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Nahant Judge Fails to Enforce Unenforceable Ordinance as the Multiple Household Law is again shown for what it is

Barking dogs to stay in Nahant

The Daily Item of Lynn - Boston, Massachusetts - By Debra Glidden - December 9, 2004

NAHANT -- Two golden retrievers will be staying home for the holidays thanks to a ruling by a district court.

The town has fervently been trying to ban the barking canines that belong to Sarah Anderson since August.

Lynn District Court Judge Joseph Devers ruled Wednesday morning that the dogs could stay because the town failed to prove its case.

Nahant Police Lt. Thomas Hutton said the town could not prove its case because residents who have been calling the police department to complain would not testify in court.

"The department has tried to accommodate the residents who have been complaining about the dogs. We prosecuted this case to the best of our ability, but the neighbors who have complained won't testify," Hutton said.

As he exited the courtroom, Hutton said even though the petition was denied that taking action against Anderson "made her sit up and take notice."

"We haven't had a complaint in five or six months since the selectmen voted to have the dogs removed from town," he said.

In August, the Board of Selectmen voted to ban the two dogs from town for disturbing the peace and gave Anderson 10 days to get the pooches out of town, but the complaint was denied in Lynn District Court. Hutton said the town decided to appeal the clerk's ruling and asked for Wednesday's hearing before a judge because the animals were a "nuisance."

Hutton told the court there were numerous complaints from area residents regarding the dogs barking and on one occasion he witnessed animals barking in the back yard when no one was home.

More than a year ago, the police department took out its first complaint in Lynn District Court against Anderson for disturbing the peace. According to Hutton, Anderson's attorney presented receipts for the purchase of collars that prevent barking during that court appearance and the police department agreed to dismiss the charges, but the collars did not alleviate the problem.

This page is part of the News of the Usual Legal Run-around,
which is a component of the Barking Dog News and