CALawMama's Blog

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Experiences at the interface of life, law, and motherhood in Cali

Proof California is the Bellweather State– The Abolishment of the “First Bite’s Free” Rule

In a South Carolina case from 1985:

California has dealt with this matter by way of statute. Out of that statute has come a jury instruction found in California Jury Instructions — Civil (1950 Supp.). We approve. It reads as follows:

The law of California provides that the owner of any dog which bites a person while such person is on or in a public place or is lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of such dog, is liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten regardless of whether or not the dog previously had been vicious, regardless of the owner’s knowledge or lack of knowledge of any such viciousness, and regardless of whether or not the owner has been negligent in respect to the dog, provided, however, that if a person knowingly and voluntarily invites attack upon himself [herself], or if, when on the property of the dog owner, a person voluntarily, knowingly, and without reasonable necessity, exposes himself [herself] to the danger, the owner of the dog is not liable for the consequences …

We think the California rule is sound. It is short of the rule of strict liability for dogs. We sustain the trial court on this additional ground. All cases heretofore decided by this Court inconsistent with the view herein expressed are hereby overruled. Many of these cases are cited in the South Carolina Digest, Animals § 66, et seq.

Other states even adopt our dog bite laws.

SB277 will forever change the legal landscape of this country, allowing for mandated medical procedures with ZERO choice in the matter. Please oppose!

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