NYLJ: Judge Squawks at Town's Bid To Penalize Chicken Owners

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Justice Court of Town of Hyde Park, Dutchess County
Criminal Practice 
 
People v. Mahoney, 10-11-0062 

In the instant case, requiring the People to allege and prove that defendants' animals were not household pets would not unfairly apportion the burden of proof. Quite simply, the People would be required to affirmatively allege and prove beyond a reasonable doubt the negative fact that the animals in question were not household pets. .

The court finds several additional deficiencies in the accusatory instrument. The information does not factually allege the property in question is possessed, occupied, or owned by the defendants, and does not even allege the chickens and other animals belonged to the defendants. It does not state how many chickens were observed, or provide any identifying facts as to what "other animals typically associated with farming and animal husbandry" means in the context of constituting the offense.

Based upon the foregoing facial insufficiencies, defendants' motion to dismiss on grounds the information is jurisdictionally defective is granted and the information is dismissed.

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This page contains a single entry by Leonard E. Sienko, Jr. published on March 23, 2011 12:42 PM.

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