Article - Restaurant owner arrested in service dog case - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Article - Restaurant owner arrested in service dog case

Happened across this today.

Restaurant owner arrested in service dog case; advocates say some still ignorant of ADA law : Entertainment : CarolinaLive.com

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A Myrtle Beach restaurant owner was arrested Monday after police say he refused to serve a woman who was accompanied by a service animal.


Hrachya Avagyan, 28, was arrested by Myrtle Beach police at Seafood World at 411 N. Kings Highway and charged with interfering with the rights of a blind or disabled person.


A police report says the woman called police after Avagyan refused to serve her on grounds the restaurant is private property and has a sign posted that says 'No Dogs'. Upon arrival, she told police she attempted to give Avagyan the dog's paperwork, but he refused to look at it. The dog had a 'Service Animal' vest on and was properly certified.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 05:23 PM
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Yeah, yeah...the same kind of resturaunt owner that forgets what overtime and rest periods are.....What an imbecile.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 07:54 PM
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I wish they hadn't added "properly certified" to the end. Because that makes it seem as if certification is necessary, and places should be asking to see that... When in fact you cannot ask for certification. If anyone presents it then its voluntarily.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
I wish they hadn't added "properly certified" to the end. Because that makes it seem as if certification is necessary, and places should be asking to see that... When in fact you cannot ask for certification. If anyone presents it then its voluntarily.
It is voluntary, but it can be helpful to have some form of documentation. Having a copy of the applicable portions of the ADA might be a good idea. It is unfortunate that we have so many people who misunderstand laws but there are so many laws it is good to be able to show what the law really is.

I would like to be as good as my dogs think I am.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 10:16 AM
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Obviously very ignorant of the law. It is not like you can put up a sign...No shirt, No shoes, a Service Dog.....No Service.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Lin View Post
I wish they hadn't added "properly certified" to the end. Because that makes it seem as if certification is necessary, and places should be asking to see that... When in fact you cannot ask for certification. If anyone presents it then its voluntarily.
I agree
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwilrdg View Post
It is voluntary, but it can be helpful to have some form of documentation. Having a copy of the applicable portions of the ADA might be a good idea. It is unfortunate that we have so many people who misunderstand laws but there are so many laws it is good to be able to show what the law really is.
See, I disagree with even that. I didn't used to though. When I first started with my SDIT, I had planned to have fliers available with the laws yadda yadda, to help make sure I didn't run into a problem.

But... Now I disagree with even that. I think it can be helpful, but in my experience it really hasn't mattered if you had something in writing or if you just knew the laws and were able to speak to the person who didn't understand. If they aren't going to listen to you explaining, they really aren't going to listen to the papers or cards either.

And again... It can make people EXPECT that, think that they should ask for certification or papers. On the back of my service dog ID, it says the laws and clearly says that I am presenting the information voluntarily and am NOT required. Because what happens when someone is on a quick errand, and doesn't have their stuff? Occasionally I run out somewhere with Tessa in just her harness, and without her bags which carry my things and have the patches and her service ID clipped. Under law, I'm not required to have those additional things. I do to make things smoother, but am not required. And I shouldn't be stopped just because I don't have them. And I don't want people to think others have to have those things.

Being educated is the best defense IMO... And you always carry that with you. I think there is no excuse for someone who has a SD and doesn't know the law. And when someone doesn't know it, I immediately think they are probably fakers. I find it somewhat comical about the idiots who pay for the fake online certifications, because if they knew the law they could have saved their money.

I'm in the process of moving right now, and when I explained I had a service dog they said I'd need to bring in her certifications to prove she was a service dog. I told them they cannot ask that, but I would be happy to bring in the HUD laws and such surrounding service dogs. I explained I was a member of the Assistance Dog Advocacy Project and we do a lot of education and I'd be very happy to speak with them there about laws surrounding service dogs. I think its important for landlords (and business owners!) to know the laws especially what they can and cannot ask. It both protects them from those who abuse the laws, and makes things smoother for those with actual service dogs.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
But... Now I disagree with even that. I think it can be helpful, but in my experience it really hasn't mattered if you had something in writing or if you just knew the laws and were able to speak to the person who didn't understand. If they aren't going to listen to you explaining, they really aren't going to listen to the papers or cards either.
I was really thinking more along the lines of being able to provide the police with the information that might not be readily available in their cars. My pocket state code book does not include the full text of all laws and almost nothing relating to service dogs. In the example case, the officer knew that refusing access due to the service dog was a misdemeaner so it was a criminal act and not just a civil liability. Other officers might need the text of the law to know the details of the law.

I did not think that the word of law without enforcement would sway the business owner.

I would like to be as good as my dogs think I am.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 04:05 PM
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Again, its really not fair to expect service dog owners to have to carry that around with them. If the handler knows the laws, they can inform the police who can double check the information if necessary. They usually have computers in their cars, plus its easy to contact dispatch to get any information. If they try to go against the law, you just request a supervisor at the scene. Being informed is the best defense.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 08:00 PM
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Title III of the ADA gives Public Access Rights to the handler and never under any circumstances belong to the dog. As hard as it is for us dog lovers to get our minds wrapped around it - the fact is - legally per the ADA and the Dept. of Justice, a SD is considered as a piece of medical equipment.

A disabled person does not have to carry a bill of sale around for their oxygen tank, any type of license to use a motorized wheelchair, any tags on their cane stating it is government approved.

The ADA is a civil rights law not a criminal law. That is why people are not arrested for violating the ADA. Now there are some cases where someone can be arrested such as if a particular state has such a law in its criminal statutes. So in some cases the police when called can only deal with the behavior of a business employee or of a customer.

Strange that the advocates in that state kept citing the ADA instead of their State Law which is what gave the police officers the right to arrest the restaurant owner. Now under NC State Law is to be covered under their extra protection (criminal law where violators can be arrested) SDs must have a tag issued by the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Chapter 168

168‑4.2. May be accompanied by service animal.
(a) Every person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal trained to assist the person with his or her specific disability in any of the places listed in G.S. 168‑3, and has the right to keep the service animal on any premises the person leases, rents, or uses. The person qualifies for these rights upon the showing of a tag, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, under G.S. 168‑4.3, stamped "NORTH CAROLINA SERVICE ANIMAL PERMANENT REGISTRATION" and stamped with a registration number, or upon a showing that the animal is being trained or has been trained as a service animal. The service animal may accompany a person in any of the places listed in G.S. 168‑3.

Federal Law (Civil Rights Law) does not require certification or tags.
NC State Law (Criminal Law) gives EXTRA protection only to those who have registered their dogs and display a tag.

So while the restaurant owner could be prosecuted under Fed. Law, the ADA, it would probably be years before the case was looked into. Under State Law, an arrest can be made on the spot and prosecuted as a criminal violation.

If someone wants to claim the extra rights given by a State they must follow the State requirements. They are not forced to follow these State requirements but by not doing so they do not received those extra benefits.

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