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Judge says seizure of ND rancher's cattle improper

BISMARCK (AP) -- A judge has ruled that a McLean County rancher's cattle should not have been seized by law officers.

The Sheriff's Department seized 258 cows, calves and bulls from Layton Reynolds of Douglas on Friday. State's Attorney Ladd Erickson said in an affidavit that the cattle kept getting into neighbors' fields due to lack of feed in the pasture in which they were held.

Judge David Reich held a hearing Monday and ruled late Tuesday that the state had failed to prove that the seizure was necessary.

Reynolds faces eight misdemeanor criminal charges in three cases filed last year related to allegations that he allowed cattle to run loose and that he neglected animals. The first two cases are slated for trial in November.