County Civil Court: COUNTY ORDINANCE – animal control – standard of review of decision
of Animal Control Authority that has been previously appealed to county court
is whether Appellant was afforded procedural due process and whether the
essential requirements of law were followed – Appellant failed to cite to any
record evidence that he was denied due process or that the trial court failed
to follow the essential requirements of law – whether there was competent
substantial evidence to support trial court’s finding that Appellant’s dog is a
“dangerous animal” is beyond this Court’s scope of review – Order affirmed. Hadscock v.
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
v. Appeal No. 05-0001AP-88A
Appeal from final Order
Judge Myra Scott McNary
C. Bryant Boydstun, Jr., Esquire
Attorney for the Appellant
Michelle Wallace, Esquire
Attorney for the Appellee
ORDER AND OPINION
THIS CAUSE came before the court on appeal, filed by Stephen Hadsock (Hadsock), from the Order Affirming Finding of Animal Control Authority, entered December 1, 2004. Upon review of the briefs, the record and otherwise being fully advised, this Court affirms the Order.
The underlying proceedings arose out of an event which occurred on October 31, 2003, when Hadsock’s dogs, “Sunny”, a rottweiler, and “Hombre”, a chow, bit an individual named Dorothy Gettling (Gettling). Paramedics arrived and attended to Gettling’s left arm and informed her she needed to go to the emergency room immediately. Gettling arrived at Edward White Hospital Emergency Room and received treatment, including stitches, to the lacerations on her left arm and left breast as a result of the dog bites. On November 14, 2003, Dr. E. Welch Agnew, Assistant Director of Animal Services, issued a Notice of Findings of Sufficient Cause for Confiscation and Imminent Destruction, in connection with this bite event. Hadsock requested and received a hearing, on December 12, 2003, before the Pinellas County Animal Control Authority (Authority). The Authority upheld the determination of Animal Services and Hadsock subsequently appealed to the County Court.
On December 1, 2004, the trial court entered an Order Affirming Finding of Animal Control Authority finding that Sunny did attack and cause severe injury to Gettling. The trial court found, by the preponderance of the evidence and by clear and convincing evidence, that the injured party was lawfully on the property, not tormenting the dog or its owner, and that the dog was not protecting or defending a human being. The trial court concluded that, upon expiration of time for appeal, the dog will be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. Hadsock then filed the above-styled appeal.
Court is reviewing an administrative matter which has previously been directly
appealed to the County Court. Therefore,
this Court’s second-tier certiorari review is limited to whether Hadsock was afforded
procedural due process in the proceedings below and whether the essential
requirements of the law were followed. See
Cantrall v. Department of Highway
Safety and Motor Veicles, 828
So.2d 1062, 1063 (
Therefore, it is,
ORDERED AND AJUDGED that the Order Affirming Finding of Animal Control Authority is affirmed.
DONE AND ORDERED in chambers, at
JOHN A. SCHAEFER
Circuit Judge, Appellate Division
LAUREN C. LAUGHLIN JAMES R. CASE
Circuit Judge, Appellate Division Circuit Judge, Appellate Division
Copies furnished to:
Judge Myra Scott McNary
C. Bryant Boydstun, Jr. Esquire
Michelle Wallace, Assistant
315 Court Street