Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hammer v. American Kennel Club case brief

Hammer v. American Kennel Club case brief
304 A.D.2d 74

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff dog owner appealed from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (New York), that granted the motions of defendants, various competitive dog associations, to dismiss the complaint. The associations moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the dog owner did not have the legal capacity to sue, and that he had failed to state a cause of action pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. art. 3211(a)(3), (7).

FACTS: Specifically, the dog owner's amended complaint sought a declaratory judgment that the complained-of standard (1) unlawfully discriminated against the dog owner by effectively precluding him from entering his dog in breed competitions, (2) was arbitrary and capricious, (3) violated N.Y. Agric. & Mkts. Law § 353, and (4) was null and void as in derogation of law. He further sought an injunction prohibiting defendants from applying, enforcing, or utilizing the standard. The appellate court found that the claim was made that the associations adopted a standard that promoted, among the owners of Brittany Spaniels raised for competition, a practice that allegedly amounted to the unjustifiable, and therefore illegal, mutilation of the dogs. The appellate court agreed with the associations' contention that the dog owner lacked the standing to obtain any of the civil remedies he sought for the alleged violation of § 353. Because the owner had no individual right to seek civil enforcement of § 353, those portions of his complaint that sought a declaration that the associations' tail standard violated the statute were null and void.

CONCLUSION: The judgment was affirmed.

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