Guégon: dogs illegally confiscated by City Hall can cost taxpayers dearly

An American bulldog bit a man and a woman during a party in an apartment in Caucriauville in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), Saturday, October 13, 2018.
The owner of the dogs was prevented from attending the hearing on April 6, 2022. The reason? Hospitalization after being bitten several times by his bulldogs. © Adobe share

A woman who has been waiting for five months to see dogs which was illegally confiscated from him by the municipality Guegon (Morbihan) was present at the head of Administrative law of Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine) on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. She asked the judge in chambers to apply the financial fines that hover over the head of the municipality.

The owner of the dogs had won the case further November 5, 2021 before the same court in the context of a “referenced liberty”, an extremely urgent procedure aimed at suspending the administrative measures leading to a “serious and manifestly unlawful attack” on the liberties enshrined in the Constitution, such as property rights.

A formal message delivered by hand and torn

The latter had only bowed Guégon municipality for a form problem. The formal notice of disposing of some of his animals had not been properly served on him.

It had actually been “delivered to him personally,” and this woman, who had been put under curatorship, had immediately “torn it up.” However, the city had not had the mindset to also send it by registered mail to Udaf 56, which manages its curatorship …

The fact is that when the judge in the departments of the Administrative Court of Rennes had suspended this formal notice in November 2021, the municipality had not been able to return her six dogs to the plaintiff. The reason: She had immediately entrusted them to the Animal Protection (SPA), and the association had already found champions for three of them.

Today, the owner of the animals wants the financial fine that hovered over the municipality in case of non-return – 50 € per. dog and per. day with delay – must be realized. This “partial” execution of the November 2021 provisional order would thus cost Guégon’s taxpayer more than € 21,000.

Problems in several Breton municipalities

His lawyer estimates that the municipality has not “done everything” to recover the three dogs that the community claims. “Have the people who have been entrusted with these dogs by the SPA been contacted? Maybe we should have asked them what was best for these animals: take them away from my client who has cared for them for months or even years, or put them in a new family? ”she wondered in front of the judge in the chamber.

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According to her, there was still time to do so at the time of the first order: The three dogs had been returned to their new masters “seventeen”, “eight” and “four” days before the court decision.

“It’s obvious that my client does not know how to handle all this so well that she has difficulties, that she may not have the appropriate behavior in any case, that Udaf 56 has also had shortcomings … but it requires nothing away from the obligation that weighs on the municipality: it has not done things the way it should, that’s all. “

Dog owner’s attorney

City Hall’s lawyer, for his part, recalled that the applicant had posed problems of the same type “in different municipalities” in Brittany. She had up to “seventeen dogs” at the same time at Scaer (Finistère). In Bannalec (Finistère), his “twelve” dogs demanded “intervention from gendarmes and firefighters”. Finally recently in Josselin (Morbihan)three of his dogs have been placed in a specialized center, four “with a friend” and the last is “on the run”.

The owner was hospitalized after several bites

The owner was not present at the April 6 hearing. She is currently hospitalized in Ploërmel after “being bitten several times by her bulldogs”. Under these conditions, his request for enforcement of the financial sanction is “inappropriate”. The city attorney asked the judge to cancel it, even to “substantially moderate” it or even give “additional time” to the city to return the animals.

Marie-Noëlle Amiot, Mayor of Guégon, had meanwhile taken to the Rennes Administrative Court to speak. “In September 2020, I was arrested by the owner of the building where she lived. His neighbors complained about the noise of the dogs and the eternal cries against his animals,” the city mayor said.

“It uses the mayors of the municipalities one after the other”

“I tried to be a conciliator for a year, from September 2020 to September 2021, but nothing progressed,” lamented Marie-Noëlle Amiot. “I was constantly questioned by the people … For the welfare of my constituents, I therefore had to take this order. Maybe we did not do things right, because I am newly elected, but I feel I did my job for her.”

The judge in the chambers took the opportunity to question the mayor of Guégon about the “frequent moves” of his previous administration. “It uses the mayors of the municipalities one after the other,” replied Marie-Noëlle Amiot. The judge, who has informed her decision, will issue her ruling in the coming days.

GF (PressPepper)

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