Friday, May 23, 2014

Knox v. Mass Soc’y For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals case brief summary

Knox v. Mass Soc’y For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
 
-          Case Synopis: Defendant, an animal rights organization, appealed a decision of the Plymouth Division of the Probate and Family Court Department, Massachusetts, which granted a preliminary injunction against it in an action that sought to restrain the organization from preventing plaintiff concessionaire from awarding goldfish as a prize in a game of chance.

Facts & Overview: A concessionaire awarded goldfish to winners in a game of chance. The organization notified him that awarding goldfish as a prize violated Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, ? 80F. The concessionaire was granted an injunction to prevent the organization from enforcing the statute and the organization appealed. The court held that the granting of injunctive relief was improper, as the threat of criminal prosecution was not, in itself, ground for relief. The statute was designed to protect animals subject to possible neglect by prizewinners, and the statute applied to goldfish. The injunction was vacated and it was ordered that a judgment be entered declaring that the word "animal," as used in the statute, included goldfish.

P intended to award goldfish as a gam – but informed that it would be cruelty to animals
-          P sought a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the statute
-          D filed a counterclaim to that – judge granted a prelim injunction against enforcement
 
-          Conclusion & Holding: The court vacated the injunction and ordered a judgment to be entered declaring that the word "animal," as used in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, ? 80F, included goldfish.
 
 
-          ISSUE – does the word “animal” including goldfish
-          Statute provides: no person shall offer or give away any live animal as a prize or an award in a game, contest, or tournament involving school or chance
-         The Mass sattue doesn’t define the word “animal”
o       Some protect animal generally, and some are concerned with a treatment of certain animals
§         This section is one of a series of provision designed to prevent cruelty and neglect to animals → the statutes are directed against acts which may be thought to have a tendency to dull humanitarian feelings and to corrupt the morals of those who observe or have knowledge of those acts
o       Directed against acts which may be thought to have a tendency to dull humanitarian feelings and to corrupt the morals of those who observe or have knowledge of those acts
-         Commonwealth v. Turner - Animal, in its common acceptation,  includes all irrational beings
-         Goldfish included in the statement
o       Re interpreting the humane statute designed to protect animals subject to possible neglect by prize winners = incls gold fish

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