Author Topic: Every dog has its day! Judge ALLOWS therapy pooch to stay in sorority house afte  (Read 226 times)

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Offline responsiblek9

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5093165/Girl-sues-OSU-forced-service-dog.html


A federal judge's ruling issued Friday blocks Ohio State University from ordering the dog out of the Chi Omega sorority house
She suffers from panic attacks and her dog Cory is trained to calm her down
Another student in the house is allergic to dogs and claims that Cory aggravates her Crohn's disease



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Offline responsiblek9

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http://nbc4i.com/2017/11/17/injunction-granted-to-allow-ohio-state-student-to-keep-service-dog-in-sorority-house/

Injunction granted to allow Ohio State student to keep service dog in sorority house
By Michelle Rotuno-Johnson
Published: November 17, 2017,

In the injunction granted Friday by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Judge Algenon Marbley ruled that Entine and Cory prevail “under clearly established law.”

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Offline responsiblek9

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http://www.kvia.com/lifestyle/pets/sorority-sisters-end-up-in-court-over-service-dog/657319987

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The judge's decision was based on the fact that "Lissner did not perform the inquiry required under the ADA before disallowing the use of a service animal. In fact, Lissner did not even establish that it was Cory who aggravated the symptoms of (the other sister's) disability," according to the court documents.
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Offline philopsher77

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Just to be clear, this is only a temporary stay while another judge looks at the situation and makes a determination about what should happen.  It's an interesting case, with both students saying that they need accommodations, which are mutually exclusive. How does a business resolve this sort of case?  (And what is so great about being in a sorority that both these girls are unwilling to accept alternative living spaces?)

Offline qtrhorse89

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(And what is so great about being in a sorority that both these girls are unwilling to accept alternative living spaces?)

This made me laugh out loud! I teach on a college campus and some of the stuff I see these kids do for the greek life is so strange. The school officially does not allow hazing, but I've seen some stuff that has really made me shake my head.

To stay on topic, I too am really interested in how a judge is going to handle this one. I think it's going to come down to are the girl's allergies actually that severe to exacerbate the Chron's and can it be proven that the dog is causing the exacerbation. The only accommodation I can think of to keep both girls in the house would be to order the university to install air filters in the house, otherwise, if the allergies are legitimate someone is going to have to move.

Offline philopsher77

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In specific:  "US District Judge Algenon L. Marbley heard the case and issued a preliminary injunction, allowing Entine to remain in the sorority house with her dog until a verdict is handed down after trial. A trial date has not been assigned yet, Keyes told CNN."

So it's a temporary stay, with the final result to be determined after the next trial.  And right now the issue to be discussed at trial appears to be whether the university did the appropriate steps to comply with the ADA requirements, NOT whether both students can be accommodated (although I could be wrong there).

So, let's say that the judge rules that the university didn't do the right steps (in specific, it appears that they want a stronger proof that the dog is causing the other person's condition to be worse).  The likely outcome of the lawsuit would be that the university would have to undertake that investigation.  Let's say that they do, and they do in fact confirm that the service dog is aggravating the other person's allergies, and that that is in fact making her Crohn's disease worse.  In other words, that we are right back in the same situation that we started in.  Then what?  Does the person who filed the lawsuit automatically have greater rights to stay than the other person, if the university determines that there is no way of making the sorority house accommodations acceptable for both people?  Or could the university still say "whoever signed the lease first stays"?

Also, given that this is a sorority house, who has to pay for any changes that might be needed to accommodate both students, the university or the sorority?

Offline responsiblek9

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http://www.the-review.com/news/20171117/judge-rules-dog-can-stay-in-clash-that-pits-ohio-state-sorority-sisters

U.S. District Judge Marbley is the judge on this case.


Quote
For Marbley, however, the case rested on evidence that showed Entine had obtained ADA protection, but there was no evidence that Goldman had sought similar protection for her health concerns.

Lissner had offered to move Entine and Cory to other university housing. Entine declined, saying the sorority house provides social relationships and living and dining experiences not available in campus housing. Also, Entine said she is a Chi Omega chapter vice president, which requires her to live in the house.
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Offline philopsher77

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http://www.the-review.com/news/20171117/judge-rules-dog-can-stay-in-clash-that-pits-ohio-state-sorority-sisters

U.S. District Judge Marbley is the judge on this case.

This is a MUCH better article. I feel for both girls. If the person’s allergies are as bad as they sound, it seems like she is going to have to move out, since it could be months or years before the trial is scheduled.

So, some hypothetical questions:

Could the sorority resolve the situation by saying “we like person X better, so we are going to kick Y out of sorority”?  A sorority seems to have a lot of leeway on who they take and who they don’t, so it seems like they might be able to do that. On the other hand, it might also be discriminatory or retaliatory.

Also, is “licking tears off her face when she couldn’t reach a tissue” really a task?

Offline SandyStern

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I almost feel like this should be its own thread in "SD laws," but it doesn't really fit there, because it's procedure, not law.  A dog's legal status is determined on a factual basis.  At present, with no renewable licensing, there's no simple way to do a pre-trial determination and that is a terrible thing for the legal process.

I am familiar with a case in which a full-dress trial will be held as to whether a woman can bring 2 dogs into an office complex. One dog is blind and deaf. Woman claims the dog paws her when she gets upset (natural behavior, not trained) which allows her to take a break and calm herself so she doesn't dissociate.  The other dog, she says, protects her from people who might hurt her by going to the end of the leash and barking, so she knows to get away. He also runs around the house when she gets home and then comes back to her, and she can tell by his behavior if there is a stranger in the house. She has no legal costs because she is entitled to free representation by the state anti-discrimination agency.  Her burden to get past the allegation stage was merely to allege all the facts she'll be required to prove later.

The sorority house has incentive to try this case (expensive!) because they have liability to one girl or the other, but in most instances, a defendant takes one look at the cost of defending these cases and folds.  When they do go to trial, a lot of them are decided on the issue of whether the dog performed tasks for the disability. Think of that "hearing dog" matter in the Pacific northwest. Kirsten has posted links. After all the trial prep, hauling witnesses in, getting an expert to testify-- the plaintiff could not produce enough evidence that the dog alerted to sounds.

I try to bring this up in discussions of national licensing and passing laws against knowingly faking.  If we had licensing, this wouldn't happen at all.  If it is illegal to claim SD status for the purpose of getting a benefit restricted to SDs, at least the potential plaintiff would have a little disincentive.  Right now, this kind of thing is a no-lose proposition unless the handler actually has a sense of personal morality and desire to obey the law. Get asked to leave the store with your ESD? No problem, go to a different store. ARGH.

Offline responsiblek9

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Since the dorms and college housing falls under the federal fair housing laws. The issue of "is this a trained service dog or an ESA" is kinda a moot point. Judge has proof one student met the definition of disabled and that party had registered for and gotten that extra help at the college regarding her disability under the ADA.
 
I don't know if the other student can go "after the fact" to register with the college to get help under the same program?

http://www.theknoxstudent.com/news/2014/11/05/emotional-support-animals-create-housing-complications/#.WhC8q1WnHrc  CAMPUS / NEWS / NOVEMBER 5, 2014
Emotional support animals create housing complications
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Offline philopsher77

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Since the dorms and college housing falls under the federal fair housing laws. The issue of "is this a trained service dog or an ESA" is kinda a moot point. Judge has proof one student met the definition of disabled and that party had registered for and gotten that extra help at the college regarding her disability under the ADA.
 
I don't know if the other student can go "after the fact" to register with the college to get help under the same program?

http://www.theknoxstudent.com/news/2014/11/05/emotional-support-animals-create-housing-complications/#.WhC8q1WnHrc  CAMPUS / NEWS / NOVEMBER 5, 2014
Emotional support animals create housing complications

I was pondering that myself. If the second student didn’t think they needed any accommodations, would they register?  If the service dog is, in fact,causing the Crohn’s to flare up to a point that it’s disabling, they might not have known that until being put into the situation. And even if you did know that allergies made it worse, you wouldn’t expect the dog to be there, and thus why would you ask for there to not be dogs?  It sounds like she is asking for the accommodation now, when faced with the situation that is causing the problem.

Offline Kirsten

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A sorority could possibly be exempt as a private club.  They would qualify on exclusive membership.  And if members are required to live in the house, especially if it's in their bylaws, and the presence of the dog made it not possible for another member to live in the house, then on that basis I think they could claim an exemption.  Haven't seen that tested, I'm just pulling together several different cases involving the "private club" concept.

You also cannot force a room mate or housemate to co-habitats with either a service dog or ESA.  I think they've missed that point.  The landlord couldn't exclude the animal, but an existing room mate, one who was in residence before the one with the animal, probably could, especially if they had a good reason for wanting the exclusion.

My point:  it's still in the best interest of the student with the ESA to find ways to accommodate the one wth the allergies because I kinda don't think this is necessarily a done deal.  Depends on whether allergy student can prove nexus between her condition and sister's dog and whether she gets a good attorney.
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