All remaining unresolved cases involving violations of an animal ordinance in the city of Auburn were deferred Wednesday in Logan District Court.

Numerous cases against members of the Amish community were scheduled for a hearing Wednesday to address a failure to adhere to the city's requirement for collection devises on all large animals traveling into the city limits.

County Attorney Joe Ross offered to defer the cases based on the fact that there was no longer a law.

"Since the cases involve the Auburn collection device were initiated in our court, I have attempted to resolve the matter with a deferred prosecution on condition of compliance with the applicable law," said Ross. "Under our system that is the approach prosecutors often take relative to minor offenses relating to individuals without a criminal record. In some instances, such a resolution is even mandatory by statute.

"For years such a resolution was not possible because the defendants refused to comply with the ordinance. Because of that my office, through the district court, expended a great number of time and resources to enforce compliance with that

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law. Once the city council changed the ordinance, there was no need to proceed further as now the defendants were in a position to accept the offer and comply with all applicable laws in Auburn or otherwise. To date, we have expended a great number of judicial resources on this matter. If we continue to push these cases to trial, not only would it have cost the judicial system a lot of time and money but also likely the county through potential jail sentences that would have been imposed had the fines not been paid. Such result would have been illogical in light of the change in the law."

Attorney Travis Lock accepted the deal on behalf of his clients as did District Judge Ken Williams on behalf of the court. Also waived were the costs associated.

"This is wonderful news," said Lock. "It is delightful the action the city council took rescind this portion of the ordinance. This is finally resolved and we are very happy."

Since the city's ordinance was amended in November 2017, taking out the portion that required the devices, there are no crimes committed.

This lengthy saga involving horse manure ended when Auburn council member Thelma Cottrell lead the charge to amend an ordinance that drew well over one hundred violations and sent two men to jail.

Cottrell was joined by fellow council members, Steve Montgomery, Claude Tisdale and Ricky Heflin, with councilman Rex Evans voting no. Bobby Price, who voted no on the first reading to amend, was absent the night of the final vote.

The Amish who live in and around Auburn claimed they were being singled out and discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Other reasons mentioned by the Amish were that their horses were retired racehorses and the tapping of the device on their rear would spook them and cause safety issues for those in the buggy.