Author Topic: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief  (Read 366 times)

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Offline responsiblek9

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Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« on: November 12, 2017, 01:34:53 AM »
https://pinedaleroundup.com/article/judge-vacates-trial-after-service-animal-brief

Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief

In a recent legal brief, Harlow protested the judge’s decision that his service dog, if not “certified” as such, could not be in the Ninth District courtroom during the trial, according to court records.

Looks like state court
 http://www.sublettewyo.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/94
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Offline Solace

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 01:54:55 AM »
I'm too tired to have any opinion other than it looks like that guy has major cojones from reading the pretrial transcript.  I'll never have the courage take a stand like that. lol

Offline ccunnin3

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 06:35:36 AM »
Maybe this is me just being too passive, but if I had to choose between winning a major lawsuit and providing evidence my dog is trained, I would just provide the evidence. It is a colossal waste of time and money (including that of the other three defendants). And he didn't just give the judge the legal information he asked for and wait for a response, he demanded the judge recuse himself which is counter productive. I'm not sure if this is an issue of a man sticking to his principles or an issue of a man who just wants to bully people.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 10:19:03 AM »
It's kind of like trying to figure out if a poster is a troll or just a little off.

When someone fights this hard to avoid producing evidence of task work, you have to wonder.  Also, I'm thinking of the recent case where the court officer asked the wrong question and the reviewing court pointed out that it might not have been word-for-word, but it sought the same information so it was okay.  All the plaintiff had to do was say "he's been trained to create space and keep people from crowding me. There is no official system of licensing, but I could give you an affidavit as to his training and task work if you like."

Even though the regulations are clear that a demo may not be allowed, I often point out what they can see:  "Notice where my dog is standing, and the position of my hand on the harness?  Well, if I move [and then I do], he moves right with me, so I always have the counterbalance right where I am."

Prediction: it will turn out that the dog has no tasks or very weak ones, and the case will collapse when the plaintiff is asked why he didn't just tell the judge what the tasks were.  Some people just go from zero to Defcon 3 instead of being flexible.

Offline Ariel

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 11:01:53 AM »
It'll be interesting to see what comes of this. I predict the man does not come away a mega-millionaire though.
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Offline qtrhorse89

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 02:15:57 PM »
The way I read it, the judge was asking for papers or certification which of course doesn't exist. I agree though, the guy's reaction seemed a little extreme. Much more productive to correct the judge, list out the taskwork, and move on.

Offline Suse

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 10:40:19 PM »
The judge did not ask what the tasks were, or whatt he dog was trained to do. 

I am an owner trainer. My training papers probably would not satisfy that judge because there is no 'çertification'.  He does have CGC, CGCA, CGCU, and PAT. But they don't of course say he is a Service Dog.

It looks like he tried to educate the Judge (but didn't do a very good job of it).    I don't know the whole back ground of this case but it sounds pretty convoluted. 

I might have called the ADA on the spot and handed the phone to the Judge. 

Oh well, it's late at night and I may not be thinking clearly.

Offline Solace

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 11:12:38 PM »
What *do* you do when a judge insists on certification?  Kirsten?

I do like Suse's call the DOJ and hand the phone to the judge. lol

Offline Ariel

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 11:17:13 PM »
Even if the judge does not ask for tasks, I'd state that there is no federally recognized certification but that my dog is a task trained service dog meeting the definition of the ADA. I'd be happy to have Jubilee show several easily demonstrable tasks, provide multiple videos per task of several others, proof of all training classes we've entered, and I'm sure I have several trainers we've worked with who would happily attest to her task, obedience, and public access training and ability. Just because the judge doesn't explicitly ask for tasks doesn't mean that's not the right time to say "There isn't certification, but let me show you all I can to prove that my dog does meet the federal definition that distinguishes service dogs from all pet/non-service dogs".
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Offline Suse

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 11:37:17 PM »
We are not required to demonstrate tasks.  And doing so sets the next person up to have to do the same thing.

Offline Ariel

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2017, 11:53:42 PM »
We are not required to demonstrate tasks.  And doing so sets the next person up to have to do the same thing.

A judge may decide whether a dog is or is not a service dog. If a judge wants certification as a means of proving my dog is a service dog, I will say "there is no federally recognized certification, however the ADA (a federal law) clearly defines what a service dog is, and my service dog meets the definition". I will then go on to provide whatever proof is necessary to the judge to make clear that my dog meets the ADA definition of a service dog and is not a pet or ESA. I'd provide proof of my disability if requested as well. I would not do this for the Food Lion cashier, the Walmart manager, my supervisor, or the president. I will provide any and all necessary information to a judge when it is pertinent to deciding if my dog is a legitimate service dog or not. Without certification no judge will take my word, and believe me, I wouldn't want them to. I'll prove it as any other person should.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 07:45:16 AM »
I'm okay with demonstrating tasks, in fact, I can't enter or leave a room without demonstrating them.  I would have told the judge (or the clerk, later) that he should not ask or expect a team to demonstrate, but that I'm fine with it. I do this in full awareness that there are others who would be very upset if asked to demo, or even to be explicit about tasks, particularly when the disability is not physical.  Nonetheless, I can't stand the idea of going back to the way it was when I was a kid.  People averted their eyes and taught children to treat visibly disabled people as though we were contagious.  Now, because of sensitivity, we are veering back in that direction, and I will do whatever I can to counteract it.  I want kids to think "Cool!  She has a limitation and she found a way to make it better!" Not, "that's one of those people I can't talk to because I might say something wrong."

Offline Ariel

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 08:57:58 AM »
I was under the impression that when calling into question the legitimacy of a service dog the judge did not have to just take the handler's word that the dog is task trained and may require proof of training. I would guess that some judges would be fine with a statement from a trainer detailing what the dog is trained to do and how it was trained or something, but I think demonstration is far easier. Like Sandy, my dog tasks throughout the day and if it wasn't obvious at times when she was performing a task, it would be easily recognized if I were to point it out. If a judge is ascertaining the legitimacy of a service dog and requires proof, obviously they can accept whatever they want as credible proof, but if they did want a demonstration, a video of a demo or actual need required response, or a statement from a professional (possibly credentialed) dog trainer agreeing the dog is in deed task trained in their professional opinion, is that incorrect for them to ask for that?
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 10:33:13 AM »
When the case itself involves the SD the judge can require proof of disability and training. The judge needs that information in order to try the case. If the SD is not part of the case, say if I sued over my recent issues with reading accommodation at the election polls, then they only get the two standard questions.

It's not that courtrooms are treated differently from other public accommodations but that reasonableness dictates different approaches in different circumstances. Weigh the asker's need to know with the PWD's right to privacy and find the balance between the competing interests.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: Judge vacates trial after ‘service animal’ brief
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 10:42:28 AM »
There's another way that courtroom access is different.
Judges are like Harvard graduates. "You can always tell a Harvard [graduate], but you can't tell him much."
Or, as a researcher once said after an effective opioid cessation program crashed and burned: changing the behavior of heroin addicts is easy.  Changing the behavior of judges? Impossible.