FL Adding Penalty for False Claims of SD? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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FL Adding Penalty for False Claims of SD?

Looks like it may be happening ...

FL may soon be joining the small group of states that have any penalties for those people falsely claiming their dog as a SD. It would be a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor.

HB 414 -- passed through the House with all Yeas in all committees ...

SB 414 -- The Service Dog Bill passed through Senate Fiscal Policy Committee yesterday unanimously. Only one more vote to go ....

This Bill if signed into law will make some needed changes and additions to FL Statute 413.08

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 02:03 PM
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It is a felony in California. You can license your dog as a service animal.

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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 02:21 PM
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Good news but with the reluctance to challenge a person claiming SD "rights" for their animal, is this going to be effective/useful?
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 02:33 PM
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A person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents
210
herself or himself, through conduc
t or verbal or written notice,
211
as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service
212
animal or as a trainer of a service animal commits a misdemeanor
213
of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
214
775.083, and must perform 30 hou
rs of community service for an
215
organization that serves individuals with disabilities, or for
216
another entity or organization at the discretion of the court,
217
to be completed in not more than 6 months.


This sounds like more of the same old stuff....even though a store can ask what functions the service animal is trained for, cannot ask about the individual's condition for requiring a service animal...which is proper. I still believe the bottom line is..no documentation is required to be carried and produced to prove the service animal is legitimate. Until the individual is required to carry appropriate documentation and an individual representing the public accommodation is allowed to request such documentation....the game will continue. The laws and enforcement is a a tricky situation...making a legitimate owner of a service dog having to be scrutinized is not the goal...so as long as they leave this portion of the law vague or nonexistent regarding proper documentation....the abusers will still do as they have been doing.

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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 02:49 PM
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I think service dogs should legally be licensed through appropriate bodies and have a displayed license. It sucks that legitimate owners/handlers need to be scrutinized, but it's because so many abuse the system.

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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 08:29 PM
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I wonder if this is really being offered in response to property owners with tenants who claim they have a service animal for support? That's a complaint I've heard from some Section 8 property owners here in Tallahassee. From what I understand, property owners may not allow pets, particularly large dogs, but they have to under the law if its a service animal. And sometimes people aren't honest about these pets ... making it a crime may discourage that.
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 10:33 PM
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But it already is a crime to falsely represent your animal as and service animal. Problem is no way to enforce it

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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-17-2015, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis_Star View Post
But it already is a crime to falsely represent your animal as and service animal. Problem is no way to enforce it
And that is why some of the states are adding this to their statutes. Unless it is in violation of the individual state's law the local law enforcement have no jurisdiction.

The DOJ has said that the ADA is a law to give rights to people (Civil Rights Law - Federal) and not a law to punish any individuals. Under Fed. law there is very little bite and on the whole very little in the way of warning growls.

FL is not making the false claiming punishable by jail time. Instead they are going to make any offenders forced to do some type of community service such as claim your dog is a SD when it is not (or the handler is not even disabled) then your sentence may be going to the local animal control shelter and clean kennel runs for 60 hrs. I think it is a win all around.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-17-2015, 11:20 AM
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I believe the legislation provides for this " punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s 775.083,and must perform 30 hours of community service for an organization that serves individuals with disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court,to be completed in not more than 6 months." per my previous post. This excerpt is from the bill you cited earlier.

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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 09:25 AM
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What SuperG said.

I got in all kinds of hot water when I suggested that SD handlers have some sort of I.D. and use consistently marked/colored equipment on their dogs. The poster even recruited a man from a FB group to come on here and try to throw his weight around as a former military person. All because I said having a working SD harness that matches your college's school colors is NOT a civil right.

When a disabled person drives they have specially marked license plates and driver's license. They still have to pass a driving test.

Why, when someone suggests something similar for dogs and legitimate handlers, people with SDs get all kinds of bent out of shape?

Business owners are getting sued left and right for not complying with ADA regs, they sure as heck aren't going to question a dog in their store dressed up orange and green. Go gators.......
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