Dog custody battle in NYC & the Internet

Dog custody battle in NYC & the Internet

Plus: Attorney reports on case updates

A new case of canine custody is heating up the Internet and law blogs across the legal web. A former New York City couple had lived together and shared their love for each other, and their dog named “Knuckles.” According to, 34-year-old Craig Dershowitz has now spent more than $60,000 on a dog custody battle because, as Dershowitz claims, his ex-girlfriend “dognapped” Knuckles to California.

Apparently, the couple had verbally agreed to share custody and visitation of the dog as they were both residents of New York. But during a scheduled visitation, the ex-girlfriend took the dog and high-tailed it out of state, relocating to California where the woman’s family live.

In agony over being wrongly separated from his beloved dog, Dershowitz hired a New York attorney to represent him in court in attempts to gain full legal custody over the canine. The ex has likewise hired attorneys in both NYC and California to fight for custody. In her response to initial Manhattan Supreme Court filings, the woman claims Dershowitz unconditionally gifted Knuckles to her upon their breakup.

Fearing the case may bankrupt him, Craig Dershowitz has taken to the Internet to raise funds for his continuing legal expenses. The case has garnered attention from none other than famed Judge Judy, who commented rather sadistically on the case during a Good Morning America segment. One thing is clear: whether or not you agree with the merits and principles of this doggie-napping case, FindLaw has it right in recommending a pre-marital (cohabitation) agreement to avoid such ugly post-breakup battles.


Citizen's United II -In ongoing efforts to overturn the 2010 Citizen's United Supreme Court decision, the state of Montana is now joined by Senators John McCain and Sheldon Whitehouse in the battle to get the catastrophically abysmal decision created by the SCOTUS set aright. Rumblings from the high court indicate that the overriding public pressures are being felt, and the Justices can no longer pretend they didn't step into a big pile of smelly garbage that they themselves composted.

Back in February when an opposition party to Montana's defiance of Citizen's was filed, Justice Ginsburg wrote:

"Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U. S. ___ (2010), make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

Difficult indeed. The AP reports that at least 56 cities and towns in the state of Massachusetts alone have passed voter resolutions to urge Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would forever overturn the Supreme Court's decision in Citizen's United. Such an amendment would also have to concurrently address all issues related to a corporation's rights to free expression.

It'd probably be a lot better for the country as a whole if the SCOTUS would simply hold a special session and just turn on itself to get the damned thing erased.

In another SCOTUS update, the artificially conceived twins' right to survivor benefits has been decided. The Justices unanimously agreed that such births do not give rise to an assumption of Social Security benefits under the Administration's Survivor policy.

You'll recall from a previous post on Attorney Report that the posthumously born babies were denied benefits when their mother applied on their behalf. The SCOTUS agreed with the SSA, citing clear and traditional principles in practice wherein survivors are those dependents who were financially dependent upon the income-earner during the provider's lifetime.