By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer
A judicial gag order has been issued on all parties concerned in the case of litigation of John “Jake” and Nancy Smith (plaintiffs) against Delaware Animal Care and Control, filed in Delaware Superior Court over possible illegal impoundment of their dog, “Millie” under guise of authority.
Attorney John Brady, representing the Smiths contends that the 1981 state statute that excluded Sheriffs and Sheriff’s Deputies from certification as police offices by the Delaware Council on Police Training also did not include animal control officers as police officers. The litigation essentially argues that only sworn and certified police officers can legally execute arrest and search and seizure warrants under the present Delaware Code, Title 11, Chapter 19.
Both Kent and Sussex Counties have contracted animal control services with the First State Animal Center and SPCA (formerly known as the Kent County SPCA). The KCAC/SPCA and DEACC are nongovernmental private tax-exempt organizations. This potentially raises other legal issues, as tax exempt organizations are generally conditionally bound to accord themselves within the boundaries of law and public policy. Delaware Animal Care and Control and the First State Animal Center and SPCA are headquartered at 32 Shelter Circle, Camden, DE 19934.
John Brady has also filed action in Superior Court for a stay on JP Court issuance of search and seizure warrants by animal control officers.
The issue of excession of legal authority by animal control officers in Delaware was a lively topic of discussion on the Dan Gaffney Show on WXDE Delaware 105.9 FM, earlier this morning.
Attempts by the Smiths to obtain information on the health and well-being of their mixed Jack Russell terrier, “Millie”, including a visit by their veterinarian were refused by animal shelter staff.
Further discussion is also available, at : http://delaware1059.com/blog/post.php?postid=524
A relevant News Journal article is available at:http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2015/04/05/dog-seizure-case-test-powers-animal-control-agency/25343159/