CURB LAWS IN NORTH CAROLINA. There is no poop fairy in Charlotte.
My aunt Joan worked for a time as a purser. She has truly funny stories about dealing with people on-board ships and answering their many questions.
I guess we all can get a bit discombobulated when in strange or unfamiliar settings. Maybe it was the rolling ships. Maybe it had something to do with people on vacation imbibing too much; but, she always seemed to get some pretty quirky inquiries.
My personal favorite has always been:
What time is the midnight buffet?
Having now practiced law in Charlotte for nearly twenty-five years, I too get some interesting questions. Like most lawyers I know, I enjoy helping people. Part of that starts with, “Hey, can I ask you a quick question?” The answer always is, “Of course. It’s my privilege.”
It really is an honor when someone respects you enough to ask your opinion.
Every once-in-a-while I get a real zinger.
My personal favorites normally involve humor, a quirky fact pattern, lack of common sense, and a general “there-ought-to-be-a-law” feeling.
Indeed, the best “let me ask you a quick question” conversations are generally outside any practice area of any attorney.
So when a friend recently asked me, with a surprising level of consternation, “Hey Bill, what is the law in North Carolina about dogs pooping in my yard?” I didn’t have an answer.
Eventually I was able determine the source of the question and personally confirm why it was an irritant to him.
It came from walking around and seeing a LOT of dog “treats.”
Walking the Walk
Walking Charlotte gives you an interesting perspective. Despite taking the same path every day, you can miss things. . .even very obvious things.
The thing I missed was the amount of Doggie Doo we have in Charlotte.
Probably more importantly, I specifically noted the comical efforts my fellow Mecklenburg neighbors employ in avoiding, and please excuse the pun, taking care of business.
I even asked my wife, “Hey Sammie, have you ever noticed the little baggies on the edge of the sidewalk or at the base of trees?”
Being the good-natured, kind person she is, Sammie suggested the “deposit” was temporary. “Maybe they plan on coming back and getting it” was her response.
Uh, ya, no so much.
Apparently some people think others will pick up their dog poop, as indicated by the plethora of Harris-Teeter bags on the side of the road.
Some of them have been there so long that due to hee amount of time it takes for plastic to disintegrate, the contents must now be close to petrified.
In case there is confusion on the issue, there is no poop fairy in Charlotte – Bill Powers
Indeed, there aren’t regular humans picking it up either. So the silent war between the poop “forgetters” and the poop, “Hey it’s your dog, you pick it uppers” rages on.
What’s the Poop on Poop?
The Charlotte City Ordinance 3-69, in defining a NUISANCE reads as follows:
See More: Charlotte Animal Control Ordinance 2017
So it’s a “Nuisance,” So What?
One would be remiss in failing to note the Charlotte City Code is technically different than North Carolina General Statutes.
“City Code” violations are only applied in matters within the jurisdiction of the City of Charlotte.
People whom live in Mecklenburg County, but outside the City, would not be subject to the regulations. . .unless obviously they entered into the territorial jurisdiction of the City, which is obviously possible when walking a dog.
It also makes sense to consider the fact that other jurisdictions within Mecklenburg County, like Pineville and Matthews, also likely have a law on the books regarding “nuisance” animals.
The categorization as a “nuisance” is nothing to ignore – Bill Powers
As described, one of the more innocuous options for Animal Control is to order the confinement of Poochie, which might present quite a problem if you do not want doggy-doo in your back yard or inside your apartment.
Thereafter the sanctions become more serious and in fact can eventually fall under North Carolina General Statutes as potentially criminal misdemeanor violations.
How are things enforced?
City Code violations often start with a Civil Citation. The specific Ordinance language states:
Civil citations may generally be used to enforce any section of this chapter
Citations are issued for things like:
- Driving and Riding an animal in a Reckless manner
- Stray Animals
- City Animal License Violations
- County Permit Violations
- Containment Violations
It’s also a CRIMINAL MISDEMEANOR
Do You Have a Quirky Question?
Bill Powers is available for consultation, often free-of-charge, on legal issues in North Carolina. Bill regularly lectures on the law of North Carolina and Continuing Legal Education. He is the host of North Carolina Law Talk, a law-policy and legal discussion outlet.
If you would like to have Bill Powers as a guest speaker at your civic group, school, or professional meeting, please contact him at: