United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY DISTRICT JUDGE
Madelyn Wissell Buchda challenges defendant Village of Fall
River’s ordinance prohibiting pit bulls in the village.
Buchda contends that the ordinance violates both her due
process and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth
Amendment of the United States Constitution. The parties have
cross-moved for summary judgment. (Dkt. ##17, 31.) For the
reasons that follow, the court concludes that
plaintiff’s due process and equal protection claims
fail as a matter of law. Therefore, the court will deny
plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, grant
defendant’s motion, and direct the clerk of court to
enter final judgment in defendant’s favor.
moving for summary judgment, plaintiff failed to propose
findings of fact.
plaintiff did not recognize this omission until filing her
reply, at which time she filed a motion for extension of time
to file proposed findings of facts, along with her proposed
submission. (Dkt. #39.) At that point, however,
plaintiff’s motion was fully briefed, and granting the
motion to file proposed findings effectively would put the
motion back to square one.
plaintiff’s justification for missing the deadline
makes no sense. Plaintiff’s counsel represents that he
mistakenly believed the parties had agreed to stipulated
facts, but plaintiff failed to file any stipulated facts with
the motion as well. Instead, plaintiff simply recites several
pages of “facts” without any reference to a
stipulation or the underlying evidence, except for a couple
of references to a police report, which (as far as the court
can tell) is not part of the record.
matters even worse, plaintiff failed to respond to
defendant’s proposed findings of fact submitted in
support of defendant’s counter-motion.
Plaintiff’s failure to follow this aspect of the
court’s summary judgment procedures (see
5/28/15 Order (dkt. #10) 11-15) is frankly inexcusable,
especially when represented by counsel. Nonetheless, to avoid
any prejudice to plaintiff, the court has reviewed her
proposed findings of facts, including the supporting
references to her deposition testimony, and included those
where material. Unless otherwise noted, the court finds the
following facts undisputed and material.
The Village’s Pit Pull Ordinance
Village of Fall River is a Wisconsin municipality governed by
a Board of Trustees. In October 2007, the Village Board
amended ordinance section 7-1-9 (“the Ordinance”)
to prohibit possession of pit bull dogs within the Village
limits. The relevant portion of the Ordinance provides as
a) Keeping of Animals Prohibited. It shall be unlawful to
keep, harbor, own or in any way possess within the corporate
limits of the Village of Fall River:
. . .
(3) Any Pit Bull. Any Pit Bull presently registered with the
Village on the day this section becomes effective may be kept
within the Village subject to the standards and requirements
set forth in Subsection (b) of this Section. “Pit Bull
dog” as that term is used in this Section is defined to
a. The Staffordshire bull terrier breed of dog;
b. The American pit bull terrier breed of dog;
c. The American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog;
d. Any dog which has the appearance or characteristics of
being predominantly the above breeds, or any combination of
any of those breeds. In the event an owner disputes the breed
of the dog, the Village Chief of Police may at the cost of
the owner, have the dog examined by a Veterinarian chosen by
the Chief of Police ...