Whitehorse Daily Star

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Shelley Cuthbert

Kennel owner must pay thousands in legal costs

The owner of the Tagish dog kennel has been ordered to pay her neighbours’ legals costs, totalling $8,082.81.

By Gord Fortin on July 11, 2018

The owner of the Tagish dog kennel has been ordered to pay her neighbours’ legals costs, totalling $8,082.81.

Shelley Cuthbert was taken to court by neighbours Stefan Ludwik Angerer, Ursula Angerer, Leopold Selinger, Edeltraud Selinger, Gerry McGraw and Stefan Landfried over nuisance complaints caused by the dogs in her care.

Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower decided after the trial to rule in favour of the neighbours.

He placed a permanent injunction against Cuthbert which dictated that she could only have two dogs on her Tagish property as pets.

Those two dogs would have to be kept inside from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The decision affects only her specific property in the area.

She appealed this decision and lost.

Deputy Registrar Tim Outerbridge, who appeared by phone from Vancouver, presided over Tuesday’s hearing to determine costs.

Graham Lang was present and represented the neighbours. Cuthbert did not appear in person nor by phone, as she has for past proceedings.

Outerbridge asked if she had been properly served all related materials. Lang said he made sure she was aware of Tuesday’s proceedings, saying he had emailed her the filed appointment.

Lang sent a second email late last week with a supporting affidavit.

“Cuthbert is well aware of the time of this matter and has not appeared,” Lang said.

He suggesting moving forward.

Outerbridge asked if Cuthbert had indicated she would be late.

Clerk Justin Gorczyca said she had not, and he had no instructions to call her.

Outerbridge ordered court to stand down for 10 minutes to see if she was running late.

When court reconvened, with Cuthbert still not in attendance, Outerbridge decided to push forward.

He asked Lang to file an affidavit of service because cost decisions are sometimes appealed.

Lang agreed, and promised to have it filed in the next couple of days.

Outerbridge reviewed the legal bill Lang submitted.

He asked about a pre-hearing conference on Jan. 22, 2018. According to his record, this was not heard.

Lang said this pre-hearing conference was ordered to set down the matter. Outerbridge accepted that answer and was willing to keep it on the list as it actually happened.

“That’s fine,” he said.

The deputy registrar also agreed to give costs for the half-day for the appeal. He asked about the amount sought to the preparation for the appeal.

Lang explained that because Cuthbert was a self-represented litigant, she did not choose to argue one strict issue of law. She chose to appeal multiple items in the decision, that it seemed like she was in fact appealing the entire decision.

He added that it was difficult to decipher what she was appealing due to the formatting.

“At the end of the day, we ended up having to prepare a very extensive set of legal precedence,” Lang said.

He said he had to research between 20 and 30 cases for the appeal.

“It was a mountain of work,” he added.

Outerbridge said he saw 19 cases in the records and has Cuthbert’s records as well.

He saw that she argued six points. She argued six procedural errors, misinterpretation of remedies, questioned the judge’s assertion of the character of the neighbourhood, the social utility of her kennel and whether the nuisance law properly applied.

He agreed that a lot of work was needed to prepare for the appeal, but felt Lang over-valued it. Lang accepted that.

Outerbridge moved next to filing fees and photocopying. He awarded $70 for these fees, which are not taxable. As for photocopying, he awarded $325.25.

He next asked about the transcript from the trial and case management conference.

Lang said the trial transcript was needed because Cuthbert was arguing reasonable apprehensive bias and had misrepresented something the judge said during a case management conference.

“It was important to pull that case management conference to clear the record,” Lang said.

Outerbridge felt the transcript costs should be allowed in full.

After all calculations, the deputy registrar arrived at $8,082.81. This included five per cent tax on all taxable entries.

“That seems fine,” Lang said.

Outerbridge said he would sign this order and get it back to Lang as soon as possible.

A $1-million lawsuit Cuthbert has filed against some of her neighbours was not discussed during Tuesday’s proceeding. The current location of the dogs was also not addressed.

The Star reached out to Cuthbert, but she was not available for comment before press time this afternoon.

Comments (14)

Up 2 Down 0

Miles Klondike on Jul 18, 2018 at 12:16 am

I do not see this as a witch hunt.
You have a legal right to enjoy your property. That is what these residents did when they hired a lawyer to protect themselves.

If you want to hear your dogs bark without regulation or hear ATVs roar around any hour of the day or night do not blame new Yukoners from the south please blame yourself for being selfish. This just does not cut it any more.

The people who say live and let live and who do not take responsibility for the noise and mess they create are the ones who should leave the north and head south.

Up 1 Down 0

It's how the court works on Jul 17, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Isn't it standard that the person who loses the case pays the court fees? I'm not sure why this is such an outrage to people.

Rescuing/stealing/hoarding/etc dogs aside, doesn't matter what the case is, if you lose, you pay.
She could have chosen to not pursue the court and settle outside court with a mediator.

End of story.

Up 6 Down 13

drum on Jul 16, 2018 at 9:31 pm

Nothing like kicking you when you are down. This used to be the Yukon - free and open to all - now it is Whistle Bend, gardened cottage lots, bylaws governing every move you make. This happened because outsiders came to the Yukon to take advantage of the wonderful open spaces and now want to make it what they think it should be. We have to stand up to this!!!!!!!!!

Up 12 Down 6

BnR on Jul 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Yukon Free wrote "Changing the Yukons terms to suit yours will get you zero respect from me for one."
Ok, what exactly are the Yukons terms? Can you provide a link? Specific legislation? Curious about these "terms" you speak of.
"My position is if you want regulations move to Ontario or somewhere that they've got them and then some." So, no regulations =good? So I can do whatever I want here? If I live next to you, I should be able to do whatever the heck I want, and you're good with that? Your neighbour opens a 24 hour abattoir on your property line? All good? I can discharge firearms right next door to your house? Yeah? I want to live near you buddy.

Up 27 Down 7

ProScience Greenie on Jul 13, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Witch hunt, no way, even if some of her neighbors were nimby types. If you know that area, 50 plus dogs is just way too much. The fact that she did not see an issue with what she was doing and folks in the neighborhood had to lawyer up is on her and her alone. Own it.

The Yukon Way is about respect, common sense and getting along because when it's -60 and things go to sh%% you have to count on the prior good will you created by being decent and respectful to the people and the land that is your home. If you can't do that then head south and don't let the door hit your butt on the way out.

Up 41 Down 8

My Opinion on Jul 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm

She drug herself through this with Appeal after Appeal. It is the way she rolls apparently. There is a cost to constantly fighting. When you are in a Hole... Stop Digging.

Up 14 Down 27

Max Mack on Jul 13, 2018 at 1:05 am

Ah. The Yukon's vindictive "justice" system rolls on. You would have to be insane not to see the stacked deck. Cuthbert didn't appear because she knew the outcome. It certainly doesn't pay to be disliked by the elite.

Up 32 Down 3

jean on Jul 12, 2018 at 6:51 pm

As Mark Twain wisely noted: The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

Up 21 Down 47

Yukon Free on Jul 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Seriously??!! Leave this lady alone already! This is absolutely beyond a normal situation. I've lived here my whole life and never in a million years could I have seen any of this case happening. Some of the complainants moved here, moved to an unregulated area of the Yukon because a "doctor ordered peace and quiet"... you can't tell me there isn't any rural area in any other part of the world so Yukon was not a mandatory placement for your part-time luxury peace.
My position is if you want regulations move to Ontario or somewhere that they've got them and then some. Changing the Yukons terms to suit yours will get you zero respect from me for one. And for those insisting on rehoming... I'd love to see you driving out to her place in your SUVs with your perfect little children to go look at potential dogs to adopt with a prior aggression history.. that is laughable. My advice - Go back to where you came from, and keep adopting your pure bred puppies to place behind your white picket fences and leave my Yukon and this lady alone.

Up 15 Down 34

north_of_60 on Jul 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Some people love 'witch-hunts', and Cuthbert's situation allows them to vent their self-righteousness. They will identify themselves with thumbs down to this comment. Let's see how many will admit to being self-righteous twits.

Up 28 Down 41

Jayne W on Jul 12, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Shelley seems to be getting a harsher punishment then someone that is accused of murder. (He gets bail) Suck it up neighbours...... you won, the dogs are gone, cut your losses and call it a day. I am sure she does not have the money, and $8,000 can help her clean up the property that is still next to you all and get a tenant, or for food for the existing dogs she kept.

Up 22 Down 51

Hues on Jul 12, 2018 at 12:05 am

Unbelievable to me that her neighbours would support her having to pay their legal costs, if they are. When is enough enough! Where is the compassion and empathy as opposed to judging and targeting, some are actually taking pleasure that this is happening to her, that she has to pay. They do not know her financial situation or the hardship it may put her under. Whitehorse, our Yukon Community is starting to look like the cities down South. 20 years ago a neighbor called Bylaw on our dogs who barked as they were being harnessed and when it was feed time. They were controlled but they were dogs, members of our family. It went nowhere at the time as no one else in the neighbourhood ever heard the dogs except at these times and they enjoyed dog sled as we enjoyed. This is what I think Community is about.
But eventually, because of this person, the number of dogs in our neighbourhood was limited. This person bought the property on speculation, this person was not invested in the neighbourhood, just in the property for resale. They sold the property shortly after moving in and contacting Bylaw without even speaking to us. This person’s complaint changed the lives of long time residents. Ironically this person would run their dog around the neighbourhood as they drove their car at a high speed. Families lived here, children of all ages. When I asked this person politely to please at least slow down because of the children they responded that they did not care about the children. Anyway, I have empathy for Shelly and it’s the people taking some kind of pleasure at her misfortune that blows my mind, but not my belief that not all people are like that uncaring.

Up 77 Down 32

Ya No on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:51 pm

She should have to pay more!! She shouldn't be allowed to own animals... she is a Dog hoarder... it's not a Kennel when you don't try to find homes for them, or give away dogs that aren't yours!!

Up 10 Down 8

Haw-haw on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Paging Nelson Muntz. Nelson Muntz please step up to the microphone.

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