California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware

California,

 

California statutes of 1968, Chapter 461, Part 2.5 of California Civil Code, Sections 54 through 54.7, and Sections 55 and 55.1, amended 1969, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, and 1989

 

California law guarantees a blind person the legal right to be accompanied by a specially trained dog guide in all public accommodations and on all public transportation. Also guaranteed is the right of a dog guide user to equal availability to commercial housing, but the landlord is not required to modify the premises or to maintain a higher standard of care than he provides other tenants. No extra charge can be levied by a public accommodation, common carrier, or landlord because of the dog guide’s presence, and the dog guide user is liable for any property damage caused by the dog. For purposes of California State income tax, all costs for the maintenance of a dog guide are deductible as medical expenses. Public accommodations include hotels, motels, restaurants, stores, places of resort and recreation, and all other places to which the public is invited. Zoos are the only exception, but if a zoo excludes dog guides, it must provide adequate kennel area for housing dog guides, and must provide a sighted escort, if the dog guide user is not accompanied by a sighted person. (Sect. 54.1, 54.7) Common carriers or public transportation include airplanes, trains taxis, buses, and all other forms of transportation offered for public use. (Sect. 54.1) Housing includes all property offered for rent or use, except private single family dwellings of no more than one room for rent. (Sect. 54.1) Violation: The above, enumerated rights are enforceable under the provisions of the California Civil Rights Code. The prevailing party in the action shall be entitled to actual damages and any amount, as may be determined by a jury, or the court sitting without a jury, up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damages, but in no case less than a thousand dollars and attorney’s fees. (Sect 54.3, 55, 55.1)

Colorado, 

 

Colorado Revised Statute 1973, Section 40-09-109 (amended 1986) and CRS 1963 (amended) 1971, 1979, and 1986), Part 8, Section 24-34-801 (1) a through d; Section 24-34-802 - penalty, 24-34-803; Section 18-13-107 (1), (3); Section 42-4-808; Section 22-345.

 

Colorado law guarantees a blind person the legal right to be accompanied by a specially trained dog in all public accommodations and on all common carriers. No extra charge can be levied because of the dog’s presence, but the dog guide user is liable for any damage the dog might cause to the premises. Public accommodations include public facilities, hotels, restaurants, stores, grocery stores, places of resort and amusement, and any other place to which the public is invited. (Sect. 24-34-801 (1) c and (1) d) Common carriers include airplanes, boats, buses, trains, and any other conveyances offered for public use. (Sect. 24-34-801(1) d) Use of white cane or guide dog in public places or highways, except by totally or partially disabled person, including blind persons, and is prohibited. (Sect. 18-13-107 (1)) Harassing or interfering with a guide dog or assistance dog, accompanying a blind person or a person with a white cane or other described mobility assistance is prohibited. (Sect. 18-13-107 (3)) Drivers are required to yield and take necessary precautions to avoid accident or injury to disabled persons. Including, but not limited to persons utilizing a white cane or being accompanied by an assistance dog. (Sect. 42-4-808) A waiver is provided for the owner of a trained guide or assistance dog to be exempt from licensing fees. (Sect. 22-345) Violation: Any person, firm, or corporation or agent thereof who interferes with the above enumerated rights is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not to exceed $100, or confinement in jail for not more than 60 days, or both. (24-34-802)

Connecticut,

Chapter 435, Sections 46a - 44, 1997, Section 22-345, Section 22-364b; Chapter 943, Section 53-211; Chapter 899, Section 52-175a; Chapter 1, Section 1-1f, Section 10-300

 

Connecticut statutes guarantee a blind person the legal right to be accompanied by a specially trained dog guide in all public accommodations and on all forms of public transportation. The dog must be in harness and in the direct custody of the individual. Also, a dog guide user has a legal right of access to all housing and public and commercial buildings, and cannot be discriminated against because of his or her dog in renting or purchasing housing or commercial space, including mobile home parks. No extra charge can be levied because of the dog’s presence. A landlord, however, is not responsible for modifying the premises or maintaining a higher standard of care than provided other tenants, and the dog guide user is responsible for any damage to property that the dog may cause. No fee can be charged for licensing a dog guide, but the first time a dog guide is registered, the town clerk should be shown written evidence, such as identification card, that the dog has been specially trained. (Sect. 22-340, Sect. 10-300) An individual is blind if his central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or if his visual acuity is greater than 20/200 but accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision, such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than twenty degrees. (Sect. 1-1f) Public accommodations include hotels, inns, restaurants, stores, places of amusement, public buildings and any other facility offered to the public. The dog guide shall be in the direct custody of its owner and shall be wearing a harness or orange-colored leash and collar. (Sect. 46a-44) Public transportation includes trains, buses, and all other modes of transit offered for public use. (Sect. 46a-44) Housing or property includes publicly assisted housing and commercial property, except two family houses in which the owner or his family reside, or a private dwelling in which the owner lives but also rents rooms. The statute covers mobile home parks, and deals with both sales and rentals. (Sect. 46a-44(b)) No person, except one wholly or partially blind, shall carry or use on any street or highway, or in any other public place, a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red. (Sect. 53-211(a)) Any driver of a vehicle who approaches or comes into the immediate vicinity of a person wholly or partially blind, carrying a white cane, or a white cane tipped with red, or a person being guided by a guide dog, shall reduce speed or stop if necessary to grant the right-of-way to such person. (Sect. 53-211(b)) The owner or keeper of a dog shall restrain and control such dog on a leash when such dog is not on the property of its owner or keeper and is in proximity to a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person accompanied by his guide dog, provided the guide dog is in the direct custody of such blind, deaf or mobility impaired person, is wearing a harness or orange-colored leash and collar which makes it readily-identifiable as a guide dog and is licensed appropriately. (Sect. 22-364b) The failure of a blind person to use a guide dog or to carry a cane or walking stick which is predominantly white or metallic in color, with or without red tip, shall not be construed as evidence of comparative or contributory negligence in any negligence action. (Sect. 52-175a) Violation: Violation of the above rights is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor. Penalties can include fines of not more than $100 and/or 60 days imprisonment (Sect. 46-44c)

 

Delaware, 

Delaware Statutes, Title 16, Chapter 95, Section 9501 through 9506;Title 31 (amended 1984), Section 2117; Title 21, Part 3, Section 4144; Title 7, Sections 1701, 1715, 1717,

 

Delaware statutes guarantee a blind person the legal right to be accompanied by a specially trained dog guide in all places and conveyances open to the general public. The only limitation is that a dog can be excluded where a “Clear Danger” or harm to others can be established. Also guaranteed to a dog guide user is the legal right to equal accommodation in all housing. No extra charge can be levied because of the dog’s presence, but the dog guide user is liable for any damage the dog may cause to the premises. No modification of the premises is required, nor a higher standard of care necessary, other than that provided to other patrons and tenants. Public places or accommodations include hotels, restaurants, stores, places of resorts or amusement, and all other places which the general public is invited. (Title 16, Sect. 9502) Public conveyances include trains, buses, taxis, and all modes of transportation offered for public use. (Title 16, Sect. 9502) Housing covers all accommodations for rent or lease, except single family private dwellings. (Title 16, Sect. 9505) Every driver shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with a person wholly or partially blind, carrying a cane or walking stick white in color, or white tipped with red or accompanied by a guide dog, upon a roadway. (Title 21, Sect. 4144) Guide dog owners are required to obtain a license for the dog. They are exempt from licensing fee or tax. Furthermore, in addition to the dog license, the owner is required to have a dog license tag and be in possession of an identification card in order to access places of public accommodations. (Title 7, Sect. 1701) A fine will be levied against any person whose conduct results in harm, injury or mistreatment of dogs used to assist the blind. (Title 7, Sect. 1717) Owners or custodians of dogs are prohibited to have animals upon designated swimming or sunbathing areas of a state coastal beach strand at anytime between May 1 and September 30, inclusive, of any year, except when such a dog is on said property guiding a blind person. (Title 7, Sect. 1715) Violation: Any person, firm, corporation or agent thereof who interferes with the above legally established rights is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 for each offense, or up to three months in jail, or both. (Title 16, Sect. 9506, Title 31, Sect. 2117)