Last updateFri, 04 Jul 2014 5pm

Solesky v. Tracey

Armistead Gardens Eviction - The Facts

Armistead Gardens Eviction - Legal?

If you've heard about the mass eviction from Armistead Gardens for pit bull owners, you've heard right. We will be covering this in great detail on our show of August 28, 2012. If you want to have some context for the show, you can read the eviction letter here.

The letter was obviously written before the Reconsideration Motion was granted, since it refers to mixed or cross bred pit bulls.  As we have said on the show numerous times, the corporation cannot knock on your door and seize your pitbull and/or throw you out on the street.  The lease cannot be changed during its term without the consent of the parties.

The question is, did the corporation follow all the procedures for notice, quorum and voting in passing the eviction resolution. Nothing is yet known regarding that issue-the corporation has not provided any documents to anyone to document such proceedings, and apparently there is turmoil on the board.  There is supposed to be a meeting tonight, and there is an attorney who is trying to file an injuction.  Find out the rest of the story tommorrow night at 8:00 pm EST.


Maryland Attorney General -Governor Has No Power To Stay

Maryland Attorney General Opinion
Governor Has No Power To Stay
Solesky v. Tracey

Motion for Reconsideration Stays Effect

In an opinion dated July 10, 2012, the Maryland Attorney General announced that "It is my view that no action of the Executive or Legislative Branch short of enactment  of legislation can change the effect of this decision."  The full opinion letter can be read here.

There had been some question of whether lobbying the Governor for some kind of executive order would delay the Solesky decision.  The AG opinion seems to put that question to rest. However, the consensus in Maryland seemed to be that the Governor would not touch this issue with the proverbial ten foot pole.

The letter was written before the Motion for Reconsideration was granted and an opinion issued.  The AG stated that is was her opinion that a Motion for Reconsideration would stay the effect of the decision.  Now that the Motion for Reconsideration has been granted, the question is whether it is immediately in effect.  The lawyer defending the case told me that it would not be effective until the mandate issues, which is usually thirty days.  However, I was also told, that a mandate issued the day the reconsideration opinion was issued. I will follow up on this on Monday and report what I find.

Solesky Motion For Reconsideration Granted In Part As to Mixed Breeds

Maryland Court Grants Motion to Reconsider
As To Cross Breeds and Mixed Breeds

In what I consider a shocking move, the Maryland Appeals Court has granted Tracey's Motion for Reconsideration.  The full opinion can be read here.

I will need more time to digest this decision, but it appears from a brief review (a skin really) that the court has taken out of it's decision any reference to mixed or cross breed pit bulls.

Thus, it appears these cases will now turn on whether the dog involved in the case is identifiable as a "pit bull."  And I suppose, it will further depend on whether the landlord knew it was a pit bull.  This will create a problem with enforcement on several levels. First visual breed identification has no scientific basis, second is 100% pure breed now required, and third pit bull is not a breed.

It seems then, that since the vast majority pit bulls are mixed or cross breeds, that the decision will have a very limited application.  If owners and landlords require proof that a dog is a purebred, there will be very little application of this holding. This is a good thing for owners of mixed and cross breed pit bulls.

What will the legislature do next? 

Tune in for more on tonight's show.


Solesky Motion For Reconsideration Filed

Tracey Attorneys File
Motion for Reconsideration 

The defendant in the Solesky case has filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which can be read in its entirety here.  At the same time, the Maryland legislature has appointed a Task force to review the opinion and the effects it will have on Maryland dog owners.

I will be discussing in more detail the 19 page motion on Tuesday night's radio show.  In a nutshell, the motion criticizes the Solesky decision for 1) failing to follow precedent; 2) based on unsound science; 3) exceeding judicial authority by relying on legislative facts from other jurisdicitions; 4) ignoring science conflicting with that the court relied upon; 5) making a decision without any record below of the science or evidence relied upon; 6) pit bulls are not a breed and the term cross breed pit bull is "inherently quixotic initiative that will spark litigation and uncertainty; 7) BSL is best left to the legislature; 8) application to Tracey of a new standard of care retroactively is unfair and unconstitutional.  In the alternative, the motion asks that the court delay any further decision pending the special legislative session scheduled.

Tune in Tuesday night at 8:00 pm EST to hear all the details!