Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

The People of the State v. Margaret Curtis

February 23, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MARGARET CURTIS,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court OF ILLINOIS, of Winnebago County. No. 08-CM-7016 Honorable Clarke C. Barnes, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Hutchinson

JUSTICE HUTCHINSON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices McLaren and Hudson concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Defendant, Margaret Curtis, also known as Peggy Curtis, appeals from her conviction of one count of violating the duties of an animal owner pursuant to section 3(d) of the Humane Care for Animals Act (the Act) by "knowingly and unlawfully failing to provide humane care and treatment" to her pet cat. See 510 ILCS 70/3(d) (West 2008). On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) section 3(d) of the Act is unconstitutionally void for vagueness; (2) the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she did not provide humane care and treatment to her cat; and (3) the trial court erred when it calculated the imposed fines and, thus, those fines should be reduced. We affirm.

Defendant lived in a two-bedroom townhouse apartment with 87 cats. Five cats that were personally owned by defendant remained in her bedroom, while the other eighty-two cats were located elsewhere throughout the residence. Defendant claimed that the 82 cats were not owned by her, but were strays that had come to her door. Defendant, fearing for the stray cats' safety, provided them with food, water, and shelter. On September 8, 2008, defendant called an animal control facility to remove all the cats. The animal control facility was asked to keep a particular black cat separate from the other cats because that cat was "special to the owner." That cat had a respiratory tract infection and was euthanized. Defendant was subsequently charged with violating her duties as an animal owner because of her treatment toward that particular cat.

Defendant was initially charged with two counts of violating her duties as an animal owner pursuant to sections 3(c) and (d) of the Act. See 510 ILCS 70/3(c), (d) (West 2008). Section 3 of the Act provides:

"Owner's Duties. Each owner shall provide for each of his animals:

(a) sufficient quantity of good quality, wholesome food and water;

(b) adequate shelter and protection from the weather;

(c) veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering; and

(d) humane care and treatment." 510 ILCS 70/3 (West 2008).

Count I alleged that defendant knowingly and unlawfully failed to provide sufficient veterinary care to prevent suffering to the particular black cat. See 510 ILCS 70/3(c) (West 2008). Count II alleged that defendant knowingly and unlawfully failed to provide humane care and treatment for the same particular black cat. See 510 ILCS 70/3(d) (West 2008).

On March 13, 2009, a bench trial was held in the matter. At the trial, the State's evidence established that on September 8, 2008, three animal control officers went to defendant's residence because she reportedly wished to release some cats to them.

Deputy Stacy testified that defendant's residence contained two upstairs bedrooms and had a kitchen and a living room on the main floor. Ten to fifteen cats were present when the officers entered defendant's residence. Stacy testified that she found approximately 50 "wild-like" cats in one of the bedrooms. She testified that the bedroom "had a[n] ammonia odor. There was a strong smell of cat urine and feces." According to Stacy's testimony, the bedroom contained two litter boxes. Stacy testified that she and her colleagues grabbed the cats with a special tool and placed them ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.