Emotional support animals

The Ninth Circuit’s recent holding[1] that “the ADA prohibits certification requirements for qualifying service dogs” is a timely reminder for all persons using service animals that certification of a service animal’s task-performing ability by a third party is prohibited under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for qualification as a service animal. The underlying

U.S. Department of Transportation (“the Department” or “DOT”) announced it final rule on “Traveling by Air with Service Animals” on December 2, 2020.  The rule will be effective 30 days after the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

The purposes for the regulatory amendments were first described in the Department’s

I was honored to join colleagues and clients at the 2020 Aviation Symposium the Firm sponsored in Tysons Corner from February 4 through February 6, 2020.

Symposium topics included:

  • What about the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents should concern you?
  • An update on emotional support and service animals
  • Structuring and conducting an effective emergency

On Wednesday, August 21, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a “Final statement of enforcement priorities regarding service animals.”  84 FR 43480-01, 2019 WL 3934886 (F.R.).  Unfortunately, as several associations commented, the language in this “guidance document” creates more not less confusion regarding what is legally identifiable a “service animal.”

This final

By Scott M. Badami originally posted on January 22, 2018.

Many times the cases with what look like the most egregious set of facts are the ones that get the most publicity. To that end, a fair housing case in California just settled with the owner of several apartment complexes and rental homes agreeing to

By Scott M. Badami originally posted on February 27, 2018.

It is clear that just about all (if not all) of the federal, state, and local fair housing agencies are dealing with the exponential growth of online medical verifications for emotional support animals (ESA’s). I have addressed any number of ESA issues in this space.

We have previously published blogs about the increasing impacts to businesses and people from misrepresentations about service and emotion support dogs.  See, e.g., New York Makes it Unlawful to Misrepresent Dogs as Service Animals.  We are pleased to post several blogs from partner Scott M. Badami who advises companies, private institutions and individuals 

You have likely heard about the recent attempt by an individual to board a flight with a peacock who purportedly served as an emotional support animal.  See, e.g., “Woman denied emotional support peacock on United Flight.

United has published current rules regarding Psychiatric/Therapeutic/Emotional Support Animal Authorization on its website, which indicates