Am I liable if the neighbor’s dog pushes it’s head through the fence and gets bitten by my dog?

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Am I liable if the neighbor’s dog pushes it’s head through the fence and gets bitten by my dog?

I am a home owner with a 6 year old pit bull. She is being accused of biting my neighbors smaller dog. This is the second time they have accused her of this and I am thinking about disputing this $260 fine but I would like to know if I even have a chance first. My back yard is fenced in, but the fence on both sides belongs to each of the neighbors. The fence paneling is loose and the neighbors dogs stick their heads through it onto my side where my dogs are (I have pictures showing that the fence panel is loose and when pulled gently can be moved enough for the smaller dogs head to come through, but not big enough for my dogs head to go through). Who’s responsibility is it to fix the fence? If their dog is pestering my dog with its head through the fence on my side is it my dogs fault? I haven’t even seen pictures of the “damages” my dog did to theirs, am I allowed to ask for pictures? On the fine it says the neighbor witnessed the dog dig under the fence and attack their dog, but there was not any hole under the fence. I would be extremely grateful for any assistance I can get. I’ve been trying to look up the laws and cases where this has happened but I don’t know where to look and I’m not having much luck finding anything.

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your matter does not have a lot of law to assist you. based upon my experience in such matters, custom and practice is for neighbors of a shared fence to equally pay for its repairs. As to claims for damages by your dog, you are entitled under the laws to see the basis for all claims against you for damages. How can you decide to pay for something if you wanted to if you cannot make an informed decision.

If the neighbor's dog goes onto your property without permission through a hole in the fence and gets bitten by your dog on property you occupy, you should not be responsible for any bills as a result under the law.


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