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Court Of Appeals Won't Reconsider Pit Bull Decision

Court removes references to pit bull mixes while leaving owners and landlords responsible for injuries caused by pure-bred dogs.

UPDATED (4:27 p.m.)—The Maryland Court of Appeals will not reconsider an April decision in which it ruled that pit bull dogs are"inherently dangerous."

Judge Alan Wilner, in a nine-page decision issued Tuesday, denied the motion for reconsideration with one caveat. (The full decision is attached to this story.)

"That said, having re-read the briefs, relevant portions of the record extract, and the dissent, I am now convinced that, on the record before us, the application of the Court’s holding of strict liability to cross-bred pit bulls was both gratuitous and erroneous," wrote Wilner. "I would grant the motion for reconsideration, in part, to delete any reference to cross-bred pit bulls, so that the Court’s holding would apply only to pit bulls that are not cross-breds."

Left in place is the ruling by the state's highest court that for injuries caused by the dogs.

Aileen Gabbey, executive director of the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the decision disappointing except for "the one change that it no longer should include “mixed’ breeds."

"It is still unclear how they are defining a “pure” pit bull," Gabbey wrote in a statement. "This ruling negatively impacts both humans and pets in Maryland. Residents should not have to choose between their home or their beloved family pets. We will continue to urge the specially-formed task force to meet on this issue before the regular Maryland General Assembly session convenes in January."

Tony Solesky, father of a Towson boy who was attacked and severely injured by a pit bull in 2007, applauded the decision.

"I don't see anything in the ruling other than everyone got their day (in court) and then they got some more," said Solesky.

State legislators during a special session that ended last week.

Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller said last week that a standoff with the Maryland House of Delegates over amendments to the proposed law .

The earlier decision was part of a case involving Dominic Solesky, who was 10-years old when he was attacked by a pit bull named Clifford while playing Nerf tag in a Towson alley.

Solesky suffered severe wounds to his leg which the Court of Appeals called "gruesome." The boy underwent five hours of surgery and multiple blood transfusions during a 17-day hospital stay.

Colleen Carter November 26, 2012 at 04:50 AM
You are a misogynist who does not like a woman who is better educated and smarter than you, and that is obvious from your condescending comments. Please NEVER refer to me as "my" anything. If I had any genetic connection to you or your greedy, nasty family, I would kill myself. Luckily, I come from a nice, well-established American family that was able to send me to the best schools from first grade through my master's degree, not Baltimore trash. I thank God for it every day. If "nationally" means that a Federal appeals court is going to also overturn this ridiculous ruling if the Maryland General Assembly does not get to it first, then you are correct. It is also going in front of a federal appeals court because it does violate the Constitution. But it is not applicable by law on a federal level. I know you have comprehension issues, but please study up on state vs. federal law. No state court has federal jurisdiction, and no state ruling is applicable outside of the state. Of course, a federal court can (and in this case WILL) overturn state law in cases in which state law violates the Constitution. Goodbye Tracey v Solesky. You are a cartoon -- a stupid, silly, little half-wit who is completely convinced of your own self-importance because a little court case with you name on it gave you 15 minutes minutes of fame. Your 15 minutes is up. Nobody cares about an illiterate half wit and his stupid e-book. You case is already gone, for all intensive purposes.
Tony Solesky November 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Of all people for me to correct this is bad. as I am the master at mis-spelling your last sentence should say all " intents and purposes" Although the rest of your post was quite intensive. The application of the Tracey law has already been quoted in 8 other cases nationally. Any court can site rulings outside of their state as a standing when trying a case. The Maryland court did in the lower court which lead to our high court reaching down and taking the case. I am not quite sure what you mean. but when and if the law gets changed the case will always be able to be sited and applied to try any case with similar circumstances. Just as we did in our case before the law was changed. as a result of our case. The current Maryland laws just changes the standards that make it far more likely to bring a settlement without a court battle. A change in a law does not mean a individual case cannot still be proven based on Tracey v Solesky its means it will not be a open and shut case and yes that means any and all courts along the way Nationally?
Karl Schuub November 26, 2012 at 01:09 PM
"If I had a genetic connection to you or your greedy, nasty family I would kill myself" or "you are a cartoon -- a stupid, silly, little half-wit..." or "nobody cares about and illiterate half-wit...", indeed you may be from a "well established american family" but "nice" is certainly up for debate.
1ke November 26, 2012 at 01:22 PM
You may very well be smart, young lady. But if you think that you are smarter or better educated than all "Baltimore trash", you need to check yourself out. Oh, your family may be nice, but you're not.
1ke November 26, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Missy is a Daughter of the American Revolution and a member of the John Birch Society, too. No wonder she is angry.

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