Bhogaita v. Altamonte Heights Condo Assoc., No. 13-12625 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against the Association under the Federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(3)(b) and Fla. Stat. 760.23(9)(b). Plaintiff alleged that the Association violated these statutes when it enforced its pet weight policy and demanded that plaintiff remove his emotional support dog from his condominium. The jury awarded plaintiff damages and the district court awarded plaintiff attorneys' fees. The Association appealed. The court concluded that plaintiff was entitled to partial summary judgment on the refusal-to-accommodate element; plaintiff offered sufficient evidence to show he has a disability within the meaning of the FHA; plaintiff produced evidence supporting the conclusion that the requested accommodation was necessary; the jury instructions do not warrant reversal; in allowing the dog to remain in the courtroom, the district court did not abuse its discretion; and the district court did not err in awarding attorneys' fees. Because there was no merit to any of the arguments the Association made on appeal, the court affirmed the jury's verdict and the district court's order.