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Aggressive Dogs and Association Fines

April 19, 2011
Townhomes in the Suburbs

Courtesy Iringwelski

When “man’s best friend” becomes aggressive in a condominium, the resulting fine can be more painful than a bite.

Recently, a Cook County, Illinois  judge ruled that a $50.00 a day fine imposed by our condominium association client, against a unit owner for failure to remove an aggressive dog from the property, was reasonable and awarded our client $11,850.00 in accrued fines.  Here, an association’s by-laws gave the board of directors sole discretion to deem a dog aggressive and to have it removed from the association property, and the board did just that.  The judge deemed the fine to be reasonable considering the association made every effort to accommodate the unit owner (the board informed the owner that the dog would not have to be removed if the dog were muzzled, if the owner used a four foot leash, and if the owner took dog to reputable training school); the owner declined.  In addition to confirming the fine, the judge:

  • Granted a permanent injunction requiring that the dog be removed from the association by a date stated in the court’s order.
  • Required that the dog be muzzled and on a four foot leash when not within the owner’s unit until removed from the association.

We can assist your association to enforce its covenants.

Contributed by David M. Bendoff

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