Judge won’t toss lawsuit against SLCPD over dog’s shooting

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Source: Justice for Geist Facebook page

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has rejected a request to toss a lawsuit filed over the shooting of a dog by a police officer.

In a ruling handed down on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby refused to grant Salt Lake City’s request to enforce a $10,000 settlement offer made over the 2014 shooting of the dog, Geist. He also refused to dismiss Sean Kendall’s $2 million lawsuit against the city and Salt Lake City police.

“Nothing about the agreement, the parties’ correspondence, or their actions demonstrates an intent to be bound by an oral agreement,” Judge Shelby wrote. “The evidence does not indicate there was a meeting of the minds, and in fact indicates the opposite: it suggests that neither party believed itself bound by the $10,000 oral agreement nor wished to be bound by the agreement.”

Kendall filed the lawsuit over the death of his dog. A police officer shot and killed Geist after wandering into Kendall’s backyard while investigating a report of a missing boy. The dog charged at the officer, who fired the shots. The shooting has triggered protests against police.

Salt Lake City claimed that Kendall had offered to take a $10,000 settlement but then changed his mind and sued them. Judge Shelby’s ruling said he never signed a settlement agreement.

“After the parties agreed on the $10,000 term, the City did not send Kendall a check and a release of claims, it sent him a written agreement to sign,” the judge wrote.

Judge Shelby dismissed Salt Lake City’s counterclaim and motion to enforce the $10,000 settlement. A hearing is scheduled next week on Kendall’s motion for summary judgment.

Read the judge’s ruling here: