How do you feel about a city banning pit bulls as service dogs?
In 2011, three plaintiffs, Glenn Belcher, Allen Grider and Valerie Piltz, sued City officials in Denver and Aurora over their enforcement of pit bull bans. The 2011 suit claimed that the pit bull ban violated the ADA.
The federal court found that the “flat-out bans of the entire breed violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.” Therefore, the city of Denver and Aurora “amended their laws concerning pit bulls.”
How did Denver and Aurora Amend Their Dog Breed Bans?
- According to a source, Denver law enforcement officers are “essentially told to look the other way when they encounter the animals as service dogs, but the city otherwise bans the animals.”
- In Aurora, owners of pit bulls are required to “follow more restrictions than service dogs of other breeds.”
Do Plaintiffs Have Standing To Sue the City?
In her opinion last month, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger granted the cities' “motion to dismiss for lack of standing on the three plaintiffs' part.” Krieger held that the three plaintiffs have not alleged "any real and immediate threat of future injury."
Both Denver and Aurora officials seem to be happy with the court's dismissal of the case. Denver City Attorney claims, “the court correctly determined that none of the plaintiffs were harmed by Denver's ordinance or animal control policies." Similarly, Aurora City Attorney said “the ruling was a fair one considering the changes the city made after the 2011 ruling by the federal government that updated regulations to the Americans with Disabilities Act clarifying the definition of a service animal"
Alleged Injuries Suffered by Plaintiffs:
Allen Grider, asserts “he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and claims his 8-year-old trained service dog, Precious, is essential in helping him cope with his disability.” He claims that Precious takes the fear away.
Glenn Belcher is a Persian Gulf War vet and claims that “he suffers from depression, anxiety and other physical disabilities and needed his dog.”
Valerie Piltz was visiting Denver to judge a Dog Show in Aurora. She was unable to obtain a “temporary permit to have her two pit bull service dogs in Denver, where she was staying."
What are your thoughts? Do you think the judge was correct in determining that these three plaintiffs have not alleged any real and immediate threat of future injury?
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