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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74505
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My 16 year old daughter was looking after a neighbour's dog,

Customer Question

My 16 year old daughter was looking after a neighbour's dog, it's a French bulldog 3rd generation. She took it to a friend's. He then was giving her and dog a lift back in his car. They put dog in car, left door open and picked something up from garage. Dog ran from car and was hit and killed. Neighbour wants £2k or they will report to police and will sue through courts which they say will ruin my daughter's chance of joining army. What is the legal position? It is not helped by the fact that my daughter has given various different accounts before admitting the truth. In her favour neighbour is unstable and has sent her lots of weird messages in past and now. He also attacked my son not long ago with an iron bar so she was worried about how he would react if she said dog not on lead. He is 35, the dog is his sisters and she wants the money. In the past neighbour has abandoned dog in our house in middle of night.
Assistant: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Birmingham
Assistant: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: None, sister came round today and got daughter to write down what happened, which was not a true version and said she wants £2k and is coming back tomorrow to talk. Driver of car did not stop.
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 6 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 days ago.

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Okay thanks
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Prefer text please
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Dog is female and four years old
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 days ago.

Thank you.

There is an argument that she was negligent and therefore would be liable for the actual cost although it won't be anything like £2k.

I'm not sure what he intends to report to the police. i can't immediately see a crime although I suppose he may lie through his teeth. People do sometimes.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 days ago.

The fact that she has lied only really goes to credibility. Since there isn't really a dispute here that isn't important at this stage.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
it definitely would be a civil matter and wouldn't affect joining army? If she through courts then would we be liable for costs if lose? Am I liable for costs and any payment as a parent?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 days ago.

Well, it depends if he is going to lie.

Or if there is more to this.

He could sue you on the basis that you failed to control her but there is no real basis for that given her age.

But a CCJ will stop her joining the army. The forces are unreasonable about debt.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
But if a judgement went against her and we paid then it wouldn't affect army?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 days ago.

Then it would depend on her level of vetting.

And she would still have to be untruthful on the application forms which is generally a mistake.

A better option would be to be honest and make the point it was a dispute over liability not poor money management.

You would have to pay within 28 days of judgment for it to be removed.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thing is, it was an accident and Jess loved the dog. She had been looking after it all week. She has made a mistake which has resulted in the dogs death but it was not on purpose. It is an expensive dog and I do think some recompense is due but £2k seems excessive.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
What would be your advice? To offer something or go to court?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Have you any further advice?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 days ago.

It isn't going to be anything like £2k.

Dogs have a value to their owners that is greater than the sum they are worth but in law the compensation is the value of the dog. It is not the cost of replacing the dog with a new puppy which, actually, would also not cost £2k.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 days ago.

if people had any interest in the welfare of dogs at all they would adopt rather than buy from breeders anyway but even if they are intent, a French bulldog does not cost £2k.