Wichita now won’t let you file a noisy-dog complaint yourself

Citing a threat of lawsuits, the Wichita City Council on Tuesday voted to strip residents of the authority to file criminal charges in dog-barking and nuisance-lighting cases.

Prosecutor Jan Jarman told the council that current law could expose the city to litigation and legal discipline because it allows residents to sign a criminal charge without establishing probable cause that a crime has been committed.

“That gives prosecutors heartburn because you can lose your law license,” Jarman said.

In the case of animal noise, the change would require future cases to go through either the Police Department or Animal Control, which has police powers, Jarman said.

That will allow authorities to counsel residents on what evidence they need to collect for a successful prosecution, she said.

“We can help a citizen build a stronger case,” she said.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article124288689.html#storylink=cpy

(Read more: Wichita Eagle)