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Is Ms. Duncan the Owner of Tiger under the Illinois Animal Control Act?

   

Added on  2019-09-25

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MEMORANDUMTO:Junior Attorneys FROM:Supervising Attorney Prof. GreeneRE:Closed Memorandum Discussion – First Assignment (Franklin v. Duncan)DATE:August 31, 2016FACTSOn the Fourth of July, our client, Ms. Sandy Duncan, held a barbecue at her house to celebrate the holiday. She invited many of her friends and some of her neighbors from the Whispering Pines development where she lives. Linda Lang lives next door to Ms. Duncan, and Ms. Duncan invited her to the party, as the two neighbors had become friends over the three years they both had lived in the development. Ms. Duncan often looks after Ms. Lang’s dog, Tiger, when Ms. Lang has to leave town or is delayed at work. On those occasions, Ms. Duncan goes to Ms. Lang’s house to make sure that Tiger has fresh water and sufficient food, and lets him out for toileting as well. If Ms. Duncan knew Ms. Lang would be very late, or if Ms. Lang was going to be away overnight, Ms. Duncan would bring Tiger back to her house to socialize with her Rottweiler, Sweetie. Ms. Duncan keeps some of Tiger’s special food and dog treats at her house, as well as a spare feeding bowl for Tiger. When Ms. Duncan invited Ms. Lang to the barbecue, she specifically included Tiger’s name as an invited “guest” on the invitation because she knew Tiger might be startled by the fireworks, especially if he were left alone. Ms. Duncan also invited another neighbor, Dr. Stephen Franklin, as well as other neighbors and friends.On the day of the party, when Ms. Lang arrived with Tiger, Ms. Duncan took Tiger’s leash and told Ms. Lang to mingle with the other guests and “have a good time.” Most of the partygoers were outside in the backyard as it was a warm day. Sweetie, Ms. Duncan’s dog, was also outside roaming around with the guests. The backyard area was very busy as there was a barbecue fired up, a self-serve bar and a buffet table of food. A few people were playing with a soft (nerf) football. Ms. Duncan kept Tiger on his leash, however, because Tiger, a miniature Poodle, kept wanting to run after the nerf football, but he was very small and could easily get trampled on as there were a lot of people milling around the grass area. Ms. Duncan enjoyed socializing with her guests and showing off Tiger, who was wearing a new collar with fake-diamond studs. Occasionally she would catch glimpses of Ms. Lang, who was happily mingling with the other guests. Ms. Duncan let Tiger walk around after Sweetie, but she made sure Tiger did not eat any of the food that had been dropped on the ground as she knew that would be bad for the dog. She did not feed Tiger any of his special food she kept in her apartment, nor did she give him any water during the time she was walking him around the partygoers. As Ms. Duncan walked Tiger around the grass area, they passed a group of people playing with the football. One of the players, Dr. Franklin, dove for the ball as it was flying overhis head, and lost his balance. As he was falling to the grass, he flung out his arms to try to stop his fall, and his left hand smacked Tiger on his head. Tiger yelped in pain, snapped at Dr. Franklin’s hand, and then bit the hand, tearing through the skin. Dr. Franklin stormed into the house and found a friend, Len Gomez, to drive him to Sharp Urgent Care, where he received fivestitches in his hand. He has now fully recovered but the stitches have left a small scar. Luckily, 1
Is Ms. Duncan the Owner of Tiger under the Illinois Animal Control Act?_1

Dr. Franklin was up to date on his Tetanus shots and Tiger was up to date on his Rabies shots, soneither Tiger nor Dr. Franklin needed follow up care. Dr. Franklin has now sent a demand letter to Ms. Duncan seeking damages for the injury to his hand. He claims he was emotionally traumatized by being bitten on the hand by a dog because he is a dentist and he makes his living out of using his hands. He claims that the scar is disfiguring. He is threatening to file a lawsuit under the Illinois Animal Control Act, which imposes liability on animal owners when their animals attack another person. The demand letter alleges that Ms. Duncan was the “owner” of Tiger during the attack for purposes of the Act. Ms.Duncan has retained our services because she does not consider herself the “owner” of Tiger, anddoes not believe she should be liable for the bite. Orig. source Prof. Oster.Instructions Assignment: Please analyze whether Ms. Duncan can be considered the owner of Tiger under the Illinois Animal Control Act (Act). Another junior attorney has researched this issue, located the applicable sections of the Act, and found two controlling cases that address the issue of whether a person is an “owner” under the Act. These cases are attached to this memorandum together with the applicable code sections. Please address this issue only – do not address anyother issues that may be raised by the facts of this case or discussed in your attached cases. At this point, you will just be drafting the “Discussion” section of an office memorandum using the IREARC model.Allowable Materials: You may use and cite to only the attached materials (two statutes and two cases). You should use all of these materials in completing this assignment, but onlythese materials. Assume (for purposes of this assignment) that these materials make up the entirebody of law on the issue of dog ownership in Illinois. Although the attached cases may rely on other cases for various points, you should cite only to your two cases. (This limitation is for purposes of this assignment only. As the semester progresses, we will discuss how you should appropriately cite to secondary and primary authority contained within the cases on which you are relying because in “real life” you should always read the authorities on which you rely.) Youmay also consult your textbook and any handouts you have received in this class.Collaboration Policy: Do all of your own work on this assignment. You may only discuss this assignment with me or Xiao. Do not ask anyone to read, review, edit, comment on, or proofread your writing. If you have any questions, please ask us.Citation:Citation is not required for this assignment. However, for those students who would like to begin learning how to cite, I have provided provide you with the correct Bluebook citations for this memorandum below; but do not worry too much if you do not yet understand how to cite appropriately. We will be discussing correct citation format later on in the semester. For now, use these guidelines: 2
Is Ms. Duncan the Owner of Tiger under the Illinois Animal Control Act?_2

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