Your dollars for law enforcement at work: Deputies travel 500 miles to seize young girl’s pet goat

from ever-heard-of-cooperation-with-law-enforcement-and-hog-gas? department

I’m not going to open this by stating that I guess the Shasta County (CA) Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) has better things to do with its time. I to know he has better things to do with his time.

Nor am I going to pretend that the SCSO didn’t have enough staff to deal with local crime while sending deputies on a 500 mile round trip to seize a goat. I’m sure those MPs were surplus. We know they weren’t needed for anything major because they traveled 500 miles to take a goat from a girl, apparently licensed to do so by an agency with money to spend money on. gasoline, snacks and overtime.

Even though we claim this is the kind of thing law enforcement should be doing, we have to wonder why the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office didn’t ask a law enforcement agency more local to make the entry. But I’m sure we know the answer: any other law enforcement agency would have refused to engage in this bullshit.

But here we are, detailing a long road trip to take a goat from a young girl, who may not have realized that participating in a 4-H auction meant that her beloved goat would eventually die.

The Sacramento Bee was the first to report on the lawsuit stemming from this incident. (But it was also far from the only entity reporting on the lawsuit to decide that it didn’t need to publish the actual lawsuit. WTF, reporters. The prosecuting entity — Advancing Law for Animals — would certainly provided anyone with a free copy. ) Anyway, here’s the backstory:

Last April, Jessica Long’s family purchased a 4-month-old goat and took her to their home in Shasta County, where Long’s young daughter named her Cedar, feeding her, taking care of her and bonding with her as she “would bond with a puppy.” ”

“She loved him like a pet,” the court documents say.

The little girl was enrolled in the local Chapter 4-H youth program, and in June she took Cedar, a white goat with chocolate markings framing her face, to be displayed at the cattle auction of Shasta District Fair.

But a 4-H show is not a show. It’s an auction. The contestants bid on the “exposed” animals, converting them from pets to potential sources of meat, something the young girl (and her family) clearly didn’t realize.

The family tried to back down but fair officials refused to act like adults. Instead, they insisted that Cedar be auctioned off. The winning bidder, who paid $902 for the goat, was State Senator Brian Dahle, who is running for governor.

The Federal Trial [PDF]filed by the child’s parents with the help of Advancing Law for Animals, repeatedly details adults refusing to be adults in order to forcibly remove a child’s pet from him.

This is the preview of the constitutional issues trial – one that seems to indicate that it was all more vindictive than actually legal.

On July 8, 2022, at the request of the Shasta District Fair and Event Center (hereafter, “Shasta Fair Association”), two sheriff’s deputies left their jurisdiction in Shasta County, traveled more than 500 miles at taxpayer expense and crossed about six (6) separate counties, all to confiscate a young girl’s beloved pet goat, Cedar, after she decided not to auction it off for slaughter.

Cedar was her property and she had every legal right to save his life. Yet the Shasta Fair Association challenged his contractual rights to do so. In response, two sheriff’s deputies unreasonably searched and seized Cedar, without a warrant, despite plaintiffs’ notice of civil contractual dispute about it, notice that plaintiffs continued to assert possessory interests in Cedar, the notice that the plaintiffs did not receive compensation for him at auction, and note that the plaintiffs even offered to pay the Shasta Fair Association for any damages that may possibly arise in a civil litigation over Cedar – which , under fair rules, did not exceed $63.14.

Nevertheless, without providing the plaintiffs with any notice or opportunity to be heard as required by the Constitution, the sheriff’s deputies took on the role of judge for themselves and acted as judge in an otherwise purely civil dispute, judging – wrongly – who owned Cedar by simply returning it to third parties whom they believed to be its rightful owner outside of any due legal process. As a result, the young girl who raised Cedar lost him and Cedar lost her life. Now plaintiffs can never get it back.

According to the lawsuit, the minor who owned the goat was legally able to terminate her participation in the contract, which she did.

Accordingly, on June 25, 2022, shortly after the auction and prior to Cedar’s transfer to the slaughterhouse, Plaintiff EL exercised her statutory rights as a minor under California law to void any contract that may have exist between it and the Shasta County Fair and/or any other party with respect to Cedar. See Cal. Family Code § 6710 (“A contract of a minor may be terminated by the minor before the age of majority or within a reasonable time after…”).

The fair refused to release EL from the contract. The family offered to pay the fair the portion of the funds the family had not even received yet (the state senator’s winning bid of $902), totaling $63.14, the 7 % of sales the fair claimed at 4-H auctions.

The family felt that their efforts to save this goat could lead to retaliation from other members of the farming community. So she shipped the goat off to a third-party farm in Sonoma County, presumably until any animosity (perceived or real) subsided.

The fair continued to insist that the goat be abandoned and slaughtered. When the family refused, a fair official threatened the family with criminal charges (specifically grand larceny). The family again offered to pay the 7% fee, as well as the full $902 the sale of the goat had generated. This offer was also rejected.

The family then contacted the winning bidder, Senator Dahle, who informed the family that he had no interest in forcing the girl’s pet to be put down.

Apparently, none of this mattered to the fair officials, who decided that this disagreement should be settled by force. The Fair Association has approached the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office to pursue the criminal charges. A warrant was requested by a detective from the sheriff’s office to search the animal sanctuary in Napa, California, where the goat had been moved by the family. He did so despite being informed that the family had repeatedly attempted to settle this civilly (not in a legal sense) with the Fair Association and Senator Dahle’s refusal to force the family to relinquish ownership of the goat. The affidavit claimed the goat had been “stolen or misappropriated”, when no such thing actually happened.

The Fair Association never owned the goat. The winning bidder technically had some kind of ownership (but only over the meat, which could be removed from the animal at any time, not necessarily immediately), but the family had asserted ownership and made several efforts to fix the extremely minor wrong to… irritate a county fair official.

The affidavit also swore that the agency would seize the animal and present it as evidence. He also ordered the family to keep the goat alive as evidence if deputies were unable to locate it. Then, with this warrant in hand, the deputies traveled a few hundred kilometers outside their jurisdiction to proceed with the seizure of the animal which they had sworn to bring back intact.

The warrant, like all good warrants, indicated the location of the place to be searched: Bleating Hearts Farm & Sanctuary. But deputies didn’t find the goat there, so they went to another location entirely – one not listed in the warrant affidavit.

On information and conviction, Defendant Fernandez and Defendant Duncan then proceeded from Bleating Hearts Farm and Sanctuary in Napa County to Sonoma Farm in Sonoma County where they seized Cedar. Defendant Fernandez and Defendant Duncan had no warrant to search and seize Cedar at the Sonoma Farm.

The deputies then returned to the Shasta Fair with the evidence they had sworn to present to a judge. It appears that officials involved in the criminal prosecution sent the pet goat to be slaughtered.

It’s all incredibly ugly. While much of this may turn out to be legal, it will be difficult to explain why MPs felt they could search somewhere not specified in their warrant. And even if there is a legal justification for the fair’s decision to enforce a dodgy contract with a minor by killing her pet, there’s simply no good reason she chose to borrow. this way. I mean, it looks like the actions of people who like to kill animals to make children sad.

On top of that, it’s a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money. No citizen (other than the fair official who insisted that things had to be this way) would ever consider this a worthwhile use of law enforcement resources. And, unfortunately, it will be these same people who will never accept being asked to do this kind of thing to cough up a little more money to pay for the eventual settlement.

Filed Under: 4-h, auctions, california, goats, scso, shasta county, shasta county sheriff