Wednesday, April 22, 2015

1600+ Unit NYC Co-op Association To Pay $85,000 To Two Residents In Settlement Of Fair Housing Suit Over Entitlement To Emotional Support Animals; Third Unit Owner's Complaint Fails, Gets 12 Months To Unload Allegedly Yappy, Violent Pooch Or Take A Hike As Neighbors' Complaints Sink Claim

In New York City, the New York Post reports:
  • Three mentally ill co-op owners got mixed results after help from US Attorney Preet Bharara in a long battle with their Lower East Side building’s management company to keep their service dogs.

    Under a settlement ironed out [] in Manhattan federal court, East River Housing Corp. agreed to pay co-op owners Amy Einsenberg and Steven Gilbert $55,000 and $30,000 each, respectively, and let them keep their service pets.

    However, Stephanie Aaron, 53, must either find a new place to live in one year or a new owner for her pooch after neighbors complained that her pet was too loud and violent.

    Bharara had filed suit against East River Housing alleging it was violating the Fair Housing Act by ordering people who rely on service pets to remove them or face eviction.

    He was able to convince a federal judge to issue temporary restraining orders blocking the evictions of the three co-op owners until the suit was resolved.

    East River attorney Bradley Silverbush said he believes the settlement was “fair and reasonable.”

    But Aaron must get rid of her dog, despite her claims, and those of her psychiatrist, that it helped her combat depression and anxiety after she took in the stray in 2012.
Source: Bharara helps two co-op owners keep service dogs.

For the lawsuit filed by the Feds, see USA v. East River Housing Corp.

Editor's Note: Apparently, the use of emotional support animals is also gaining in popularity among airline travelers. See Los Angeles Daily News: Dubious doctor letters turn airlines into petting zoos.

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