Solutions to Long-Term Cases in States Without Pre-Conviction Forfeiture Provision
The best options in most abuse cases are to (1) try
to get an owner to sign a release or (2) find foster homes for those
still in the shelter. ALDF has sample forms here that can be customized by each shelter.
Here are some other possibilities, that may or may not apply or work in this situation, or be the best solution:
The prosecutor could file a motion for priority setting on the court
docket and expedited hearing dates, but it is easy for defendants to
get around this later by asking for continuances and firing counsel, as
we often see happen. Also, the prosecutor may not be able to get ready
Although not preferable for a number of reasons, the prosecutor and
defense attorney/defendant could work towards a quicker resolution
through some sort of plea agreement.
The only other legal option we are aware of is to try to file a civil
action for custody, but it would probably be put on hold until
resolution of the criminal case.
Another important thing you may want to consider in the near
future is to work on upgrading your state laws to allow for
pre-conviction forfeiture, like many states already do, so that the
animal victims are not wasting away in cages indefinitely but are
instead allowed to be placed into loving home. Download our model state anti-cruelty laws that includes a cost-of-care bonding provision.