Busting an abuser? Get a warrant!
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2002:
RALEIGH, N.C.–The North Carolina Court of Appeals on April
16 threw out six cruelty convictions against Carolyn Nance of Rowan
County because county animal control officers seized her six horses
in December 1998 without a warrant.
The county contended that no warrant was necessary because
the horses were in imminent jeopardy and were clearly visible from
public property. However, three days elapsed between when the
horses were first seen and when they were taken.
“Clearly, obtaining a warrant would not have presented an
impracticable delay,” wrote Judge Patricia Timmons-Goodson.
Also seized in the December 1998 raid was a horse who later
died from the effects of prolonged malnutrition. Two horses were
found dead in the same field.
Circuit Judge Hubert Lindsay of West Palm Beach, Florida,
delivered another recent reminder of the importance of obtaining
valid search warrants, ruling on December 12, 2001 that the warrant
used to arrest two alleged dogfighters and 60 spectators in a July
2000 raid by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was invalid
because the sheriff’s office did not get a required judicial waiver
of a provision of the state privacy law which mandates that warrants
in animal cruelty cases must be served during daylight.
Among the arrestees were two off-duty Palm Beach County
sheriff’s deputies who were fired but later won reinstatement.
The improper warrant service meant that all charges filed as
result of the raid were thrown out.