Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report

August 27, 1998 98-R-1086

FROM: Matthew Ranelli, Associate Attorney

RE: Barking Dog Nuisance Violations

You asked what happens if someone is cited for nuisance because their dog barks excessively and what happens if they ignore the citation.

The Office of Legislative Research is not authorized to give legal opinions and the following should not be construed as one.

By law, dogs that are vicious or that bark excessively may be a nuisance (CGS 22-363, attachment 1). Owning or harboring a dog that is a nuisance is an infraction punishable by a fine of $60. Subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $100 and up to 30 days in prison and the court may require restraint or disposal of the dog as it deems necessary.

People who ignore a citation for the dog's barking are subject to generally the same sanctions as those ignoring any other infraction. If the defendant fails to respond by the answer date on the citation, the state infractions bureau sends out a notice and assigns a second answer date three weeks later. If the defendant does not respond by that date, the bureau closes the case and forwards it to the Superior Court for issuance of a warrant for failure to pay or plead an infraction. The prosecutor has discretion to nullify the infraction or issue the warrant. Failure to pay or plead to an infraction is a class C misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in prison and a fine of up to $500 in addition to the underlying penalty and fine (CGS 51-164r(a), attachment 2).

According to Melissa Farley of the Judicial Department, the state infraction bureau logged 1283 violations and 699 convictions of CGS 22-363 in 1996-97. Convictions include anyone who paid the infraction or who contested it and was found guilty in court.