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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Elaine S. Povich, Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts

The divorce court judge was frustrated. The husband, in tears. The wife, adamant. The couple’s love for each other had ended, but each professed to love and want the dog. How would the judge decide?

The husband offered thousands of dollars to his soon-to-be-ex for the pit bull terrier mix named Sweet Pea. The wife wouldn’t accept the compensation, and insisted the dog was hers — a gift, in fact, from her husband.

“This was a mutt they got at the pound, and it wasn’t worth money,” said family attorney Erin Levine of Oakland, California, who represented the husband and said the judge gave her grief for not settling the dispute out of court in the 2015 case. “There was no way we weren’t going to litigate this; they were so attached to the dog.”

Saturday, December 29, 2018
Dareh Gregorian, NBC News Digital
 

A new law being unleashed in California on New Year's Day will give pets' rights some bite in court cases.

The measure provides judges with the power to consider what's in the best interests of the animal in divorce cases, instead of treating them the way they've been treated by courts in the past — as physical property

"I'm very excited," said David Favre, a professor who teaches animal law at Michigan State University College of Law. "It's important for humans and animals."

The law was sponsored by dog owner and state Assembly member Bill Quirk and signed by dog lover Gov. Jerry Brown (Lucy, a borgie, is the state's first dog and Cali, a bordoodle, is the first deputy dog). The measure empowers judges to consider "the care of the pet animal" and create shared custody agreements.

Monday, December 3, 2018
Assemblyman Quirk being sworn in to the CA State Assembly 2018 photo
Thursday, November 1, 2018
John P. Paone, Jr., Esq. and Victoria E. Paone, Esq, The Two River Times
 
Americans have a love affair with pets. According to a recent survey, “three-fourths of Americans in their 30s have dogs, while 51 percent have cats.” It is not uncommon for people to spend thousands of dollars per year on pet clothing/accessories, food, photographs, medicine and the like. But what happens to “Fluffy” when parties go through a divorce?
 
Monday, October 29, 2018
Judges now have authority to decide who keeps the family pet in divorce the same way child custody is handled.
 
DVM360 MAGAZINE
 
A new law has been passed in California that grants judges the authority to decide who gets custody of the family pet in divorces cases, much as they decide child custody, according to the Associated Press (AP). Until now, pets have been considered property, a status that puts them in the same category as material items like TVs and vehicles.
 
A new bill signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown states that pets will still be considered community property, but the judge deciding who gets to keep the pet will be able to consider things like who feeds the pet, takes it to the veterinarian and walks it, the AP reports.
 
Friday, October 19, 2018
California governor Jerry Brown signed legislation which allows cannabis to be sold and consumed at special events.
 
Meg Ellis, PotNetwork.com
 
Prior to the passage of AB 2020, California required an 11-step procedure for cannabis-related business licenses. While the Bureau for Cannabis Control could issue temporary licenses to businesses interested in establishing temporary events celebrating cannabis, the application process was lengthy and cumbersome to small, independently owned businesses.
 
The requirements for establishing a temporary event included submission of fingerprints as well as a background check, a licensing fee, and an established labor peace agreement.
 
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
OPINION: Stan Statham, Daily News
 
I was both pleased and surprised when I learned a couple of weeks ago that California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a proposal into law that asks judges to seriously consider their custody decisions that affect dogs and cats when they are deciding who gets to keep the animals. I was pleased because a few years go we purchased a dog and named him Buster.
 
That dog has pretty much grown to be loved by all human beings. It didn’t take very long until we affectionately changed his name to Buster Stanley Statham. He is such a friendly and good looking Labrador that I have often been told if we ever wanted to give him away countless people would be glad to have him in their family.
 
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Irish Legal News
 
 
Divorce judges will assign custody over pets on a similar basis to custody over children under new legislation in the US state of California.
 
Judges are now legally required to consider an animal’s best interests in divorce proceedings, and can order shared ownership of a pet.
 
Prior to AB 2274 coming into effect, judges were not required to treat pets differently to any other shared property - like a coffee table or TV.
 
Assemblymember Bill Quirk, who introduced the bill, said: “As a proud parent of a rescued dog, I know that owners view their pets as more than just property.
 
“They are part of our family, and their care needs to be a consideration during divorce proceedings.”
Friday, October 5, 2018
Laura Goldman, Care2 Causes
 
When a married couple divorces in most U.S. states, their pets are considered property, no different than, say, lamps, TVs or cars. Who gets to keep the pets is determined by the “legal owner,” which is the person whose name is on the adoption certificate or sales contract — and not necessarily the spouse who takes care of the pets or has a stronger emotional attachment to them.
 
These laws seem especially antiquated nowadays, since many of us consider our pets to be family members that can’t be compared to furniture and other objects. In 2017, Alaska became the first state to change its divorce laws to recognize this. Earlier this year Illinois did the same, and now California will become the third U.S. state to consider the best interests of companion animals in divorce cases.
 
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Kabir Chibber, Quartz
 
Losing a beloved pet in a breakup might be worse than the breakup itself. One woman going through a divorce told her therapist she didn’t mind it when her husband left the family home but “wept uncontrollably” when she had to sell her horse. The courts don’t see it that way, though. Pets are thought of as community property, to be divided up like TVs, furniture, and all the other inanimate stuff lying around the soon-to-be-much-emptier house.