Registe v. Porter Case Brief

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School
Florida International University **We aren't endorsed by this school
Course
LAW 7200
Subject
Law
Date
Sep 18, 2023
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1
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Angelica Manduley IDH 3034 Registe v. Porter Case Brief Case Name: Registe v. Porter Citation : 557 So. 2d 214 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1990) Procedure Below: The case involves an appeal from the Circuit Court of Manatee County, Florida. The plaintiff, Seres Registe, filed a negligence action against the defendant, Joe Porter, doing business as Joe Porter's Junkyard, after being injured by a dog bite on the junkyard premises. The trial court granted a final summary judgment in favor of the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed. Issue: The main issue in this case was whether a conspicuously posted, easily readable "Bad Dog" sign, posted as required by section 767.04 of the Florida Statutes, is effective to protect the owner of the premises from liability for a dog bite when the victim cannot read or write English. Rule: The court held that a sign that is "easily readable" under section 767.04 of the Florida Statutes refers to a sign that is "capable of being read easily; legible." It is not a requirement that every potential victim of a dog bite be capable of reading the sign. Therefore, the presence of a readable "Bad Dog" sign protects the property owner from liability for a dog bite even if the victim is unable to read or write English. Rationale: The court analyzed the legislative intent behind section 767.04 of the Florida Statutes, which imposes absolute liability on dog owners for dog bites, with exceptions. One exception is when the owner has displayed a prominently placed, easily readable "Bad Dog" sign. The court considered whether the statute requires that every potential victim of a dog bite be capable of reading the sign for it to be effective. The court concluded that the requirement for a sign to be "easily readable" means that the sign should be legible and capable of being read, but it does not require that every potential victim be capable of reading the sign. Imposing such a requirement would practically negate the statute's purpose, which is to shield dog owners from liability by providing notice of potential danger. The court argued that the legislature did not intend to create a situation where dog owners needed to post signs in the language of every potential victim. The court distinguished the case from precedent, specifically Flick v. Malino, by stating that while sympathy might lead to different conclusions in cases involving very young children, the circumstances of the current case did not warrant extending the ruling to cases like this one. Conclusion: The court affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Joe Porter, holding that a conspicuously posted, easily readable "Bad Dog" sign effectively protects the property owner from liability for a dog bite, regardless of whether the victim can read or write English. The court also found no conflict with previous cases and clarified the interpretation of "easily readable" as "capable of being read easily; legible."
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