There is a motion for reconsideration of the recent “strict liability” State Court Ruling in MD for pit bulls. The Animal Farm Foundation and some pro bono lawyers are working on this with B-more Dog…as well as a state-wide rally planned for the near future.
In regards to the sport of flyball, there has not yet been a case to set a precedence. It’s not quite clear who would be considered a landlord. If “landlord” falls under hotels and host locations (sporting venues), then, yes, it’s going to be a problem and liability insurance will probably become unaffordable.
The entire case is focused primarily on landlord responsibility. Now, the actual ruling states: “a dog involved in an attack is a pit bull or a pit bull cross, and that the owner, or other person(s) who has the right to control the pit bull’s presence on the subject premises (including a landlord who has a right to prohibit such dogs on leased premises) knows, or has reason to know, that the dog is a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull”.
The point of this case is to not allow for the exoneration of landlords regarding attacks by dogs on their property. This case was decided because the victim’s parents were unable to sue the owners of the dog, so they went after the landlord.
Would a hotel would be liable in the same sense as a landlord would be held liable under this new precedent?
According to Black’s Law Dictionary
Landlord: 1. At common law, the feudal lord who retained the fee of the land. — Sometimes shortened to lord. 2. One who leases real property to another. — Also termed (in sense 2) lessor.
– > Lease: A contract by which a rightful possessor of real property conveys the right to use and occupy the property in exchange for consideration, usu. rent. • The lease term can be for life,for a fixed period, or for a period terminable at will. [Cases: Landlord and Tenant 20. C.J.S.Landlord and Tenant §§ 27, 202(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10), 203.] 2. Such a conveyance plus all covenants attached to it. 3. The written instrument memorializing such a conveyance and its covenants. —Also termed lease agreement; lease contract. 4. The piece of real property so conveyed. 5. A contract by which the rightful possessor of personal property conveys the right to use that property in exchange for consideration.– >
Real property: Land and anything growing on, attached to, or erected on it, excluding anything that may be severed without injury to the land. • Real property can be either corporeal (soil and buildings) or incorporeal (easements). — Also termed realty; real estate; fast estate.
– > Lessor: one who conveys real or personal property by lease; esp., Landlord
– >Convey: to transfer or deliver (something, such as a right or property) to another, esp by deed or other writing; esp., to perform an act that is intended to create one or more property interests, regardless of whether the act is actually effective to create those interests
Taking all of these definitions together, it would seem that a hotel would maintain the definition of a landlord.
It looks like hotels may hold the same liability as a private landlord. The problem with finding the real answer is that hotels are commercial property while private landlords are private property (and commercial property people do not talk to private property people, making finding this information difficult).
Whether or not this is legally true is not yet known. While reviewing these definitions, it is likely that hotel management may do the same thing. Regardless of truth, hotels in Maryland may begin to restrict breeds that they otherwise did not restrict previously (aka restricting renting with pit bulls).
There are several campgrounds (including some in PA) that have bully breed restrictions. Flyballers should check pet rules in advance to make sure there are no limits on the number of dogs allowed per site or other restrictions. Some campgrounds are requiring proof of vaccinations and license.
For anyone interested in knowing what’s going on with this legislation (it has taken affect immediately, btw), there is a facebook group for Baltimore’s pit bull advocacy group, “B-More Dog”…http://www.facebook.com/groups/35638834718/
<<Our mission is to promote responsible dog ownership through education and outreach programs in the Baltimore area and ultimately restore the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier as a beloved family pet. We are not a rescue however we support and augment rescue efforts by working with folks to keep their dogs in their home. All members of the board have at least one rescued pittie and volunteer with various rescue or shelters. B-More Dog is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization so your donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law. 100% of donations go to funding our various programs which include the following: Free Humane Education in Baltimore, Pit Bulls on Parade, Community Pit Bull Days, Shelter Outreach and End Dog-fighting in Baltimore.>>