City of Rolling Meadows v. Kyle

494 N.E.2d 766 (1986)

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City of Rolling Meadows v. Kyle

Illinois Appellate Court
494 N.E.2d 766 (1986)

Facts

Audrey Kyle (defendant) raised a six-pound monkey named Yondi. Kyle began caring for Yondi when Yondi was only two days old. Kyle taught Yondi how to communicate and often traveled with Yondi. After Kyle had had Yondi for seven years, the City of Rolling Meadows (city) (plaintiff) claimed that Kyle had violated an ordinance that banned residents from keeping normally wild and dangerous animals, other than domesticated house pets. The court held a hearing on the matter. Kyle testified that Yondi had been domesticated and qualified as a domesticated house pet under the ordinance. The trial court rejected Kyle’s argument. The trial court concluded that the phrase “other than domesticated house pets” was not intended to modify the phrase “normally wild and dangerous animal” but instead was intended to allow residents to keep domesticated cats and dogs. Therefore, the trial court found that Kyle had violated the ordinance because a monkey was normally a wild and dangerous animal. Kyle appealed after unsuccessfully motioning to vacate the judgment and for a new trial. Kyle maintained that the ordinance had to be interpreted by applying the common meaning of the word domesticated, which was to tame a wild animal for an owner’s control. Further, Kyle argued the phrase “other than domesticated house pets” was intended to modify the phrase “normally wild and dangerous animal” and therefore allowed residents to have as pets animals that were normally in the wild but had been domesticated.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rizzi, J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

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