Last updateFri, 04 Jul 2014 5pm

Lakewood, OH

Complaint Filed Challenging
 BSL Against
City of Lakewood, OH 

A thirty page complaint was filed in Federal Court against the City of Lakewood, Ohio, alleging that the Breed Specific Legislation in the City Ordinance is unconstitutional. The full complaint for those of you legally inclined can be read here. The complaint asks for declaratory, injunctive relief and § 1983 damages.

The case is Tarquinio v. City of Lakewood, and was filed by Kristi L. Haude. It would seem that she is related to Dan Haude, who filed Smith v. Toledo, which resulted in that city re-writing BSL out of their Dangerous Dog ordinance.

The case alleges that Chapter 506 of the Lakewood City Ordinance is unconstitutional both procedurally and substantively, violates due process, is vague, and that Plaintiffs have been damaged as a result of the enforcement of an unconstitutional ordinance. It also alleges that the ordinance violates the Home Rule doctrine of the Ohio Constitution.

It seems to me that this suit is following the blueprint of Smith v. Toledo, as well it should since that case was sucessful. One of the weak points in the Lakewood ordinance, is that it allows the Director of Public Safety to make a pit bull classfication "with or without a hearing." In addition, if an owner wants to challenge the classification of the dog as a pit bull, the burden of proof is on the owner. The complaint alleges that Lakewood's policy is not to inform that they can ask for a hearing, and there is no rhyme or reason why a hearing may be granted or denied.

I will be following this case closely. Ms. Haude has done a great job with the initial pleadings in her complaint.

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