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Court Blocks Victim's Effort to Find Relief in Nahant, Massachusetts

Nahant appeals to court to ban two dogs from town

The Daily Item of Lynn - Boston, Massachusetts - Written by Debra Glidden - November 15, 2004

NAHANT -- Two dogs ordered out of town in August by selectmen have been given a reprieve by a Lynn District Court clerk magistrate.

Selectmen ordered the two Golden Retrievers owned by Mills Terrace resident Sarah Anderson, out of town after complaints about the dogs disturbing the peace. Selectmen gave Anderson, of 17 Mills Terrace, 10 days to get the pooches out of town, but Lynn District Court overturned that ruling.

Police Lt. Thomas Hutton said the town is appealing the clerk's ruling. "We are appealing it in front of a judge. The animals are a nuisance and disturbing the peace. Their owner has been unresponsive and has failed to do anything to remedy the problem. There will be a hearing in front of a judge sometime in December," Hutton said.

Anderson was unavailable for comment, but Hutton said there were numerous complaints from area residents regarding the dogs barking and many times the dogs are left alone in the backyard. Police took out a disturbing the peace complaint against Anderson in Lynn District Court more than a year ago. According to Hutton, Anderson's attorney presented receipts for the purchase of collars that prevent barking during that court appearance and police agreed to dismiss the charges.

Hutton said the department has received dozens more complaints since, and the town was forced to take measures to ban the dogs from town. Hutton said residents who have been complaining to the police on a regular basis are reluctant to testify.

"We have residents who have been calling the police about these dogs for more than a year, but now they don't want to testify in court against a neighbor. The department has tried to accommodate the residents who have been complaining about the dogs and giving the neighborhood some relief, but now neighbors won't testify," Hutton said. Anderson was served a letter asking her to appear before selectmen in August for a dog hearing, but she did not show up for the hearing.

At that hearing, selectmen Richard Lombard and Robert Frary voted in favor of banning the dogs from town. Nahant Town Administrator Mark Cullinan also favored ordering Anderson to remove the dogs from town. Selectman Michael Manning was opposed.

This page is part of the News of the Usual Legal Run-around and The Hall of Heroes
which are components of the Barking Dog News and