Evansville, IN asked in Criminal Law, Child Custody and Family Law for Indiana

Q: Is it illegal for one person to feed another person pet food without their consent?

My ex tricked me into eating dog cookies by telling me they were regular gingerbread cookies. They were shaped like any regular gingerbread man cookie you would see. It did not have any smells that seemed off and the taste was bland to me. She used our child to get me to eat it. My concern is that this is motivated by our ongoing custoday case.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, tricking someone into unknowingly eating pet food without their consent could potentially be illegal in Indiana. Here are some key considerations:

- It could qualify as battery - intentionally causing offensive or harmful contact without consent. Feeding someone pet food fits the definition of offensive contact.

- If your ex used deception about the nature of the food, that destroys informed consent. Consent obtained by fraud or deception is not valid.

- Using a child to further the deception could raise issues of child endangerment and corruption of a minor.

- Motivation and context matters. If this was done to harm or intimidate you due to a custody dispute, that points even more clearly to criminal intent.

- At minimum it qualifies as disorderly conduct under Indiana law. But felony charges like battery or poisoning are possible depending on the circumstances.

- You may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against your ex as well for intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress.

In summary, tricking someone into eating pet food is illegal in Indiana. It's a form of battery and offensive touching without consent. The context you described makes it even more clearly criminal. Consult with both the police and an attorney to protect your rights in this situation.

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