Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking
from the Licking County Municipal Court, Case No. 19 CVH
Plaintiff-Appellee: WILLIAM C. HAYES LICKING COUNTY
PROSECUTOR CAROLYN J. CARNES
Defendant-Appellant: CHRIS BRIGDON
Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon.
Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.
Defendant-Appellant James Sendykar appeals the April 1, 2019
judgment entry of the Licking County Municipal Court.
Plaintiff-Appellee is the Licking County Dog Warden.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On February 10, 2019, Defendant-Appellant James Sendykar was
issued a Notice of Dog Designation Status by
Plaintiff-Appellee Licking County Dog Warden, which
designated Sendykar's dog as dangerous. Sendykar appealed
the designation to the Licking County Municipal Court and a
bench trial was held on April 1, 2019. The following evidence
was adduced at the bench trial.
On February 6, 2019, Joseph Carson, while employed by FedEx,
delivered a package to a residence in Hebron, Ohio. The
package was addressed to Carrie Sendykar, wife of
Defendant-Appellant James Sendykar. This was the first time
Carson had delivered a package to this residence. To deliver
the package to the residence, Carson backed the FedEx truck
half-way up the driveway, using his rear-view camera to guide
him, instead of his side mirrors. On the property near the
driveway, Sendykar had posted a sign that read, "DOG ON
PREMISES CAUTION INVISIBLE DOG FENCE UPS/FEDEX DROP OFF
→." The arrow on the sign pointed to the ground.
The photograph of the sign was admitted as evidence. Carson
testified he did not see the sign as he backed into the
Carson parked the truck in the driveway, picked up the
package to be delivered, and opened the back door of the
truck. When he opened the back door of the truck, Carson saw
a dog on the property of the residence. The dog, named Garth,
belonged to Sendykar. Carson exited the truck, took six
steps, and looked down at the package in his hand to scan the
package. As he was scanning the package, Garth bit Carson on
the front of his left thigh. Simultaneously, the package
scanner showed "dog bite" because a dog had
previously injured another FedEx employee at that address.
After Garth bit Carson, Carson called his manager who
instructed Carson to go to an urgent care facility. Carson
put the package back on the truck. Carson's leg wound was
treated at the urgent care facility. It did not require
stitches. Carson, who had experience with dogs, testified the
wound was a dog bite, not a dog scratch. A photograph of
Carson's wound at the time of the incident was introduced
as evidence. It showed two wounds, close together. The skin
was broken and bloodied.
Carson contacted the Licking County Dog Warden to report the
incident and Licking County Deputy Dog Warden Tyler Moore
made contact with Carson at the urgent care facility. Deputy
Moore took Carson's information and then drove to the
residence to speak with Sendykar. Deputy Moore had previous
knowledge of Garth stemming from an alleged dog bite that
occurred to a FedEx driver on October 3, 2018. When Deputy
Moore arrived at the residence, he observed Garth come out of
the garage from a partially open garage door. The
residence's property had an invisible fence. Deputy Moore
stayed in his truck because Garth was barking and growling.
Deputy Moore called Sendykar, who said he was out of town and
his wife, Carrie Sendykar was not at home. Sendykar's son
was at home and Sendykar contacted his son to tell him to
come out and secure Garth. Deputy Moore told Sendykar's
son about the incident and issued a quarantine notice.
At trial, Sendykar testified that Garth was a not a dangerous
dog. He had never observed Garth being aggressive and he was
gentle around children. He argued the wound suffered by
Carson was a scratch from Garth's claws, not a bite.
Sendykar contended the incident would not have happened if
Carson had obeyed the sign Sendykar posted cautioning
delivery persons about the presence of a dog on the property
and where to drop off packages. Sendykar testified the sign
was clearly visible to ...