Janssen v. Voss

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtOWEN
Citation207 N.W. 279,189 Wis. 222
Decision Date09 February 1926
PartiesJANSSEN v. VOSS.

189 Wis. 222
207 N.W. 279

JANSSEN
v.
VOSS.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Feb. 9, 1926.


Appeal from Circuit Court, Brown County; Henry Graass, Judge.

Action by Robert Janssen, by John J. Janssen, his guardian ad litem, against Pauline Voss. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant appeals. Reversed and remanded, with instructions.

[207 N.W. 279]

Silverwood & Fontaine, of Green Bay, for appellant.

Cady, Strehlow & Kaftan, of Green Bay, for respondent.


OWEN, J.

The defendant is a widow, and the mother of two children, the older, William B., being of the age of 14 years at the time of the occurrence giving rise to this action. She had purchased and given to said son William B. a pure bred collie dog. The registry certificate shows the ownership of said dog registered in the name of William B., and the city license also shows the ownership to have been in said son. Defendant and her two children comprised her immediate entire family.

During the latter part of May, 1924, a brother of defendant died, and on June 1, 1924, defendant left Green Bay to attend the funeral in Michigan. She caused the dog to be placed in a dog hospital in Green Bay, to be kept during her absence. She left her two children at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kress, to be cared for until her return. A couple of days after the defendant's departure the son William B. complained to Mrs. Kress that the dog was being misused at the hospital. Mrs. Kress gave him two dollars with which to pay the accumulated hospital charges for the dog. The boy took the dog from the hospital, brought it to the Kress home, and tied it to a clothes line in the back yard. The plaintiff, an infant 17 months of age, whose parents resided on a lot adjoining the Kress home, wandered into the Kress yard, and was bitten by the dog. This action was brought to recover damages resulting from such bite.

[1] The case was tried before a jury, and a special verdict returned, by which it was found that the defendant did not fail to exercise ordinary care in placing the dog for keeping during her absence, and damages were assessed in the sum of $500. The court held the question whether the defendant had exercised ordinary care in placing the dog for keeping during her absence was immaterial; that section 174.02, Stats., imposes an absolute liability upon the owner or keeper of any dog which has injured or caused the injury of any person, irrespective of the degree of care which the owner or keeper of such dog may have exercised, and rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff.

[2] The trial court was no doubt correct in holding that the degree of care exercised by the defendant in providing for...

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17 practice notes
  • Smaxwell v. Bayard, No. 03-0098.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 7, 2004
    ...merged in the owner, and at that very moment the keeper's rights and responsibilities concerning the dog are at an end. Janssen v. Voss, 189 Wis. 222, 224, 207 N.W. 279 (1926) (emphasis added). In other words, once the individual ceases to exercise dominion over the dog, that is, once he ce......
  • Pawlowski v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., No. 2007AP2651.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • December 29, 2009
    ...law. In essence we agree with the court of appeals' analyses of the cases that inform our decision. ¶ 33 Three key cases, Janssen v. Voss, 189 Wis. 222, 207 N.W. 279 (1926), Koetting v. Conroy, 223 Wis. 550, 270 N.W. 625 (1936), and Armstrong v. Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Co., 202 Wis.2d 25......
  • Tanga v. Tanga, No. A--1116
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • January 5, 1967
    ...Von Rohr, 107 Ohio St. 75, 140 N.E. 669 (Sup.Ct.1923); Wojewoda v. Rybarczyk, 246 Mich. 641, 225 N.W. 555 (Sup.Ct.1929); Janssen v. Voss, 189 Wis. 222, 207 N.W. 279 (Sup.Ct.1926); Knapp v. Ball, 175 So.2d 808 (Fla.D.Ct.1965); Beckert v. Risberg, 33 Ill.2d 44, 210 N.E.2d 207 (Sup.Ct.1965); V......
  • Nelson v. Hansen
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • April 5, 1960
    ...liability' are Page 257 generally used to describe a result, not the nature or the reason for such liability. In Janssen v. Voss, 1926, 189 Wis. 222, 207 N.W. 279, a dog bit an infant seventeen months old who had wandered into the yard where the dog was tied, and suit was brought under the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Smaxwell v. Bayard, No. 03-0098.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 7, 2004
    ...merged in the owner, and at that very moment the keeper's rights and responsibilities concerning the dog are at an end. Janssen v. Voss, 189 Wis. 222, 224, 207 N.W. 279 (1926) (emphasis added). In other words, once the individual ceases to exercise dominion over the dog, that is, once he ce......
  • Pawlowski v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., No. 2007AP2651.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • December 29, 2009
    ...law. In essence we agree with the court of appeals' analyses of the cases that inform our decision. ¶ 33 Three key cases, Janssen v. Voss, 189 Wis. 222, 207 N.W. 279 (1926), Koetting v. Conroy, 223 Wis. 550, 270 N.W. 625 (1936), and Armstrong v. Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Co., 202 Wis.2d 25......
  • Tanga v. Tanga, No. A--1116
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • January 5, 1967
    ...Von Rohr, 107 Ohio St. 75, 140 N.E. 669 (Sup.Ct.1923); Wojewoda v. Rybarczyk, 246 Mich. 641, 225 N.W. 555 (Sup.Ct.1929); Janssen v. Voss, 189 Wis. 222, 207 N.W. 279 (Sup.Ct.1926); Knapp v. Ball, 175 So.2d 808 (Fla.D.Ct.1965); Beckert v. Risberg, 33 Ill.2d 44, 210 N.E.2d 207 (Sup.Ct.1965); V......
  • Nelson v. Hansen
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • April 5, 1960
    ...liability' are Page 257 generally used to describe a result, not the nature or the reason for such liability. In Janssen v. Voss, 1926, 189 Wis. 222, 207 N.W. 279, a dog bit an infant seventeen months old who had wandered into the yard where the dog was tied, and suit was brought under the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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