Animals are part of our families. We sleep in the same beds as our dogs. We share our food with the cat. Hell, we even have an #OfficeHorse (it’s a real hashtag on Twitter, if you care to follow along). So, it’s only natural that we have dedicated a portion of our practice to animals. Our practice areas related to animals are dedicated to the following:
Unfortunately, animals are often considered property in Colorado. As such, our legal system isn’t positioned to help them. A skilled legal advocate in Greenwood Village and throughout Colorado is often the only way to get animals the help they (and their owners) need. Let an experienced attorney help you with your animal law and replevin cases in Greenwood Village. Contact Justie at Nicol Gersch Petterson to get started today!
Having an animal law expert on staff is perhaps unique to NGP. Justie Nicol regularly teaches on the subject of animal law and is a published author on the subject. Justie has lectured on animal law topics at the following places:
Justie is also certified in Equine Body Condition Scoring and is well-versed in civil liability as a result of injuries caused by animals. Justie has tried many animal related cases and even wrote her undergraduate honors program thesis on the subject of Animal Cruelty in Rodeo (from the perspective of a rodeo participant), going so far as to defend her thesis from horseback. Justie is a published author in the Colorado Bar Association Continuing Legal Education’s Colorado Civil Claims book. So, when it comes to animals, be it pets or livestock, Justie has the experience needed to handle any animal law situation.
Justie is happy to consult with prosecutors, law enforcement, defense attorneys at any time at a reduced fee. Speaking or expert testimony inquiries may be booked directly with Justie using this link: https://CoLawTeamScheduling.as.me/Speaking
Criminal defense representation isn’t just limited to animal cruelty. Criminal defense involving animals can include things like defending municipal tickets for failure to clean up animal waste, barking dog noise complaints, or helping someone navigate both the criminal and civil aspects of a dog bite situation. Often the best course of action is determined by the jurisdiction that you’re in and the number and type of prior run-ins with animal control. Here at NGP, we can help with all manner of animal cases, including even these minor tickets!
On the other end of the spectrum, animal cruelty is one of the hardest crimes to prosecute. Animal cruelty may be either a felony or a misdemeanor, and animal fighting is likewise just as complicated. District attorneys and other prosecutors regularly get it wrong as few, if any, have ever handled an animal case before. Here at NGP, we will take the occasional animal cruelty defense case, but only after careful conflict checks. Many times, we will have consulted on the law enforcement side of a case and may not be able to help. However, in some situations, we may be the best attorney for you! Incidents of negligence, hoarding, and inadvertent mistakes affecting the wellbeing of an animal are often over-charged, and a good defense attorney can really help. In other cases, there may be a PACFA complaint going through the Attorney General’s office at the same time that we need to navigate. Not many attorneys are comfortable advising on both Title 18 and Title 35, but here at NGP, we know the in’s and out’s of these animal cases and how they can overlap.
Criminal defense representation is typically offered on a flat fee basis. For information about our financing options, check out this page. However, if outside advice is given resolving a civil case, a PACFA matter, or animal control relations, we typically will charge hourly. We regularly give student and veteran discounts, though, and work with all of our clients to better the lives of their animals.
What do you do when someone steals your dog, cat, fish, iguana, etc.? Yes, you can perhaps regain possession if the person is a complete stranger, and you report them to the police for theft. But, what if they’re a known party who also may have rights to possess your animal? Is possession really 9/10ths of the law? The short answer in Colorado is “it depends.”
In some situations, with good documentation and evidence supporting your claim to ownership, you may be able to sue to regain possession of an animal on your own through a process called replevin. In such a case, we recommend that you have a working knowledge of similar cases, such as those in small claims court. We also would recommend that only well-spoken, highly educated folks undergo this course on their own. If this describes you, then we can still help guide you without doing full representation—see our Legal DIY Packages for more info.
In other situations, we can handle the civil suit to regain possession of an animal from someone like an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend and handle all aspects of the representation for you. If you’re married and getting divorced and want to work out a custody or visitation plan, we can also help with that through our family law division.
Contact Nicol Gersch Petterson to learn about animal law and replevin cases in Greenwood Village and to explore your options for getting your beloved pet or livestock animal back today!