Raymond v. Lachmann – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Raymond v. Lachmann, 264 AD2d 340, 341, 695 N.Y.S.2d 308 [1st Dept 1999], when determining the ownership and possession of a cat, the court recognized "the cherished status accorded to pets in our society, the strong emotions engendered by disputes of this nature, and the limited ability of the courts to resolve them satisfactorily".

The court considered intangible, subjective factors which transcended the ordinary strict property analysis used to determine ownership and superior right to possession.

The court considered what was "best for all concerned," and determined that, considering the elderly cat's life expectancy, the special relationship that existed between the cat and the person who cared for the cat, it should remain where it has "lived, prospered, loved and been loved for the past four years" (id).