The Performing Animal Welfare Society was granted a change-of-venue in a lawsuit against it, moving the lawsuit from Calaveras County to Sacramento County. The lawsuit is in response to an earlier lawsuit by PAWS.
In 1999, the group built an animal sanctuary — ARK 2000 — in San Andreas. Neighbors to the ARK 2000 site, John Ham and Kevin Krantz, opposed the construction of the animal sanctuary and took their complaints to the publisher of the Calaveras County Daily News, Frank Eckblom, who published a story in his newspaper about Ham and Krantz’s complaints.
PAWS then sued Ham, Krantz and Eckblom, accusing the three of making false allegations against PAWS and holding the organization up to “public humiliation and contempt” in an effort to derail county and state approval for construction of the animal sanctuary.
A judge through out all of the allegations except one, going to trial with PAWS’ claim that Ham and Krantz had trespassed on PAWS’ property. Krantz was eventually dropped from that part of the lawsuit, and Ham was acquitted of the trespassing charge in August 2004.
Ham and Krantz then turned around and filed a lawsuit charging that PAWS knew there was no basis for its lawsuit and accusing the organization of malicious prosecution.
They are seeking compensatory damages of at least $50,000 along with general and punitive damages and court costs.
Judge: PAWS case will move to Sacramento County. The Record, January 7, 2005.
Change of venue in PAWS lawsuit. Vanessa Turner, Caleveras Enterprise, January 10, 2005.
Most of lawsuit claims by animal welfare group fail. Ron DeLacy, Modesto Bee, September 17, 2002.
Lode judge rules against PAWS in suit. Francis P. Garland, The Record, August 27, 2004.
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