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Baker v. Howard County Hunt

Court of Appeals of Maryland
188 A. 223 (1936)


Facts

Dr. Laurence H. Baker (plaintiff) owned a farm on which he lived with his wife (plaintiff), raised animals that included chickens, experimented with the diet of rabbits, gardened, and sought to create a refuge for birds and small animals. An association named Howard County Hunt (Howard) (defendant) was formed in 1930 to hunt foxes. Howard occupied a farm near Baker. Baker first noticed hunters and dogs on his farm in 1931. In January 1933, the dogs attacked and bit Baker’s wife. Howard’s president wrote Baker a letter expressing concern for Baker’s wife. However, the dogs subsequently trampled Baker’s crops, broke hot frames, and disturbed his animals. Baker’s wife left the farm. In February 1936, Baker shot three of the dogs after finding them surrounded by dead and frightened chickens in his chicken yard. In March 1936, the Bakers sued Howard, its agents, and its employees (defendants) to enjoin them and their dogs from hunting on the property or otherwise interfering with the peaceful possession of the property. The trial court dismissed the case. Baker appealed. Howard claimed that Baker was not entitled to an injunction because his hands were unclean due to his shooting of the dogs, and because there was a remedy at law for damages.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Offutt, J.)

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