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Knox v. Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

12 Mass. App. Ct. 407 (1981)

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Knox v. Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Massachusetts Appeals Court

12 Mass. App. Ct. 407 (1981)

Facts

Knox (plaintiff) planned to attend the Brockton Fair as a concessionaire and offer live goldfish as a prize in a game of chance. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) (defendant) learned of Knox’s plan and informed him that using live goldfish as a prize would violate Massachusetts law. Knox then filed a lawsuit and sought a declaratory judgment that the statute did not prohibit awarding live goldfish. The Massachusetts law, G.L.c. 272, § 80F, prohibited awarding a live animal as a prize for a game of chance. The statute did not define what is considered to be an animal. The trial court agreed with Knox and awarded a declaratory judgment in his favor. MSPCA appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dreben, J.)

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