In an April 2012 opinion which has infuriated pit bull owners and scared landlords, Maryland’s highest court made owning pit bulls the legal equivalent of possessing canine TNT. In Tracey v. Solesky, the Court imposed strict liability upon pit bull owners for injuries caused by their dogs.
During the General Assembly’s Special Session on the budget which occurred May 14 and 15, several legislators introduced bills to overturn the Court’s ruling. No action was taken on any of the bills.
Many pit bull owners and their friends hoped to introduce legislation to reverse the Court’s ruling in a July 9 special session of the Maryland General Assembly. That special session was tentatively planned to consider gambling expansion in the State. However, because consensus on gambling expansion within the State could not reached by members of the special workgroup appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley, the General Assembly will not gather in Annapolis on July 9.
As reported by the Associated Press, Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch told reporters on Thursday, June 21 that he and House members remained open for additional discussion concerning gambling expansion in the State.
If consensus can be reached among House and Senate leaders in the coming weeks, legislators could return to Annapolis for a special session in August devoted to such gambling expansion. If so, pit bull advocates are expected to take a second bite at introducing legislation to overturn Tracey v. Solesky.