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Electronically Filed - Sullivan - May 23, 2017 - 12:16 PM

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF SULLIVAN COUNTY


STATE OF MISSOURI

STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. )


Joshua D. Hawley, Attorney General )
of Missouri, and Chris Chinn, Director )
of the Missouri Department of )
Agriculture, )
Plaintiff, )
)
versus ) Case No.: 11SU-CC00008
)
CHARLES STEPHENSON and )
DIANA STEPHENSON , d/b/a )
S&S FAMILY PUPPIES )
)
Defendants. )

VERIFIED APPLICATION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

Plaintiff State of Missouri, at the relation of Attorney General Joshua

D. Hawley and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, states as follows:

1. On August 3, 2011, this Court entered its Amended Consent

Judgment.

2. On April 26, 2017, the Missouri Department of Agricultures

Animal Care Program received a complaint from the Humane Society of the

United States alleging Defendants had sold a puppy in violation of the

Amended Consent Judgment entered with the State of Missouri.

3. As an initial matter, the Amended Consent Judgment ordered

Defendants to:
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a. Comply with the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) and its

implementing regulations for any and all future activities in

the State of Missouri;

b. Transfer all dogs, puppies, cats, or kittens in their possession

to a licensed ACFA facility, provided that any litters less than

eight weeks of age be transferred with their dam as one group,

on or before May 31, 2011;

c. Provide copies of disposition records to the Department for all

animals transferred from their possession from the date of

entry of the Amended Consent Judgment through the date of

final disposition, which is May 31, 2011, if not sooner;

d. Remove all internet advertisements of dogs, puppies, cats and

kittens for adoption or sale on or before May 31, 2011;

e. Surrender their ACFA license on or before May 31, 2011, and

refrain from all ACFA-covered pet adoptions or sales for at

least eight years from the date of entry of the Amended

Consent Judgment;

f. Refrain from accepting or purchasing any dogs or cats for the

purpose of ACFA- covered adoption or resale for at least eight

years from the date of entry of the Amended Consent

Judgment;
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g. Allow the Department to enter Defendants place of business

upon the presentation of any advertisement or record that

indicates ACFA-covered activity by Defendants or anyone

operating on property owned or controlled by Defendant for

the purpose of documenting care, conditions, and compliance

with the Amended Consent Judgment for at least eight years

from the date of execution of this Consent Judgment.

h. Attain total compliance with the rules and standards set forth

in the ACFA, including, but not limited to the acquisition of an

appropriate ACFA license, prior to conducting any future

ACFA-covered activity.

4. On May 9, 2017, the Department undertook a site visit of

Defendants property.

5. During the site visit, the Department found Defendants to harbor

the following animals:

a. A Black/Tan, Intact Female German Shepherd;

b. A Black, Intact Female French Bulldog;

c. A Black/White, Intact Female French Bulldog;

d. A Tan, Intact Female French Bulldog;

e. A Black/Tan, Intact Female Yorkshire Terrier;

f. A Black/White, Intact Male French Bulldog;


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g. A Tan/White, Intact Male Shih Tzu.

6. Defendants, Charles and Diana Stephenson do not possess a

license under the ACFA.

7. Defendants, Charles and Diana Stephenson were found to harbor

more than three intact female dogs, a violation of the ACFA, and the terms of

the Amended Consent Judgment. See 273.342. 1 RSMo.; see also Amended

Consent Judgment at 7 and 8(d), (e) and (g).

8. During the site visit, Defendant, Diana Stephenson admitted that

she occasionally bred her dogs and sold puppies, which, given the number of

intact females on the property, was in violation of the Amended Consent

Judgment and a violation of the ACFA. See 273.342.1 RSMo.; see also

Amended Consent Judgment at 7 and 8(d), (e) and (g).

9. During the site visit, Defendant, Diana Stephenson denied the

Departments request to take photographs for the purpose of documenting

Defendants compliance, or lack thereof, with the ACFA.

10. In addition, the Department received certain registration

documents evidencing that Defendant, Diana Stephenson did sell a puppy

and listed herself as the breeder.

11. The registration papers received by the Department also indicate

that the puppy was a French Bulldog sired by Hill Top Pirate Johnny and

whelped by Circle B Cheyenne.


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12. During the site visit, and upon inquiry by Department

representatives, Defendant, Diana Stephenson indicated that she had a tan,

female French Bulldog named Cheyenne and a black/white, male French

Bulldog named Hilltop Pirate Johnnie.

13. Defendants have violated the Amended Consent Judgment by, at

a minimum: (1) failing to comply with the ACFA and its implementing

regulations; (2) engaging in pet adoptions or sales while harboring three or

more intact females during the time they were prohibited from doing so

under the Amended Consent Judgment; (3) failing to allow the Department to

take photographs during the site visit for the purpose of documenting care,

conditions, and compliance with the Amended Consent Judgment; and (4)

failing to attain total compliance with the rules and standards set forth in the

ACFA, including, but not limited to the acquisition of an appropriate ACFA

license, prior to conducting any future ACFA covered activity.

14. Defendants failure to comply with this Courts Amended Consent

Judgment constitutes a violation of the law and is calculated to defeat the

rights and remedies of the State of Missouri.

15. Defendants have actual knowledge of this Courts Amended

Consent Judgment and yet continued to willfully disobey this Courts orders.

Defendants willful disobedience of this Courts lawful Amended Consent

Judgment is calculated to defeat the rights of the State of Missouri and the
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authority of this Court.

WHEREFORE, the State requests that this Court issue its Order that

Defendants appear and Show Cause why they should not be adjudged in

contempt of court.

The State asks the Court to find Defendants in contempt, assess

appropriate per diem fines against Defendants, and enter such Judgment of

Contempt as to ensure compliance with the terms of the Amended Consent

Judgment. The State also asks that if this Court chooses to enter a

Judgment of Contempt against Defendants, that the Court order the parties

to appear thirty (30) days thereafter for a determination of compliance and

associated hearing, if required.

Respectfully submitted,

Joshua D. Hawley
Attorney General

/s/Shawna M. Bligh
Shawna M. Bligh
Assistant Attorney General
Missouri Bar #56079
P.O. Box 861
St. Louis, Missouri 63188
Phone: 314-340-7834
Email: Shawna.Bligh@ago.mo.gov

ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF


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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing was served via Federal

Express this 23rd day of May 2017 to the following:

Charles Stephenson
Diana Stephenson
26185 Cheynne Drive
Milan, Missouri 63556

/s/Shawna M. Bligh
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