Court Awards Homeowner with Judgment for Over $600,000 for Failure to Allow Service Dog in Clubhouse
This case involved a dispute between a homeowners association (“Association”), and its management personnel, and the owners (“Owner”) of a property located within the common interest community that was governed by Association. The dispute stemmed from Association’s refusal to allow Owner to bring an alleged service animal, a Chihuahua dog, into the community’s clubhouse on three difference occasions and the imposition of fines on Owner following occasions when the dog was taken into the community clubhouse by Owner. Following the imposition of fines and attorneys’ fees and costs on Owner in conjunction with the incidents, Association initiated foreclosure proceedings against Owner’s property, which then forced Owner into bankruptcy to prevent the loss of their home due to Association’s foreclosure proceeding. As a result of these actions, Owner sued the defendants for discrimination against the disabled based on claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”).