Despite directly defying a judge's order and taking back her 29 horses, Beth Hoskins remains a free woman. Justice Joseph Glownia has once again given the Aurora farm owner an extension.
A hearing was held Tuesday to figure out what to do after this weekend, when instead of being delivered to a Monroe County farm as part of a previously court-brokered deal, the 29 horses were delivered to Hoskins' farm.
Hoskins is a convicted animal abuser who was found guilty of 52 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in 2013. She was allowed to keep 35 of her horses but ordered to sell the rest. What has instead followed is months of delays with a justice who continues to grant her extensions.
Hoskins was supposed to have sold the horses by December 21st or they would be given to a receiver. That didn't happen. The following day, Justice Glownia again gave Hoskins more time. Hoskins claimed a deal was in the works, telling the media, "I see a light at the end of the tunnel." When asked it the sale would be completed that week, Hoskins said, "It is closed."
But instead of going to a farm outside Rochester, the horses were taken from the Lockport woman who had been caring for them for months and delivered to Hoskins' farm.
Now the justice is again giving Hoskins more time and calling for another hearing, this time on January 11th. He wants to hear from the woman who cared for the horses, the man who moved them, and the prospective buyer.
Hoskins is apparently claiming the sale will still happen. The attorney for the Erie County SPCA said this supposed sale is a "sham." The Monroe County Humane Society says the buyer named by Hoskins told the organization that she was not buying the horses.
"They were supposedly going to a farm that already had 40 horses with an eight stall barn. How are they going to take on 29 more horses?" former Erie County SPCA director Barbara Carr questioned.
In the meantime, a receiver is taking control of the 29 horses, which for now will stay on Hoskins' farm. The receiver will also oversee Hoskins' 35 other horses.
The Beth Hoskins case has dragged out for more than five years, when her Aurora farm was raided. So what's the hold up?
Back in July 2011, when this case was just getting underway, the SPCA asked that Justice Glownia recuse himself. According to the SPCA, Glownia has a family connection to Hoskins. His son-in-law works at a company owned by Hoskins' parents.
Glownia did not step down. But that connection may not have anything to do with the extensions he keeps giving Hoskins.
Buffalo attorney Mitch Banas, who has no connection to the case, explained the legal process.
"If parties offer compelling reasons to grant an extension in respect to a court order, it's not all that unusual for a judge to do that," said Banas. "The courts also look at the party's intent. Assuming the court order was violated, it will look at why it was violated."
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