Dog-bite liability | Law homework help

Due: January 29, 2018 on Canvas by noon

Specifications: All writing should be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.  Your argument should be as long as it needs to be to fully express your thoughts on these questions. Longer answers are not inherently better or more complete than shorter ones.    

Facts

Our client was returning to a party to retrieve his car keys.  He had consumed a little alcohol at the party.  It was past 1:00 AM, and it was dark on the street where he had been at the party. The houses on the street were very similar in appearance.  Client walked around the back of the house where he thought the party was going on. It was the wrong house. In the darkness, he tripped over a German Shepherd sleeping behind the house.  The dog got mad and bite the client on the leg.

Directions:

Answer the following questions applying the statutory and case law provided. 

Use rule-based and analogical reasoning and present your thoughts in unified, coherent paragraphs with clear topic sentences.  

1) Rule-based reasoning (10 points): Under the statutory law of North Florida, can our client recover for the dog-bite?  Assume that the statute for dog-bite liability in North Florida has three elements: 1) defendant’s ownership of the dog; 2) injury caused by the dog; and 3) lack of provocation of the dog by the plaintiff.

2) Analogical reasoning (20 points): Under the common law (case law) of North Florida, can our client recover for the dog-bite?  Use two of the cases described below.

Case 1— A seven-year-old boy was on a neighbor’s porch, grabbing and pulling the ears of the neighbor’s dog and poking the animal in the stomach.  The boy was told several times by the neighbor to stop what he was doing and leave, but the boy continued until the dog bit him once on the cheek.  The court held that the dog’s owner was not liable for the damage caused by the dog because: (a) the boy had no right to remain on the neighbor’s property; (b) the dog had the right to defend itself; and (c) even though the boy was a minor, he still provoked the attack.

Case 2— A three-year-old girl was playing jump rope on a neighbor’s front porch near the neighbor’s dog.  She accidentally jumped on the dog’s tail.  The dog yelped and scratched the girl on the leg with its front paws.  The court held that the dog’s owner was not liable for the damage caused by the dog because: (a) even an intentional acts can constitute provocation of a dog and (b) the attack was proportionate to the provocation.

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