Hinkle v. Siltamaki

In Hinkle v. Siltamaki, 361 P.2d 37 (Wyo. 1961), in which a motorist/horse accident occurred on a fenced public highway. Mr. Hinkle, by his own admission, only had evidence of the horse's ownership and presence on the highway as foundation for his negligence claim. The district court granted summary judgment to Mr. Siltamaki concluding: "Section 56-1813, Wyoming Compiled Statutes of 1945, as amended, precursor to 11-24-108, Strays in Fenced Public Highways Statute does not impose a liability upon the owner of livestock for livestock turned loose upon the open range which stray into any fenced public lanes or fenced roads in the State of Wyoming without the knowledge of the owners thereof." (Hinkle, 361 P.2d at 38.) The Court, affirming the summary judgment, explicitly adopted the majority view that the mere presence of an animal on the highway does not constitute the owner's negligence per se. The Hinkle court observed that the minority jurisdictions, which held the presence of an animal on a fenced highway constituted negligence per se, also had laws requiring livestock owners to provide fences to keep the animals on their property. 361 P.2d at 41.