I just went to court for an incident involving my 2 pitbulls who broke through the fence and scuffled with a dog whom was leashed. The dog was not injured, nor was the man walking the dog. In court he stated just that, but said he sometimes can not sleep at night because of the incident and feels stressed out from time to time if he thinks about it. He sometimes feels he may have a panic attack. I was fined and had to send him an apology letter and attend a Responsible Pet Ownership Class. Can he still take me to court and try and sue me for possible "distress" because he can't sleep at night? He did not provide medical info for this as evidence, as of yet. If he did try to take me to court again, how much can he file against me and try to sue me for? Does he even have a case?
The fact that he has already filed criminal charges against you does not prevent him from filing a civil suit. If you can't control your pitbulls this is probably exactly what you need.
The man can file a civil suit against you even after you have resolved your criminal case. He does have a case but as he will have trouble proving any damages he will have trouble finding a lawyer to pursue this case. Be careful with those dogs - the next case could result in severe criminal and civil liability because you are on notice the dogs are aggressive. In any event, you are strictly liable for the damage caused by your dogs; meaning, no finding of fault is necessary to hold you responsible.
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Was this a criminal case or a civil case? In either event, if he were to sue you for his panic attacks he would have to prove that he is actually having panic attacks, that he has sought medical care, and that he has other damages. Not an easy case to prove.
I do take issue with this statement "you are strictly liable for the damage caused by your dogs; meaning, no finding of fault is necessary to hold you responsible" - this is not always the case and it really depends on the law where you live and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident.
I do agree, however, that you need better fencing.