the skin of the human being or animal seized has been pierced or broken.
Michigan City Ordinance defines a “dangerous animal” as any animal which constitutes a substantial threat to people, pets, or property while off the owner’s premises; and/or an animal meeting any of the following criteria: (1) Any animal which bites, inflicts severe injury on, kills or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation on any public property; or (2) Any animal which on more than one occasion, without provocation, bites without inflicting severe injury, or chases or approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack, on any public property or in any place outside or over the boundaries of its owner’s property; or (3) Any animal owned or harbored primarily or in part thereof for the purpose of dog or other animal fighting; or which displays signs, i.e., wounds, cuts, or scratches, of having been involved in such fighting. (4) Any animal which has been found to be a vicious dog under state law; or (5) Any animal not in quarantine which is infected with, and/or a carrier of, a disease that is infectious to humans, livestock, or domesticated or wild animals, which may cause debilitating illness, or serious injury. NOTE: Exception: No animal may be declared dangerous if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the animal, or was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the animal or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have teased, tormented, abused or assaulted the animal, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
Michigan City Ordinance defines a “dog at large” as any dog found to be roaming away from the premises of its owner or keeper, excepting however a hunting or working dog which may have been lost or strayed away from its owner or keeper temporarily while engaged in lawful hunting or training.
Michigan City Ordinance defines a “keeper” as any person having lawful custody of a pet with the permission, express or implied, of such owner.
Michigan City Ordinance defines an “owner” as an individual or business entity which has the legal right of possession and control of a domestic animal. A person who routinely keeps and cares for a domestic animal shall be deemed to be its owner.
Michigan City Ordinance defines “running at large” as roaming free, away from the premises of an animal’s owner or keeper, excepting however, a hunting or working dog which may have been lost or strayed away from its owner or keeper temporarily while engaged in lawful hunting or training.
Michigan City Ordinance defines “severe injury” as any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.
Michigan City Ordinance defines “vicious” as the propensity of an animal, whether domestic, wild or exotic, to constitute a physical threat to human beings based upon the animal’s training, instinct or illness. An unprovoked attack by a domestic animal shall be deemed prima facie evidence of an animal being vicious.
Michigan City Ordinance states under Section 14-2 that animals are prohibited on park property other than a dog park, and cemetery property with the an except for service animals as defined and permitted by IC 16-32-3 et seq. It also states that no person shall bring any domestic animal onto or permit any domestic animal owned by him or under his control to come onto or be present upon any property supervised by either the department of parks and recreation other than a dog park or an area designated by the park board to be dog-friendly, or board of cemetery trustees, whether the animal is upon a leash or otherwise restrained, unless the animal is being carried as a passenger in a motor vehicle. Any animal found running at large upon the property shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
Michigan City Ordinance states under Section 14-3 that is entitled “Concealing animal from enforcement officer; falsely denying ownership of animal” that it shall be unlawful for any person to conceal any animal or falsely to deny ownership of any animal owned or harbored by him, to an official properly authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Michigan City Ordinance states under Section 14-131 entitled “running at large” that it shall be unlawful for any owner to permit his pet to run at large. The animal control authority, or any member of the police department, is authorized and directed, upon identifying a pet running at large, to issue the owner of the pet a citation for a violation of this chapter. After the first citation, any subsequent violation in that calendar year shall result in the animal being impounded at the owner’s expense. The animal will be held until all fines have been paid and all conditions set forth in this chapter are complied with.
Michigan City Ordinance states under Section 14-136 entitled “dangerous animal” states that the director shall have the authority to make a determination that an animal is a dangerous animal, as defined in section 14-1, and to order the owner to comply with any of the measures set forth below for the protection of public health, safety and welfare.
(1) Upon receipt of a citizen’s complaint or other report of an animal bite, attack, threatening behavior or other reason to believe an animal may be dangerous, the director or animal control officer shall evaluate the seriousness of the complaint or report, and if the circumstances warrant, may conduct an investigation of the facts where practical and readily located, including interviewing the witnesses, observing the animal and investigating the scene. The animal control officer shall make a written report as to whether the animal is dangerous as defined in section 14-1. This report shall include the details and basis of such findings.
(2) Where there is probable cause to believe that an animal is a dangerous animal, the director is authorized to impound and hold such animal, at the owner’s expense, pending investigation and final resolution of any appeal. Where the animal has caused severe injury or death to any person, the director is required to impound and hold such animal, at the owner’s expense, pending investigation and final resolution of any appeal. Moreover, in no event shall an animal deemed dangerous be released to its owner before the director approves the enclosure required by subsection (6) below. The holding period and impoundment procedures for animals of unknown ownership shall be governed by article II, division 2 of this chapter.
(3) Where an animal is declared dangerous and the animal has caused severe injury to any person, the director may order the humane destruction of the animal, taking into consideration the severity and the circumstances of the injury. Where the owner’s address can be reasonably ascertained, the director shall send a written notice to the owner by certified mail, informing him or her that their animal has been declared a dangerous animal, describing the basis for such declaration by specific behavior and date and place of occurrence, setting forth all applicable orders and restrictions imposed and informing the owner of his or her right to appeal such determination by filing a written request for a hearing, within seven days of receipt of such notice. A copy of such notice shall be sent to the complainant, if any. Where an animal has been impounded such notice shall be sent within ten days after such impoundment.
(4) The owner or keeper of an animal that has been found to be dangerous or vicious under section 14-1 or under state law, is required to comply with the requirements in subsection (3) without the need for any individualized declaration or the right to a hearing, except that, to the extent an owner contends that his or her animal is used as a guard dog by a commercial venture. In such instance, the protection set forth above shall apply.
(5) If the owner requests a hearing, the director shall comply within ten days. Interested parties may present testimony and any other relevant evidence within this time period, if requested. The hearing shall be taped or recorded by any appropriate means. If the director upholds the determination that the animal is dangerous, the owner shall have 15 days to satisfy all requirements set out in subsection (6) and the notice. In those cases where the director has ordered humane destruction of the dangerous animal, that order shall not be carried out until seven days after the hearing. If the owner appeals to the board of works during this time period, that order shall be stayed until resolution of such appeal.
a. Hearing. Any person affected by this section may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the city board of public works and safety. The person shall file in the office of the city clerk a written petition requesting the hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefore within ten days from receipt of the written notice from the city that the animal has been deemed dangerous. If the owner appeals to the board of public works and safety during this time period, the orders of the director shall be stayed until resolution of such appeal. Upon receipt of the petition, the board shall set a time and place for the hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. At the hearing, the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why the notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced no later than ten days after the day on which the petition was filed. Upon application of the petitioner, the board may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond the ten-day period if, in its judgment, the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for the postponement. All the hearings shall be open to the public.
b. Decision and order. After the hearing, the board of public works and safety sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon its findings as to whether the provisions of this article have been complied with. If the board sustains or modifies the notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this section shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the city clerk within ten days after the notice is served. The director or designee serving the notice upon which a petition for review is filed shall not sit as a member of the board at the hearing of the petition, but shall be allowed to be present, cross examine witnesses, and be cross examined by the petitioner. If the board of works and safety sustains the decision of the director that the animal is dangerous, the owner shall have 15 days to satisfy all requirements set out in subsection (6) of this section.
c. Records. The board of public works and safety shall make findings of facts relative to a decision under this section, which shall be reduced to writing. The decision and all orders of the board shall also be reduced to writing. The board shall prepare a record consisting of the notice, the petition for a hearing, the statement of finding of facts, and all decisions and orders of the board and deposit it in the office of the city clerk for public inspection.
(6) In all cases where an animal is declared to be dangerous and the animal is not humanely destroyed, the director shall order the owner to comply with the following requirements.
a. While on the owner’s property, the owner must securely confine the dangerous animal indoors or within a securely enclosed locked pen, structure, or fence designed to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such enclosure must be a minimum of six feet in height and must have secure sides. The enclosure must also be humane and provide protection from the elements for the animal as set forth in section 14-134.
b. While on the owner’s property a dangerous animal must be securely muzzled to prevent the possibility of biting. It must be restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length and must be under the control of its owner or other responsible person at all times. The muzzle must be made in such a manner as to not cause any injury to the animal or impair vision or respiration.
c. The owner or keeper of a dangerous animal must display on his property in a conspicuous manner and in large letters a sign warning that a dangerous animal is on the premises. Such a sign must read: “WARNING—DANGEROUS ANIMAL—KEEP AWAY”. It must be visible and legible to the public from a distance of 50 feet from the enclosure required by subsection (6) above.
d. The owner must confine the dangerous animal in the secure enclosure described above in subsection (6)(a) at all times and only allow the animal out under conditions set forth in subsection (6)(b) above when necessary to obtain veterinary care for the animal or to comply with a court order.
e. The owner, at the owner’s expense, shall have an identifying microchip installed under the animal’s skin by a veterinarian or other authorized person unless proof is submitted that this has already occurred.
f. The animal shall be spayed or neutered at the owner’s expense unless proof is submitted that this has already occurred.
g. Within ten business days of the declaration that the animal is dangerous, the owner must procure, and maintain in effect, liability insurance in the amount of $100,000.00 and coverage of claims arising from the conduct of the owner’s animal. Such insurance shall include a provision whereby the insurer notifies the director not less than 30 days prior to cancellation or lapse of coverage.
Michigan City Ordinance states under Section 14-138 entitled “dangerous animals—miscellaneous” that (a) An owner of a dangerous animal shall allow inspection of the required enclosure by the director or his designee. (b) All dangerous animals as defined in this chapter are hereby declared to be a public nuisance. (c) The director and/or the board of public works and safety are hereby authorized to enact regulations governing dangerous animals as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public. (d) Where an animal has caused severe injury or death to a person but is not found to be a dangerous animal on the grounds that the attack was provoked, the director shall advise the owner to comply with the safety measures set forth in IC 7-12-050-c in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
How a Michigan City Dog Bite Attorney Can Help with Your Dog Bite Injury Claim
If you, or a loved one, has suffered a dog or cat bite injury due to the negligence of dog or cat owner/keeper, it is important that you seek the advice of a qualified lawyer who understands the law and possesses the skill to ensure that you get justice you deserve for your loss. Do not waste your one and only opportunity to receive just compensation for your injury case by hiring the wrong lawyer. Get a lawyer that is experienced, highly rated and certified to represent you and/or your family. Get Gladish.
About Michigan City, Indiana
The City of Michigan City is located in the Northwest Indiana on the south shore of Lake Michigan that was first incorporated in 1836. The City of Michigan City is a mostly residential community with a population of over 33,000 residents that has direct access to Lake Michigan as well as the Indiana Dunes National Park. Michigan City is also home to a maximum-security prison as well as having light industrial employers and many retail stores. The City of Michigan City is run by a mayor as well as a 9-member city council. Michigan City’s City Hall is located at 100 East Michigan Boulevard, Michigan City, Indiana.
The City of Michigan City is also known for its lighthouse dating to 1858 as well as the Old Lighthouse Museum which has maritime exhibits as well as tours of the nearby lighthouse. A big focus in the summer time is Washington Park with its gardens and large gazebo where musical acts play on the weekends as well as having access to both the beach and a large marina. Washington Park Zoo is also home to many animals including: tigers, wolves and bears. Finally, the grand Barker Mansion is a must see with tours given of this very large 19th-century home that was built in 1857 by John Barker.