Tenant's Son Can't Prove Unauthorized Dog Was Emotional Support Animal

LVT Number: #30330

Landlord sued to evict tenant for keeping a dog in violation of a no-pets clause in her lease. Tenant didn't appear in court, but her adult son appeared. He lived with tenant and claimed that he needed the dog as an emotional support animal. The trial court ruled for landlord. Tenant's son failed to prove that the dog helped him with his symptoms of depression and kidney disease. He also failed to present any medical or psychological evidence to demonstrate that the dog was actually needed in order for him to enjoy the apartment. He didn't call any professional witness from Westchester County Jewish Services, which he claimed had advised him to get the dog, or anywhere else. His registration of the dog as a support animal with USAServiceDogRegistration could be completed by anyone after payment of a fee. No case law or statute required the court to accept registration with this entity as proof that the dog was an emotional support animal. The court gave tenant 30 days to cure in order to avoid eviction.

Westchester Plaza Holdings LLC v. Sherwood: 64 Misc.3d 1230(A), 2019 NY Slip Op 51378(U) (City Ct. Mt. Vernon; 8/23/19; Armstrong, J)