HB 963 (Cruelty Seizures): Needs Amendments

A Message from Zandra, Anderson, Texas Dog Lawyer and Founder of Texas Dog Commission

The government can take your animals without a jury trial from the outset (now only a hearing)  so your barks and howls are needed! This is a chance to fix this problem since not every seizure is a valid one. Call & Fax!!

Dear _

Two Amendments are Needed to HB 963 (Cruelty Seizures) to Bring Justice for Texas Animal Owners
1. Amend the Cost of an Appeal Bond so it does not include administrative costs (expenses for investigation, expert witnesses, costs of sale, cost of euthanasia).
The reason this Amendment is needed:
–No other civil cases require an appeal bond to include these costs.
–These costs are taxed against the owner if he or she loses anyway.
–Adding administrative costs to an appeal bond will make it so expensive that it will prevent appeals.
—Not all seizures are valid so a person’s animals can be taken without the ability to appeal —Does not affect valid seizures
2. Amend HB 963 to provide for the option of a jury trial in lieu of the initial hearing.
The reason this Amendment is needed:
–These cases are heard in municipal courts and justice courts and these judges routinely rule against the owner.
–No other civil cases dispossess someone of their property without the right to trial by jury from the outset.
–Animal control and animal organizations confident in the basis for a seizure should welcome a jury trial.
— Providing an owner with a jury trial from the outset actually curtails appeals because people feel like they got their day in court.
–A right to a trial by jury is an essential part of our justice system so valuable property rights of Texans should not be extinguished without a trial from the start.                               –Extinguishing property rights with only a hearing gives the government too much power. Animals today, what’s tomorrow?                   

Senator John Whitmire (Houston)
512 463 0115
512 475 3737 FAX

Senator Joan Huffman (Houston, Lake Jackson)
512 463 0117
512 463 0639 FAX

Senator John Carona (Dallas)
512 463 0116
512 463 3135 FAX

Senator Rodney Ellis (Houston, Missouri City)
512 463 0113
512 463 0006 FAX

Senator Glenn Hegar (Katy) 512 463 0118
512 475 3736 FAX

Senator Juan Hinojosa (McAllen, Corpus Christi)
512 463 0120
512 463 0229 FAX

Senator Dan Patrick (Houston)
512 463 0107
512 463 8810 FAX

Thank you so much for all your help this Legislative Session! Stay tuned for what happens in these last 10 days!

Z³ = Zandra, Zeus & Zena

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