PA township nuisance laws

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by cobra2411, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. cobra2411

    cobra2411 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 5, 2009
    I'm just getting into Chickens and I'm doing some research. This site has been great so far. I just wanted to share some info as in may help people in PA and also around the country.

    I've done some homework and the only thing I've found at the state level is summarized as:

    "Imports shall be only from flocks classified or rated as Pullorum-Typhoid Clean or Free"

    And then some record keeping...

    On a local level I can see municipalities using "nuisance" laws to prevent or restrict the ownership of chickens.

    There are two types of nuisances; nuisance per se and nuisance in fact. Basically nuisance per se is a nuisance to one person and nuisance in fact affects the community. Municipalities only have the ability to prohibit nuisance in fact, or something that is an inconvenience or trouble to the community. This information comes directly from the "PA legislators municipal deskbook"

    Also in the case of Commonwealth v. Creighton, _ PA. Cmwlth., 639 A.2d 1296 (1994); a woman who had as many as 33 cats in her house challenged a local ordinance preventing the ownership of more then 5 animals. It was ruled that the municipality could not prohibit the number of cats because the municipality did not prove how the cats posed a problem for the community (nuisance in fact).

    Commonwealth Court, Judge Friedman :

    “Even legitimate legislative goals (controlling nuisances) cannot be pursued by means which stifle fundamental personal liberty when the goals can be otherwise more reasonably achieved.”

    The ruling is only binding in PA, but it's laid out well and could potentially be used elsewhere to setup a defense against a "nuisance" ordinance in another state.

    I hope this helps and I hope we all live in communities that are tolerant of others pursuit of happiness.


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