SB 0835 Modifies the law relating to the rights of persons with service animals
LR Number:3323S.01I Fiscal Note:3323-01
Committee:Aging, Families and Mental Health
Last Action:02/19/02 - Hearing Conducted S Aging, Families & Mental Health Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 2002
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Current Bill Summary

SB 835 - This act modifies the law relating to the rights of persons with service animals.

Definitions are provided relating to service animals (Section 209.200). Persons are prohibited from refusing to rent a dwelling because a service animal will reside there. Reasonable modifications should be made, but no physical modifications are necessary to accommodate the animal. Extra charges may not be required and landlords may require proof that an animal is a service animal. No restriction on property or a real estate transaction will be enforceable if it prohibits service animals (Section 209.202).

Discrimination by an employer against a person with a disability is prohibited if it involves that person's use of a service animal (Section 209.204).

Persons or places of lodging are prohibited from requiring additional charges or denying equal services to a person using a service animal. Service animals must be restrained with a harness or leash and evidence of service animal status must be provided. Any person who violates this section may be subject to criminal prosecution or a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (Section 209.206).

Public transportation operations are prohibited from refusing service or charging additional fees to a person using a service animal. Violators may be subject to prosecution or a Commission complaint (Section 209.208).

Motor vehicle drivers and persons using service animals must both take necessary safety precautions. Any driver failing to do so will be liable for actual damages. Any person who intentionally causes an accident or injury to a person using a service animal or animal itself will be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor (Section 209.210).

Section 209.212 contains the following provisions for violations against service animals, but does not include lawful acts of humane societies, animal control or shelters:

1. Intentional destruction or injury, unless for humane purposes is a Class C felony.

2. Intentional deprivation or fraud is a Class A misdemeanor or theft/possession of stolen property.

3. Negligent or malicious killing or injury will entail civil liability to the user for $1000 plus fees.

4. Willful or malicious injury is a Class C felony.

5. Sale or transfer of a stolen animal is a Class C felony.

6. Willful or negligent injury or destruction will entail civil liability for value of animal and related costs.

Any person misrepresenting an animal as a service animal is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor (Section 209.214).

The owner of a service animal will be liable for any damages caused by the animal. Owners must keep service animals restrained while in use or be subject to civil liability for any damages. Service animals must be identifiable by their restraint method or other identifier (Section 209.216).

The Human Rights Commission does not have jurisdiction regarding the violation of Sections 209.160 or 209.212, which will be within the jurisdiction of the County Prosecutor. The Commission will have jurisdiction over the remaining sections. Upon a showing that a complaint has been filed with the Commission, a prosecutor may withdraw any pending action on the same violations (Section 209.218).