Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA
PG Adopt-A-Classroom -- Compassion Watch TV
Holistic Health Care for Pets -- No Kill Prince George's County, MD
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Timothy W. Saffell
Upper Marlboro, MD. A Motion was filed on March 21, 2012 in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, asking that the Court find Rodney Taylor, Administrator of Animal Management, Samuel Wynkoop, Director of the Department of Environmental Resources, and Sarah Bouldin-Carr, Deputy Director of the Department of Environmental Resources, in contempt of court.
"The Defendant's contempt is flagrant and provocative", said E. Anne Benaroya, Esq., the attorney who filed the motion, "and constitutes both Civil and Criminal Contempt of Court".
The motion alleges that the County falsified a ruling of the court at the county's official public information website. "This behavior constitutes Contempt of Court, in our opinion", said Timothy Saffell, President of Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA, the Plaintiff.
The Declaratory Judgment and Order, signed on January 3, 2012, supported the position of PGFF SPCA that feeding outdoor animals is not illegal, and overruled the county's decades-long practice of attributing ownership to people who feed outdoor animals.
The County posted a Press Release on the official County web site, (view from www.PrinceGeorgesCountyMD.gov or alternatively a copy previously saved from www.PrinceGeorgesCountyMD.gov ), misrepresenting the court's ruling by stating that the case had been dismissed as moot.
"Because this action occurred outside of the courtroom, and impacted the public's knowledge of their rights, this action constitutes Criminal Contempt of Court", Ms. Benaroya explained.
The motion also asks that the judge order the County to correct the misinformation by publishing an accurate statement of the judge's ruling on the County's website, publish an apology for misrepresenting the judge's ruling, promise to revise its practices in order to comply with the judge's ruling, and reimburse the plaintiff's attorney's fees.
Because the government is the government, the public expects that any announcement, particularly those made on a government web page devoted to Press Releases, will contain accurate information. When false information is found on a government web page, public confidence in the county is undermined.
Timothy Saffell concluded, "I don't believe that the residents of Prince George's County want a government that violates the law on a daily basis, makes false accusations against citizens, violates their constitutional rights, overreaches its authority, and is based on a foundation of untruths."
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