Clay couple asks court to block dangerous dog ban

Some Clay pit bull owners are asking a judge to block the city's dangerous dog ordinance. They say it is discriminatory and violates several fundamental.

Tuesday, Mary and Stephen Schreiner filed a complaint in Jefferson County Court against the ban on pit bull and pit bill mixes. The pit bull owners are asking for injunctive relief and a declaratory judgement.

On May 28, Sheriff Mike Hale appeared before the Clay City Council. He said he was approached by four aggressive{} "pit bull like" dogs and fired two shots. One of them grazed a dog. Five days later, a dangerous dog ordinance appeared on the agenda and was passed.

In their filing, the Schreiners say no notice of any council meeting was given. But they believe there must have been discussions about the agenda item and question whether Clay complied with the Alabama Open Meetings Act.

On June 17, many people spoke out against the ordinance.

The court documents say the ordinance did not give residents fair warning of the new ordinance and does not provide strict guidelines to prevent discriminatory enforcement. It also contends it violates the Fourteenth Amendment by not giving the residents due process. The filing goes on to argue Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights are also violated.

The couple is asking for the court to temporarily block the ordinance until a hearing can be held. They also want the judge to rule it violates the US and Alabama Constitutions.