Man fights condo board to keep his service dog

Judge rules that the Fair Housing Act allows homeowner to have animal regardless of breed
August 01, 2014 03:00PM

The Del Vista Towers

For nearly a year, a condominium association has been battling with a homeowner who sued when the association tried to ban his dog.

The plaintiff, Alexander Warren, asked Miami’s Del Vista Towers Condominium Association to overlook its “no-pet” policy to accommodate his dog, a service animal, according to the Daily Business Review.

But the board refused, and Warren filed a suit in Southern District court, claiming failure to reasonably accommodate.

The condo association has argued that Warren’s case is baseless, because his dog is a pit bull — a restricted breed in Miami-Dade.

On Tuesday, a judge denied the condo association’s motion for summary judgment.

“The HUD rulings and notices make clear that an emotional support animal need not be specifically trained, because the symptoms the animal ameliorates are mental and emotional, rather than physical,” Judge Jose Martinez wrote.

“In the present case, if the county ordinance were enforced, it would violate the FHA by permitting a discriminatory housing practice. In failing to grant plaintiff’s request to live with his assistance animal because of the dog’s alleged breed, plaintiff is not afforded an equal opportunity to use and enjoy his dwelling.” [DBR] Christopher Cameron