Yes, a person with a disability may bring a service animal into all areas of a building where court users are normally allowed to go.
If a person wishes to bring an animal into a courtroom or court office area, however, the person should contact the judicial district’s ADA Coordinator to obtain approval before going to the court proceeding.
The following requirements apply to service animals:
- The ADA requires an animal to be individually trained to perform tasks that relate directly to the disability in order to qualify as a service animal.
- An animal that provides only emotional support or comfort is not a “service animal” for the purposes of this definition under the ADA.
- A service animal must be under the control of its handler. The animal must have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless:
- The handler is unable to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or
- The use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks.
- If either of these situations applies, the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control by voice control, signals, or other effective means.
- If the animal’s behavior is disruptive in a court office area or courtroom (e.g., barking, growling), or the animal urinates or defecates, the animal may be removed from the courtroom or court office area.
Court staff are not responsible for the care or supervision of service animals.