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Ohio High Court: ‘Dangerous Dog’ label not needed for prosecution

At issue was an attack on a Cincinnati woman in 2016 by an American pit bull whose owner let it off its leash after seeing a stray dog ahead and wanting protection, according to court records.

Posted: Dec 17, 2019 5:58 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A dog suspected of posing a danger to people does not have to carry an official “dangerous dog” label under state law for prosecutors to charge an owner for violating the law, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

As long as prosecutors have evidence that the dog in question would meet the definition of the law — including previously hurting someone — they can move forward with charges and prove their case at trial, the court said in resolving conflicting opinions by two lower courts.

“Because the dangerous-dog designation turns on the dog’s past behavior, the statute provides fair warning to a dog owner that he or she may be subject to the dangerous-dog provisions” in the law, Justice Melody Stewart wrote in Tuesday’s ruling.

At issue was an attack on a Cincinnati woman in 2016 by an American pit bull whose owner let it off its leash after seeing a stray dog ahead and wanting protection, according to court records.

The woman, who was trying to protect her Chinese Crested Dog, was bitten by the man’s pit bull on her hands and wrists, records say.

The man was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of failing to confine a dangerous dog. He challenged his conviction, saying his dog didn’t carry the “dangerous dog” label to begin with.

Although the court said that, in general, that label isn’t necessary to begin prosecutions, the justices ruled that in the Cincinnati case, prosecutors didn’t have enough proof that the man’s dog had posed a danger in the past.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
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Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
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Delaware42949
Marshall4273
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Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
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Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
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Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
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Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
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Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
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Carroll1102
Wabash1102
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Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
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Wells711
Jefferson701
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Jay680
Washington661
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Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55257

Reported Deaths: 2903
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9825417
Cuyahoga7392372
Hamilton5605197
Marion273038
Lucas2669302
Pickaway218441
Summit2079206
Montgomery191826
Mahoning1805231
Butler151144
Columbiana128860
Stark1079112
Lorain98367
Trumbull91665
Warren81421
Clark7619
Belmont54322
Delaware54115
Fairfield52916
Tuscarawas52910
Medina50632
Lake48018
Miami45531
Licking44212
Portage42858
Ashtabula42544
Wood40451
Geauga39942
Clermont3906
Wayne35951
Richland3255
Allen30540
Mercer2788
Darke24525
Greene2449
Erie23422
Holmes2203
Huron1992
Madison1928
Ottawa13923
Crawford1345
Washington13020
Putnam12615
Sandusky12614
Hardin12012
Morrow1161
Ross1133
Auglaize1044
Coshocton902
Monroe8817
Jefferson832
Union801
Hancock781
Hocking788
Muskingum761
Preble701
Williams682
Guernsey673
Lawrence670
Clinton660
Shelby644
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot585
Brown541
Defiance493
Fayette460
Knox451
Highland441
Athens431
Champaign391
Scioto380
Seneca332
Perry321
Van Wert320
Henry290
Paulding230
Adams221
Pike220
Vinton222
Jackson180
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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