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Appeals court upholds woman’s sentence for treatment of cats

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A Fort Wayne woman who kept more than 100 cats between two properties in deplorable conditions had her sentence for multiple counts of criminal mischief and animal cruelty upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges declined to revise her sentence because it was appropriate given her character and the nature of the offense.

Constance Anderson rented a property on Elmer Street in Fort Wayne that housed as many as 85 cats. She did not live there, but would visit the property occasionally to dump a bag of food on the ground. The home was covered in urine and feces and the animals even cannibalized their young. The air in the home tested in excess of four times the amount of ammonia typically found in normal air quality.

Animal control officers also found more than 20 live cats and 20 dead cats at the home where Anderson lived on St. Mary’s Avenue. All but five of the 108 live cats discovered between the two homes had to be euthanized. The conditions of the home led to the Elmer Street home becoming slated for demolition and required $13,000 of renovations to the St. Mary’s Avenue home.

Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of Class D felony criminal mischief and five counts of Class A misdemeanor animal cruelty without a plea agreement. She received five one-year sentences on the misdemeanors to be served concurrently with three-year sentences on the felony charges.

In Constance Anderson v. State of Indiana, 02A03-1211-CR-495, Anderson argued the state should have considered her education and employment history, lack of criminal history, cooperation with investigators, her remorse and her mental state as mitigators. The appeals court pointed out the record shows the Allen County court considered each factor, but found none were significant. Her remorse was attributable to being caught rather than regret for her conduct.

Regarding her sentence, the judges noted her conduct “clearly exceeds the elements necessary under the charged offenses.” She caused significant damage to both homes and she knew the state of the animals because she left nearly 85 cats in the one house without adequate food and water and also didn’t properly care for the cats in her residence.

 

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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