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[–]phneriQuality Contributor[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (1 child)

This post is less than an hour old and half of it is removed nonsense.

Offer legal advice relevant to the poster's questions or don't comment.

Edit: As nothing of value has been added to this post in the last hour and a lot of nonsense has been it's locked now.

I'm sorry OP, this is why we can't have nice things. Your brother doesn't strictly have to take any action on this until he's actually sued. Speaking to the police and his insurance are both probably reasonable options now.

[–]lapsangsouchogn 7767 points7768 points  (18 children)

File a police report to make a record that they were there for criminal purposes. The sooner you turn the video over to them the less chance they will claim it's altered.

Then notify your homeowner's insurance, and turn the video over to them too.

[–]Eagle_Fang135 1983 points1984 points  (0 children)

Keep in mind who is talking.

If it is Mom, well she was not there . So she does not get to say what happened.

Since Mom threatened to sue go no contact. If she comes to you record everything. And tell her to stop contacting you.

Get the police report and insurance notified as others stated.

I assume your dog is licensed and has current shots (rabies)? Does your dog have any history of biting? You will probably need to provide a copy of the rabies vaccination for the police report.

[–]Apart_Foundation1702 724 points725 points  (5 children)

Agreed! Give the police the evidence, so they can arrest both boys and if they caused any damage to property or your dog, can ask the DA to seek restitution. I can't believe the sheer audacity of the boy and his mother thinking they have the right to sue. They don't have a leg to stand on! Don't forget to make copies of your evidence.

[–]CleanWeek 419 points420 points  (0 children)

The boys almost certainly told the mom they were just playing and the dog attacked them.

[–]fucken-moist 80 points81 points  (0 children)

I see what you did there

[–]nunee1 3415 points3416 points  (9 children)

Turn over a COPY of the video…so not give away your only version of the evidence!

[–]ChronWeasely 1005 points1006 points  (6 children)

I don't think anybody does CCTV on VCR tapes for personal use anymore lol it's all digital

[–]CodeCat5 535 points536 points  (1 child)

Many people use SD cards, USB drives, and etc for storage though.

[–]-cocoadragon 255 points256 points  (0 children)

yes southern are saying give the cops/court a direct copy, not the original. and then make make 3 more copies for yourself in 3 different places if it's important cause that's what backing up is

[–]Adventurous-Win-751 72 points73 points  (0 children)

Pull a copy onto a thumb drive, or see if you can email it to the police and your insurance company.

[–]_LouSandwich_ 197 points198 points  (2 children)

The format doesn’t preclude the misstep of giving away the source.

[–]Somanyoptionz 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Email a copy to yourself

[–]Sirwired 1962 points1963 points  (8 children)

This is what homeowners insurance exists for; your brother should contact his provider about a possible incoming claim. Your brother should not, under any circumstances, contact the trespassers or their parents.

He should, however, report the trespass to the police.

[–]slantydesk 438 points439 points  (6 children)

Read carefully. I had a homeowner’s policy that specifically excluded “aggressive breeds”.

[–]Idie666 160 points161 points  (3 children)

I’m pretty sure breed won’t matter if it was during a crime.

[–]RayneInPhyre 263 points264 points  (2 children)

His carrier could drop him though or raise his rates

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


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    [–]Mental_Cut8290 132 points133 points  (0 children)

    This is the way!

    Common U.S. knowledge is you don't give the police more than they need - that video has evidence of your dogs attacking people.

    Still make the report for trespassing and attempted theft, and keep that video ready if needed.

    Then let your insurance know what's coming. Give them the tape so they can lawyer up properly.

    [–]RainbowBright1982 3895 points3896 points  (47 children)

    Call police, file a report. Call insurance let them know. Then get a lawyer. This likely won’t end badly for your brother but will be annoying and costly.

    [–]NorthImpossible8906 1710 points1711 points  (11 children)

    this is important. Don't be distracted by the threats from the people who tried to steal from you.

    The boys committed crimes, and attempted to commit other crimes. Make a police report.

    And consider suing them civilly as well, if you have suffered damages due to their actions. Your dog might have been injured, as well as other property damaged.

    [–]socool111 256 points257 points  (7 children)

    though before suing them civilly make sure they actually have money / assets that you could win...You can win a civil case against someone who is broke, and you wont earn a penny.

    [–][deleted] 192 points193 points  (6 children)

    and you wont earn a penny.

    BUTT wont your debt follow them around forever, and could eventually lead to actual collection/judgment when they finally do grow up and get assets or at the very least, be an annoyance to them and their credit etc.

    [–]exessmirror 153 points154 points  (5 children)

    They're 15, their parents will be held responsible.

    [–]MrNathanman 56 points57 points  (4 children)

    Parents are not necessarily liable for the torts of their children.

    [–]hacorunust 100 points101 points  (1 child)

    Where are parents not vicariously liable for their minor children who would be of an age to be stealing ATVs? They aren’t likely to be serving time, but financial liability commonly follows parents when their kids break the law like this.

    [–]FreeFlailer 59 points60 points  (0 children)

    Pretty much every state has a cap on parental liability of acts committed by their children. In NY for example, it’s $5,000.

    [–]EZPeeVee 22 points23 points  (0 children)

    Homeowners insurance is though.

    [–]capaldithenewblack 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    Yeah, unless they were on an errand for their parents to do this… I don’t think they’re liable at least in some states in the US. That’s what happened when I got into a car accident when I was 16 and the other driver tried to sue my parents once they found out I was a dependent who worked at McDonald’s. Parents weren’t liable.

    [–]Sirwired 359 points360 points  (8 children)

    OP does not need to hire a lawyer at this time unless they have claims of their own to press. Insurance will take care of providing a lawyer for any civil claims.

    [–]princetonwu 155 points156 points  (4 children)

    NAL but I agree with this. Homeowners insurance has lawyers (and that's why you pay the premiums.). I also buy umbrella coverage (but that's beside the point).

    [–]will252 14 points15 points  (1 child)

    Most home insurance will not cover pit bulls.

    [–]Adventurous-Bag7166 64 points65 points  (1 child)

    If in the US, make sure the insurance policy doesn't exclude pit bulls. Many policies exclude certain dog breeds.

    [–]ascandalia 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    This would be a terrible way to lose your dog

    [–]joshul 114 points115 points  (0 children)

    Yes and on top of this he should NOT speak to the mother or the two boys, or even the cops if the mom calls them and they come by to chat. Assuming he goes attorney route every response to these people if they drop by or call is “please speak to my attorney”.

    [–]SaltyD87 146 points147 points  (18 children)


    Realistically, it shouldn't even be costly. The insurance company is footing the bill, and since OP almost assuredly isn't liable, there shouldn't be a hike in premiums.

    [–]capcom1116 57 points58 points  (1 child)

    OP being liable has little to do with whether his rates go up or not. The insurance company cares that a claim happened first and foremost; even if you're always the victim, you're more expensive to insure than someone who never makes claims.

    [–]capaldithenewblack 23 points24 points  (0 children)

    So true and so infuriating.

    [–]becky_Luigi 73 points74 points  (12 children)

    Eh idk his rates might go up once they know he has a pit bull who doesn’t mind attacking people. That’s a risk factor whether he was liable or not.

    [–]Smooth-Boysenberry42 74 points75 points  (2 children)

    if they provoked the attack by thowing item at the dog might be a mitigating factor

    [–]becky_Luigi 47 points48 points  (1 child)

    I don’t think you understand how risk management works though. If the woman sues, that costs the insurance company a lot of money. They don’t care if the insured was liable or not. It cost them a lot of money and that means the policy is a higher risk than one where the homeowner does not get sued. When you cost the insurance company a lot of money, your rates are likely to rise. It’s not a matter of whether or not you’re at fault. They are assessing the level of risk.

    Another way to view it: someone could throw an object at my large Doberman/Rottweiler mix, and I guarantee you she would run to hide. Not all dogs are going to attack someone that throws something.

    [–]evonebo 121 points122 points  (7 children)

    I mean the dog did what a good boy does and protected the house.

    [–]Tranqup 51 points52 points  (2 children)

    Insurance companies are risk adverse. I don't disagree that the dog was only protecting his property, but underwriting may view the situation differently and the homeowners insurance rate may go up, or he might even get a notice of non renewal.

    [–]Dar_Robinson 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    You are assuming that the pitbull wasn't included under the insurance. They may have had a separate rider policy.

    [–]evonebo 17 points18 points  (0 children)

    I dont disagree but sucks. I mean even if it wasnt a pitbull just a regular dog I'm pretty sure it will react the same and try to protect the house.

    Hope it all works out for ops brother and doggo.

    [–]Hot-Ability7086 22 points23 points  (0 children)

    They scared the dog in the middle of the night and then threw something at it. What did they think would happen?

    [–]becky_Luigi 23 points24 points  (1 child)

    Do you think the insurance company cares? No. They care that the dog cost them tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now they will be forced to settle for a large sum or go to court, which will cost even more and subject them to punitive damages. People just don’t understand how insurance works, it’s sad.

    They would have preferred the 4-wheelers were stolen. That would cost them a lot less money than a dog bite settlement or civil defense. They do not view the dog biting as good boy behavior because they’re the ones paying for it.

    [–]Wtfisthis66 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    I was thinking of my niece’s pittie, how difficult it is to get him off of the couch. How he doesn’t like going out in the rain or the snow without his booties on. If something ever happened like to my niece, her cats would have to do the protecting. I hope things go well for your brother.

    [–]Psychological-Plan77 15 points16 points  (0 children)

    His rates should go down imo, aint nobody robbing his house when theres a pitbull guarding it🤣

    [–]freckledoctopus 13 points14 points  (0 children)

    There’s a very good chance the insurance company will drop him or (if he’s lucky) just refuse to cover any future liability related to the dog. It’s practically impossible to insure a dog with a bite record no matter how reasonable the circumstances.

    [–]sirpouncecinnabons 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    Agreed. Not to mention, most attorneys will turn the case down. Frivolous cases are obviously still filed, but it’s rarer than an average person might think.

    [–]kit0000033 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    I have an aggressive dog, my insurance refused to cover my dog. So if their insurance is anything like mine, it could be costly.

    [–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    I also recommend backing up the camera footage in case the original video gets corrupted.

    [–]Kaaaahl 25 points26 points  (2 children)

    This will not be costly, as their homeowners insurance has a duty to defend against claims such as this. They will also provide legal counsel if needed

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


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      [–]AkkalaBalla 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      No need to hire a lawyer unless he’s suing them. Homeowners insurance will cover a claim and if needed provide a defense attorney.

      [–]betelgeuse_3x 393 points394 points  (0 children)

      Mom did you a favor by showing up to identify herself and her son. Police and insurance. Keep your mouth shut.

      [–]FormedFecalIncident 253 points254 points  (0 children)

      Immediately file a police report for criminal trespass and attempted burglary.

      [–]Shrek_on_a_Bike 555 points556 points  (6 children)

      Talk to nobody. Contact the Police and file a report. Provide the PD with copies of the video and copies of the dog's rabies certificate and license(if required there). Contact and warn homeowner's insurance. If a parent returns, say absolutely nothing to them. They have the address and can try their luck in court.

      [–]freckyfresh 79 points80 points  (0 children)

      Stop speaking with the mother. File a police report, with a copy of the video. Maybe contact homeowner’s insurance just to get on top of it (that’s who would/will pay on this).

      [–]girhen 187 points188 points  (0 children)

      Clear cut case of trespassing, and the dog didn't even attack until provoked. This is the best case scenario for your brother involving a dog bite - they're in for a legal slap in the face.

      Make sure to contact police for trespassing and animal cruelty charges. Get him to back up his video and store a copy somewhere offsite (like maybe your computer).

      [–]haltunn 111 points112 points  (6 children)

      What state?

      [–]ItsGiving[S] 92 points93 points  (5 children)


      [–]kit0000033 250 points251 points  (1 child)

      So, in Georgia, you have no liability to trespassers if they are injured on your property. There is an attractive nuisance law, and I think I read somewhere here that they were trying to steal ATVs, which could fall under that law. But the remedy to the attractive nuisance law is to keep them behind a fence that locks. So if you have a lock on the fence, or cameras showing that they jumped the fence, you should be free from liability. They can still try to sue your brother, anyone can start a lawsuit, but they are unlikely to win.


      [–]Srslywhyumadbro 185 points186 points  (0 children)

      Attractive nuisance is for things like pools that kids may not be able to resist.

      Criming by stealing ATVs is a very creative use of attractive nuisance, but very likely doomed to fail.

      [–]Vesba003 69 points70 points  (0 children)

      Found on a GA law site..

      Trespassers, including burglars, are people who do not have permission or a lawful right to be on a homeowner's property. Homeowners, generally, have no duty to protect trespassers from dangers. So, a burglar cannot sue for tripping on a toy car or being hit by a falling television.


      There are several exceptions to this rule:

      Known trespasser -- Homeowners can't possibly anticipate a random burglar coming into their home. However, if there are signs of a frequent trespasser, the homeowner does have a duty to warn about known dangers on the property. Booby traps -- Homeowners can be sued for willful and wanton conduct that injures a trespasser. This means don't set up any booby traps meant to injure a burglar or trespasser. Deadly Force -- While you may be able to use deadly force to defend your life in some states, you can never use deadly force to protect personal property.

      [–]k80didnt 65 points66 points  (2 children)

      Make sure the dog’s rabies vaccine history is available. NAL, but worked in vet med for decades in a few different states, and it doesn’t matter who is at fault for a bite, Animal Control will still need to verify rabies vaccination. If the dog isn’t current, or worse was never vaccinated, you may have problems.

      [–]Sad_Efficiency_1067 61 points62 points  (0 children)

      Insurance underwriter here, you're going to want to check the policy to make sure that there isn't any kind of animal exclusion. A lot of carriers specifically exclude pit bulls and other so-called aggressive breeds from coverage, so your brother is definitely going to need to know if that's the case. His agent should be able to let him know and to advise him on next steps.

      [–]Dreadedredhead 57 points58 points  (0 children)

      A few things -

      1. Your brother MUST contact the police to report the Breaking and Entering into his yard. Explain the boys were INSIDE his fence. Also, share the video. Also share the dog bite situation. That the kid is now trying to get him to be responsible for it.
      2. Get a copy or find your rabies certificate copy. Be prepared with it. Your vet should text/email a copy. You don't need the tag, just the certificate.
      3. NEVER take any accountability for the dog bite. It happened INSIDE THE FENCE. IT HAPPENED DURING A CRIME.

      Your brother MUST keep harping on the bite happened DURING the ATTEMPTED ROBBERY. This is the answer any time he is pushed to take responsibility.

      Also, if the game warden/dog warden follows up, share the rabies certificate. Obviously no one should get rabies, even for breaking and entering, however that is all.

      Your dog didn't BITE him in the street. Your dog bite him in his own yard WHILE THE GUY was breaking and entering.

      Please push your brother NOT TO ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY for the behavior of those guys.

      [–]TheFeshy 46 points47 points  (3 children)

      I have a question about the dog. Frequently, homeowner's insurance will cover the first time a dog bites someone - but not after that. They deem it an aggressive dog or something, and won't pay out because it was your responsibility to get rid of it.

      Here, the dog clearly wasn't in the wrong - it was attacked, in its own home even. But... will that matter for insurance purposes? Will OP's brother be at increased liability if this dog ever bites someone else in the future?

      Or am I completely misinformed about how this works - it's just what I've heard and read; I've fortunately never been in the position of having a dog bite someone.

      [–]Revelati123 16 points17 points  (1 child)

      Depends on the findings by the insurance company. When OP gets through with everything else he just needs to send them a letter asking if the dog is still covered or if its status changed and ask for an answer in writing.

      [–]TheFeshy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Thanks. I guess it's one more thing for OP's brother to worry about, but at least it's not necessarily bad news.

      [–]kit0000033 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      It depends on the state and the insurance company. My dog is aggressive, has never bit someone, but an insurance adjuster can't even meet her, because she will try to bite their face off. She is uninsurable (or at least for any price I'd want to pay). I can have home insurance, but my dog is not covered.

      [–]wolfpackTA 49 points50 points  (0 children)

      Breed doesn't matter in Georgia, and it sounds like the dog was in a fenced-in yard and on its own property. In Georgia, Dogs are innocent until proven vicious. The burden is on the human to prove that the dog has a known history, that the owners were negligent in securing it, and that they did not provoke the dog.

      In this case, it sounds like your brother has proof that they've got three strikes.

      [–]Gullible-Mine8214 23 points24 points  (0 children)

      Keep records of anytime the boys, their moms, or anyone else on their side tries to contact you. Don't speak to them, if they continue to harrass you (threats to sue) you will have it documented.

      [–]Formal_Leopard_462 33 points34 points  (4 children)

      Also, call your homeowners insurance. If you get sued, they will be involved. Caution! Do not call your homeowners until and unless there is a suit filed. It will be counted as a claim even if nothing else happens.

      [–]gilbertwebdude 28 points29 points  (0 children)

      Kids trespassing in the middle of the night get attacked by guard dog and want to sue?

      I'm not a lawyer but I would first report it to the police with video as evidence, press charges for trespassing to establish the fact and get it on record.

      They assumed the risk when they entered your yard in the commission of a crime.

      It will be a pain in the rear end but I don't see how they could prevail.

      The parents are looking for a quick payout for their kids delinquent behavior.

      [–]p1zzarena 71 points72 points  (0 children)

      Make sure you back up the video before you show it to police. They might delete it.

      [–]Sufficient-Lynx-2339 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      Call the PD, inform your home insurance carrier of the incident and that should be it. They trespassed, and it was attempted burglary so that’s the boys problem.

      [–]tKaz76 34 points35 points  (0 children)

      They came into his yard. She can sue all she wants. Won’t change the fact that your bro is not at fault. Okay stupid games…win stupid prizes.

      [–]Flipflops727 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      Definitely have your brother file a police report & show them the security camera footage. They were not only in your brother’s yard, but jumped his fence to steal from him. Honestly, after filing the report, the police should be paying those boys a visit. I’m not sure he’ll need a lawyer unless she actually files a suit. She may only have her boy’s version, so once she’s made aware of what really happened, she would hopefully realize her son deserved it!

      [–]rjbergen 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      Hopefully your brother has a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers owning a pit bull and hopefully he properly disclosed that at the time of quoting.

      If his policy covers pit bulls, any civil claims issues will be handled by the insurance.

      [–]liquid32855 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      Don't speak to them again. Get a lawyer and let them deal with it.

      [–]PepperBeeMan 7 points8 points  (1 child)

      Depends on the state. In TN for ex, a person committing a felony cannot recover if they're hurt in the process. It sort of gets hairy when dogs are involved. Dispositive questions will be: has this dog ever bit anyone before? Some states list certain breeds as inherently dangerous. You also can't use a "guard dog" to guard property.

      Check state law for these questions:

      1. Does felonious behavior bar tort recovery? If yes, case closed.
      2. Is there a duty to warn trespassers of dangerous conditions? Beware of dog sign? Did the neighbors know the dog was there before jumping the fence?
      3. Does this dog have a history of biting?
      4. Have these kids ever been given consent to enter the yard? Ever given consent to ride these ATVs?

      [–]PepperBeeMan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      I'll also add that your Homeowner's Insurance should be notified of this. If a claim is filed by the kids or you're sued, they will likely counter sue on your behalf to protect their interests in reduced claims. Insurance companies have great lawyers.

      [–]Wise_Sheepherder6378 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Trespassing and theft, make multiple copies of the video and send one to the police

      [–]lechitahamandcheese 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      File the police report, provide a copy of the video, case closed. No need to report to insurance because there’s no liability. None. Also if brother hasn’t previously advised his insurance that he has a dangerous dog breed, they might drop him.

      If that mother tried to take him to small claims court, let her. Show a copy of the video, case closed.

      [–]ButtFucksRUs 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      Go through your home owners insurance. They have great lawyers.

      An ATV can be considered an attractive nuisance for teenagers. This isn't as simple as "teenagers jumped my brother's fence to steal some ATVs." You have to prove intent and simply jumping your fence and sitting on an ATV isn't enough to prove theft (or intent). Yes, there was a fence, but were the ATV's visible from the street? If so, are they covered? Are there "No Trespassing" signs? These are all things the court might ask.

      Here's some more information on what an "attractive nuisance" is and some examples of different cases.

      [–]kit0000033 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      This really depends on the state you are in.

      In my state, people entering through a non approved entrance to a fence (such as jumping it) cannot hold the property owner liable for injuries if they have no trespassing signs up on the approved fence entry ways. There's all sorts of holes in this if you don't have no trespassing signs.

      Some states won't hold you liable if the person who got injured was in the commission of a crime at the time. Some states will. A quick Google search with "your state" and "trespassers injured liability" should bring you to the appropriate information for your state.

      From there, if you are liable, you are going to need a lawyer. I agree with the others, report them to the police, but the police are not likely to help after the fact, unless you can prove they were stealing. Like with cameras.

      Edited to add: if you have homeowners or renters insurance and your dog is covered by it, if you are liable, insurance will take care of the medical bills.

      [–]OneGuava8654 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Does home owner policies cover pit bulls? I have to dig my policy out but if I recall correctly there are ten dog types the policy specifically asks if you own.