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Subject: Service animals - an update
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Author Messages
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3862


04/06/2021 9:08 AM  
Here's a link to an article that states service dogs can be trained by their owners and allowed into shops and restaurants - this is a recent ruling by a federal appeals court:

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2021/04/06/court-service-dogs-trained-owners-allowed-shops-restaurants/29275/

This may have addressed shops and restaurant access, but you never know if this might be extended to HOAs who have rules on dog ownership (can you own a dog, what's required to allow a service animal, etc.) If you're struggling with this topic, you may want to show this to your association attorney who could give you guidance on what approaches you might take.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10816


04/06/2021 9:23 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 04/06/2021 9:08 AM
Here's a link to an article that states service dogs can be trained by their owners and allowed into shops and restaurants - this is a recent ruling by a federal appeals court:

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2021/04/06/court-service-dogs-trained-owners-allowed-shops-restaurants/29275/

This may have addressed shops and restaurant access, but you never know if this might be extended to HOAs who have rules on dog ownership (can you own a dog, what's required to allow a service animal, etc.) If you're struggling with this topic, you may want to show this to your association attorney who could give you guidance on what approaches you might take.



This is BS as far as I am concerned.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1746


04/06/2021 9:59 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/06/2021 9:23 AM
Posted By SheliaH on 04/06/2021 9:08 AM
Here's a link to an article that states service dogs can be trained by their owners and allowed into shops and restaurants - this is a recent ruling by a federal appeals court:

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2021/04/06/court-service-dogs-trained-owners-allowed-shops-restaurants/29275/

This may have addressed shops and restaurant access, but you never know if this might be extended to HOAs who have rules on dog ownership (can you own a dog, what's required to allow a service animal, etc.) If you're struggling with this topic, you may want to show this to your association attorney who could give you guidance on what approaches you might take.



This is BS as far as I am concerned.




Agree. No service animal can be "trained" out of sanitation issues, and no training provides 100% reliability. And there are people who are severely allergic to animals - is the restaurant owner liable if someone goes into anaphylaxis?
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:544


04/06/2021 10:01 AM  
Talk about something that people will take advantage of. What a shame.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17531


04/06/2021 8:05 PM  
Shelia,

Interesting article.

I see the courts view, but would have preferred qualifiers with the opinion.

The key point that may have been missed is that the animal must be under the owners control and house broken. If they are not, the business can refuse entry to the animal.

The court decision is only applicable to CA and suggestive to other states.
However the ADA will likely use the ruling in cases they support.

Again, an interesting article.
Doesn't matter if one agrees or disagrees, this is apparently how it will be in CA for the future.
AugustinD


Posts:38


04/06/2021 8:56 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/06/2021 8:05 PM
The court decision is only applicable to CA and suggestive to other states.
Pardon? The article said this was a ruling by the Ninth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals. From wiki:
===
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (in case citations, 9th Cir.) is a federal court of appeals that has appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:

District of Alaska
District of Arizona
Central District of California
Eastern District of California
Northern District of California
Southern District of California
District of Hawaii
District of Idaho
District of Montana
District of Nevada
District of Oregon
Eastern District of Washington
Western District of Washington
It also has appellate jurisdiction over the following territorial courts:

District of Guam
District of the Northern Mariana Islands

Additionally, it sometimes handles appeals that originate from American Samoa, which has no district court and partially relies on the District of Hawaii for its federal cases.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the Ninth Circuit is by far the largest of the thirteen courts of appeals, with 29 active judgeships. ​
===

Based on what the article reported about the Court's reasoning, the 3-0 decision seems reasonable enough to me.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17531


04/07/2021 2:31 AM  
My error.
I thought it was State court, not federal.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1746


04/07/2021 5:24 AM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/06/2021 8:05 PM
... snip ....

The key point that may have been missed is that the animal must be under the owners control and house broken. If they are not, the business can refuse entry to the animal.

... snip ...




The problem is that these measures are not sufficient. An animal can carry contagious diseases unrelated to bowel and bladder control. A certificate of health, similar to what's required for international travel, would be necessary. And that doesn't address the allergen issues at all, aside from the fact that some people are just plain afraid of dogs.

Restaurant owners will lose business, never mind the potential liability. If I were a restaurant owner, I'd be having discussions with my insurer and probably be thinking about a new line of work.

I suspect we haven't heard the end of this, and that battalions of lawyers will be happily occupied for the foreseeable future.

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4142


04/07/2021 6:36 AM  
The particulars of this case include:
- The plaintiff had a long documented history of diagnosed mental illness
- The defendant was in the business of providing services to individuals with such illnesses
- The plaintiff had multiple stays at the defendant's facility

IMO, it would be a huge stretch to think that the same ruling would apply to some one-time diner who wants special acknowledgement and treatment at a neighborhood restaurant. Way too many unknown variables and concerns.

I think the big takeaway from the case is that a mental illness provider cannot set requirements that would put an excessive financial burden on their clients.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:846


04/07/2021 7:53 AM  
The court ruling may be new but this has been the rule since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1991. There has never been a requirement for formal training, just that the dog be trained. There is always a potential for abuse but there have been very few problems overall.


NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4142


04/07/2021 9:05 AM  
Thank you Ben. Well said.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:161


04/08/2021 5:40 AM  
There is a distinct difference between an Emotional support animal and a Service animal. Federal law explains the difference and our association uses that law to determine how we and our management company handle our dog regulations as it pertains to Service animals.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Service animals - an update



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