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Dog Law: Austin Court Awards Wife Custody of Clementine the Chihuahua

Chihuahua While Austin, Texas resident Eric Lipman, my co-blogger here at Legal Blog Watch, is off gallivanting about the Texas traffic court, there are cases of real importance going on right under his nose. Take the case of Calder v. Calder, in which the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin ruled yesterday that Brooke Ashley Calder may keep her Chihuahua named Clementine as part of her divorce.

According to the Texas Lawyer, Daniel Naeter Calder appealed to the 3rd Court, challenging the trial court’s ruling that Clementine was Brooke’s separate property. A panel of three judges, who were probably wondering why they ever went to law school, affirmed the trial court, holding that Clementine was purchased before the marriage took place and therefore was separate -- not community -- property. The court noted that Brooke Calder "put $948 into the account a few days before she purchased Clementine, and she testified that he agreed to let her buy a dog only if her own money paid for it, according to the opinion."

With all due respect, I think the 3rd Court is over-thinking this. Everyone knows that dog disputes are supposed to be resolved by taking the dog to court and placing it in the middle of the room. Then the parties seeking custody go to either side of the room and call the dog -- whomever the dog goes to gets custody. See, e.g., The Awful Truth (1937); see also 10 other TV shows from the 1970s the names of which I cannot recall right now.

Posted by Bruce Carton on August 26, 2010 at 02:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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