I read your November 30 article on the Courier Journal regarding the suit filed by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller against Virginia & Kristin Garwood.
I have been following and writing about this case since it was brought to my attention in June that Mr. Zoeller was ignoring citizen concerns regarding this case. Since that time a significant number of ethically (and potentially legally) suspect actions by the office of the Attorney General and House Rep. Linda Lawson have come to light related to this case.
- Why did the Attorney General’s office apparently violate the terms of the warrant used to seize the dogs from the Garwoods’ property?
- The warrant used specifically mandated the seizing and holding of the dogs, yet the dogs were sold outright to the Human Society of the United States within 24 hours (This has been questioned as a violation of due process, in open court, by Judge Tad Whitis)
- Why is Mr. Zoeller launching this current suit, considering that his office turned around and sold the same dogs to another party in such a rapid fashion?
- Why did the AG’s office sell the dogs to the HSUS for only $300 when according to the Nov. 30 press release “June seizure of the animals was to satisfy $132,440 in unpaid sales tax and income tax”
- Why is the AG’s office claiming “The dogs had to be quarantined and treated by veterinarians and later were sent to animal shelters around the state and made available for adoption.” when they had sold the dogs by June 3 as per the signed sale agreement and when there has never been instruction from the court to release the dogs.
Considering the September 2009 federal court ruling in KY against Louisville Metro Government regarding due process violations and animals as property, I am surprised to see this move by the AG’s office. It even more surprising considering that aspects of the Garwood case appear to place members of the AG’s office and House Rep. Linda Lawson in similarly actionable positions as Louisville Metro Government was in. Do you know if a federal 1983 tort has been filed against the AG’s office and/or House Rep. Linda Lawson? I would be shocked if one was not in process.
If such a federal tort existed, named parties would be responsible for their own court costs under the terms of this section of law. If Mr. Zoeller were named within such a suit, it would certainly give this recent action the appearance of spite.
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