Zoo raid violates due process, judge says

YIPPEE!!! A judge got it right, right off the bat!!! Bet he’s a lawyer and had proper jurisdiction to hear a civil case!!! More from ME below…

Zoo raid violates due process, judge says


Rowdy Shaw and Adam Parascondola with the Humane Society of the United States carry one of the sedated female tigers from her cage at the Collins Zoo to a transport carrier. A judge has ruled the seizure of animals in January violated the Mississippi and U.S. constitutions.
Rowdy Shaw and Adam Parascondola with the Humane Society of the United States carry one of the sedated female tigers from her cage at the Collins Zoo to a transport carrier. A judge has ruled the seizure of animals in January violated the Mississippi and U.S. constitutions. / Photo courtesy of the Humane Society
Written by JESSE BASS
COLLINS — This year’s raid on the Collins Zoo violated the due process clauses of the Mississippi and U.S. constitutions, according to a Covington County Circuit Court order.

The order, entered Wednesday, also rules that Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officials broke MDWFP rules when they seized several animals from the zoo on Jan. 25.

Specially appointed Circuit Judge William Barnett signed the order and remanded the case to the Covington County Justice Court.

Zoo owners Gus and Betty White filed a petition for the higher court to review the case after MDWFP seized several animals under state laws requiring permits for “inherently dangerous animals.”

This week’s order states that the seizure of the animals without notice to the owners or an opportunity for a hearing violates the due process clauses.

The order also says the MDWFP rules regarding the seizure of inherently dangerous animals requires three days’ notice before officials obtain an order of seizure from justice court, and that the department rules were violated because officials gave the three days’ notice after the seizure order was already entered, thus denying the Whites a hearing.

The return of the currently displaced tigers, wolf hybrids, leopards, cougars and a Rhesus macaque to the zoo is pending a full hearing in justice court.

“We’ll all have our day in court,” said Jim Walker, MDWFP spokesman. “We expect to prevail.”

Betty White said she didn’t know if a hearing date had yet been set.

“We expect to prevail, too,” she said, noting that Justice Court judges have historically ruled in her favor. “But it didn’t do us any good because (MDWFP) didn’t listen to the judge’s orders.”
The Whites and the department have been battling in courts of law for 25 years over seizures of various animals throughout the years and returns of seized animals via court order.

The first seizure in 1988 netted 43 alligators, eight bobcats, two skunks, four raccoons, snakes, an otter and other native animals.
Covington County Justice Court Judge Howard Folkes dismissed the criminal charges against the owners and ordered in November 1986 that the animals be returned to the zoo within 10 days.
The animals’ return took nearly two years, and Betty White said many of the animals already had died.

The department raided the zoo again on Nov. 5, 2001, this time confiscating all the indigenous animals at the zoo – including those returned due to the earlier court order.
Another justice court judge then ordered all the animals returned via a March 2002 order.
But many of the animals already had been released to the wild.

MDWFP raided the zoo again in 2010, seizing several indigenous species and writing multiple citations for unpermitted inherently dangerous animals, according to previous reports.
The 2010 raid came amid a lawsuit filed against the department by the Whites for damages incurred when the animals were released before a hearing as to the ultimate fate of the seized animals.
A circuit court judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2011 due to time lapses between the filing and the events allegedly causing the damages.
Obviously, someone is holding a grudge for the owners of this zoo…and someone wants those animals and to shut them down.
Once again the owners rights and civil liberties prevail…
What local yokels ‘think’ they can get away with, under the ‘color of law’ -HA! -they can NOT…and NO IMMUNITY will be granted!!! Those who participated have a much bigger hurdle to leap over now…including H$U$…my favorite part…A win against H$U$ means some of their money will actually go to help animals in need…
How many times do I have to say PROPER DUE PROCESS that the law provides?!? They can NOT break the law for any reason to get what they are after…letter of the law and if they don’t understand what that means then they ‘should not have done it’!!!
Have a great weekend and Happy Easter folks…I know I certainly will with the bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge in celebration of this WIN FOR THE ANIMALS and their owners!!! We will toast Mrs. White!!! Right on!!!
Stay tuned and follow this blog!!! Best -B

~ by topcatsroar on April 7, 2012.

One Response to “Zoo raid violates due process, judge says”

  1. […] When constitutional rights have been violated then it wasn’t a legal seizure as so many of the HSUS animal seizures are therefore, it’s difficult to say there was any violation. The last inspection report on the USDA site indicates they still are permitted to show animals with the most recent report of August 16, 2012; there are no violations indicated and show the zoo in compliance. Previously, a judge decided that the seizure was illegal: https://topcatsroar.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/zoo-raid-violates-due-process-judge-says/ […]

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