Ten Amish people appeared in Logan District Court Thursday, Sept. 1 to face charges of violating a city ordinance that has brought many in front of the judge over the past year, and put some in jail. The violations involve the City of Auburn’s Animal Ordinance which requires collection devices on all large animals that travel through the city.
Travis Locke is representing the Amish who have most recently been cited for the violation. He met with Logan County Attorney Joe Ross and District Judge Ken Williams Wednesday, Aug. 31 in a pretrial conference to discuss possible options. According to Ross, the discussion was friendly and all parties left open possible resolutions.
“We discussed what others have done to comply with the law,” said Ross. “We are always open to discussion.”
Oct. 26, 2016, was scheduled officially on Thursday, Sept. 1 to either set a trial date or resolve the case.
Ross stated that Locke had mentioned he may file a motion challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance with either the state or federal courts.
“He wanted to give us notice if there can be no resolution he might file a motion in state or federal court,” said Ross, who added that was fine, but not something that involved himself or the district court’s responsibility.
“That doesn’t affect us one way or another,” said Ross. “This is a law that is currently on the books and at this time I have a job to do. If Locke wants to challenge the law he would need to talk to the City of Auburn and their attorney. That’s not something the county attorney or the district law is involved in.”
Auburn’s City ordinance reads: No person should allow an animal under his or her control to be upon public property, including streets within the city limits of Auburn, or upon the property of another, absent the consent of the owner or occupant of the property, without some device for the removal and/or containment of the animals excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by any animal under his or her control on public or private property. This action shall not apply to guide dogs under control of a blind person.
Numerous Amish individuals have refused to follow Auburn’s law involving placing collection devices on their buggies. It has been said by the Amish involved they feel persecuted and picked on by the city.
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