Just last week the Supreme Court took a long hard look at something called “Auer deference” and decided that it would remain the law, but with some strings attached. Kisor v Wilke, No. 18-15 (June 26, 2019). I’ve never once had the occasion to mention Auer deference in this blog or in any brief I’ve filed in disability lawsuits, but the decision could have an impact on future disability rights litigation. In this blog I’ll consider the possible impact on litigation under the Fair Housing Act. In the next I’ll look at what turns out to be the more complex possible effects on litigation under Titles II and III of the ADA. Before I explain why, I should refer anyone interested in a detailed analysis of the decision to William Goren’s blog on the subject here.* More
FHA Emotional Support Animals
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA Miniature Horses, ADA service animals, Animals, FHA Emotional Support Animals Tags: ADA defense, Emotional Support Animals, FHA Defense, minature horses, service animals
Next Friday, May 3, I’m going to be presenting a webinar explaining how the FHA, ADA and ACAA treat animals of all kinds. Here’s the official link from the University of Texas School of Law CLE program.
Live from the UT CLE Studio on May 3, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 1.00 hour CLE, $65
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: What the ADA, FHA and Other Laws Say About Animals and Their Owners
With requests for accommodations for service animals and the like, learn how different laws cover such accommodations before referring your client to a specialist. This presentation outlines the ADA, FHA and the Air Carrier Access Actin in terms of the places covered by each. It discusses the difference between a “service animal” and every other kind of beast, and what the ADA vs. the FHA requires and what it permits in terms of verification of a need for the animal, and it also explores the rapidly developing law of what the ACAA requires and permits.
If you cannot watch the entire webcast at its scheduled time, register now and view the recorded eCourse when it is available in “Your Briefcase” after the webcast. Earn CLE credit (in TX and CA) on your time!
By Richard Hunt in FHA, FHA definition of handicap, FHA Emotional Support Animals, Reasonable accommodation Tags: FHA Defense, FHA reasonable accommodation, FHA reliable evidence of handicap or disability
A client of mine was recently advised that the client’s FHA forms for reasonable accommodation requests were illegal because “The law specifically prohibits inquiry into the nature or extent of a disability.” This is a common misconception, and one that can easily result in an apartment complex full of supposed therapy animals owned by individuals who are not disabled. It is worth understanding where this misconception came from and what the law really allows. More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - serial litigation, ADA - Standing, ADA Attorney's Fees, ADA Mootness, Animals, FHA Emotional Support Animals Tags: ADA defense, ADA Internet, ADA website, FHA Defense, FHA Guidelines, Glueck v National Conference of Bar Examiners, Hillesheim v Holiday Stationstores, mootness, service animals, Wetzel v Glen St. Andrew
Landlord liability for tenant discrimination
Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community, LLC, 2018 WL 4057365 (7th Cir. Aug. 27, 2018) is a critically important decision for landlords because it holds a landlord may be liable for its failure to restrain discriminatory conduct by tenants. The plaintiff is a lesbian who found herself the subject of a “torrent” of abuse from fellow tenants based on her sexual orientation that included both verbal and physical assaults. The rules of the apartment complex were similar to those of most apartments and permitted the landlord to take action against any tenant whose conduct was a threat to the health and safety of others or interfered with the peaceful use and enjoyment of the apartments. The plaintiff reported the abuse to management, who did nothing about it. In fact, they engaged in various kinds of conduct that essentially punished the plaintiff for complaining. When the plaintiff finally sued under the Fair Housing Act the landlord’s defense was that it could not be held liable for discrimination by other tenants. More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA service animals, Airlines, Animals, FHA Emotional Support Animals Tags: ADA defense, Air Carrier Access Act, Delta Airlines, Emotional Support Dogs, Pit Bulls, service dogs
Delta’s recent announcement that it was banning “pit bull type” dogs from its flights* has focused public attention on a long-standing problem in disability law; the inherent conflict between the need for easy to apply policies concerning service and emotional support animals and the prohibition in the law against basing decisions on stereotypes. You can ban any particular pit bull if there is good reason to believe it is dangerous, but you can’t ban all pit bulls just because it is a dangerous breed. More