Sheri Moody, the 54-year-old Orange County woman whose pit-bull bit and seriously injured a mailman, will face the lesser charge of a misdemeanor instead of a felony in the Westminster dog bite case, The Orange County Register reports .
David Carroll, a longtime mail carrier was mauled in September 2007 by Moody’s pit-bull, Maggie who had gotten out of Moody’s home in a Westminster neighborhood. In spite of his efforts to fight off the pit-bull, David, who is our client, suffered horrific bites, bruises and cuts on his face that needed numerous stitches. Deputy District Attorney Raymund Diaz filed a felony charge against Moody for allowing Maggie to cause serious injury.
Orange County Superior Court Judge John Nho Trong recently lowered the charges saying he was not satisfied with the evidence in the case and that the Westminster Animal Control should have cited Moody more often. Moody now faces only a year in jail.
Under California Civil Code section 3342 a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries inflicted by his dog upon a person, even if the owner was not negligent and the dog had never bitten anyone before, as long as the person who was bitten had the legal right to be where he was attacked.
There is evidence that Moody had more than one dog that had behaved dangerously and that the Westminster Animal Control knew this. Had Animal Control followed by the procedures established by the “vicious dog statute,” Maggie might not have been able to attack Carroll, and he would not have suffered the crippling injuries which continue to plague him.
The California Food and Agriculture Code section 31642 on keeping and controlling potentially dangerous dogs requires:
“A potentially dangerous dog, while on the owner’s property, shall, at all times, be kept indoors, or in a securely fenced yard from which the dog cannot escape, and into which children cannot trespass.”
It is interesting to note the City of Westminster’s Municipal Code 6.10.060 repeats exactly this requirement.
Moody knew that Maggie had attacked others in previous incidents, yet she callously disregarded the safety of others in having allowed Maggie to escape. I find this kind of an attitude from any dog owner inexcusable.
I’m honored to be representing David Carroll and will fight to make sure that he and his family get the justice they rightfully deserve.