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Service Dog’s Ouster from Hospital May Violate Disabilities Law

March 30, 2021, 6:39 PM

A California behavioral health hospital once again will have to defend its exclusion of a patient’s service dog, as a lower federal court incorrectly held the animal didn’t qualify because it wasn’t formally certified, the Ninth Circuit said Tuesday.

Patient C.L. will have to show on remand to the trial court that her 16-pound bichon-poodle mix, Aspen, was more likely than not qualified to act as a service dog to assist her with disabilities caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said.

But the dog isn’t automatically disqualified because it isn’t formally ...