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Dobbs v. Wiggins

Illinois Appellate Court
929 N.E.2d 30 (2010)



Larry and Frances Dobbs (plaintiffs) owned a rural parcel of land for 30 years. Donald Wiggins moved in next door and began breeding, selling, and kenneling dogs. Wiggins had up to 100 dogs on his property at one point. As Wiggins increased the number of dogs on his property, neighbors began complaining. Upon a complaint from the Dobbses, Wiggins attempted unsuccessfully to mitigate the noise. The Dobbses sued Wiggins, seeking an injunction on the ground that Wiggins’s barking dogs constituted a nuisance. The Dobbses testified that the noise from Wiggins’s dogs prevented them from enjoying their land as they had before Wiggins moved in. The Dobbses had often kept their windows open, done yard work, sat outside, and hosted people outside. Friends of the Dobbses also testified to the substantial noise of the barking dogs. A witness for Wiggins testified that he heard barking, but it was not loud, and he did not think it was disturbing. The circuit court found that Wiggins’s rural land was an appropriate area for a dog kennel, but that the harmful impact on the Dobbses of Wiggins’s kenneling business was greater than the usefulness of Wiggins’s kennels. The circuit court granted a permanent injunction limiting Wiggins to having no more than six dogs at one time. Wiggins appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

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