People v. Riazati

195 Cal. App. 4th 514 (2011)

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People v. Riazati

California Court of Appeal
195 Cal. App. 4th 514 (2011)

Facts

In 2008, an officer from the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (department) visited Manuchehr Riazati’s (defendant) home to investigate a citizen’s complaint concerning Riazati’s animals. Riazati refused to allow the officer inside. From outside of the home, the officer observed multiple dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds that appeared unhealthy. The officer issued Riazati a citation and discussed proper treatment. The officer returned to Riazati’s home multiple times. Riazati’s standard of care for the animals had not improved. The officer obtained a search warrant and found more than 90 animals in Riazati’s home. The animals were severely malnourished, covered in urine and feces, and suffering from illnesses and injuries. The State of California (plaintiff) charged Riazati with animal neglect in violation of California Penal Code § 597(b). Following the trial, Riazati’s counsel requested the trial court instruct the jury that the gross-negligence standard in Section 597(b) requires that the defendant’s acts or omissions created a high risk of great bodily injury to an animal under his care. The trial court approved the request. Riazati was convicted. Riazati appealed on multiple grounds, including that the jury instructions that he requested were improper.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nares, J.)

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