Ron mason had his day in court today.
He sued the City in Small Claims court for the City the seizing and killing of his cats, confiscating his cages and cat medications and not having them returned.
The court Commissioner, Martin Green, found for the City on everything:
1. He said the cats were contraband because the law allowed him having only three cats, and as such they can be confiscated and killed.
2. The cages were used in conjunction with the contraband cats were therefore also contraband and need not be returned without a court order which would require Mason to hire an attorney---according to Green. He actually said, "Get a lawyer."
3. Since Mason did not have the 50 cats anymore, the medications seized were not needed, therefore the City had no reason to reimburse Mason. Green ignored Mason's statement he still had three cats for which the cages and medication could be used.
Green also specifically likened the cages to a gun used in a felony. He said it was a hyperbole, but repeated it six times, likening Mason to being a felon and the cages a gun.
He said this was hyperbole, but repeated this example 6 times.
Let's get one thing straight. The District Attorney never charged Mason with a felony. The City Attorney never charged Mason with any crime, not even the kennel law, MC 53.50. Therefore, how can the cats and cages be contraband?
I asked "Commissioner Green, "Does that mean that anyone who has more than three cats is at risk to be raided, have all their cats and cages, food, vet documents, seized and the cats killed?"
His response was, "Yes, to the fullest extent of the law."
The police investigator representing the City, of course, didn't have a copy of the warrants with him. Ron did. Green said nothing, except after reading it, he recognized the judge and said she was a good judge, therefore the warrants were in order--that is, he covered the City for the weakness of the warrants.
Green asked the City rep (a police investigator) if there was an accounting of all the seized items. The rep said when anything was seized, a complete list was given to the person arrested, but he did not produce a copy of the list, nor did the Commissioner ask for one.
Ron offered a copy of the list actually sent to him by the police department three days after the raid, and that list never mentioned the 51 seized cats as required by CA Penal Code, nor did it mention the cages.
Green said, "Why do you want me to read that?"
Over and over Commissioner asked Mason, "Why are you here? What did the City do wrong?"
Then he found for the City on everything.
So be afraid, be very, very afraid. The checks and balances on government abuse of power are gone in LA when it comes to animals.