What are Environmental Court cases?
Environmental Court is a court dedicated to not only keeping the City of Wichita safe, but beautiful and friendly. Cases encompass everything from dogs running at large to tall grass and weeds or bulky waste on a property. Some of these cases include jail time, some do not. Most cases that involve victims on this docket are after the defendant has received a citation for allowing dogs to attack or bite.
What is a Dangerous Dog Hearing?
Animal Control, which is a division of the Wichita Police Department, in order to protect the community, can make an administrative determination that a dog is dangerous or potentially dangerous based on certain criteria. The individual will then be notified of the determination and Animal Control will put restrictions on the dog such as annual registration, liability insurance, and/or mandatory dog enclosures. The defendant has the right to appeal the decision of Animal Control to our judges. There will be a hearing set in which victims can speak to the judge about the dog. Victim letters are not typically sent for these type of hearings since they are schedule quickly for safety reasons. You might receive a call from the Victim’s Advocate about your availability for the hearing.
Who can be a victim of a dog attack/bite?
Victims of dog attack/bites can include both human and pets. You, as the owner, will be listed as the victim on the case even if it was your animal that was attacked or bitten. You may also be listed as victim even if there was only an attack by the animal that did not include a physical bite as the ordinance includes both situations.
What should you do to prepare for this court date?
If you or your animal have had to go to the hospital/vet, please keep your receipts. You, as the victim, will receive a Statement of Loss form in the mail with your victim letter to keep track of your out of pocket costs. Please keep in mind that we are a criminal court and not a financial court, so there are limits as to what we can ask for restitution. Our office can never guarantee that a judge will order restitution, but if we have documentation, we will ask.