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Service dog case to go to U.S. Supreme Court

For some children with disabilities, service animals play an incredibly significant role in their life. Such animals can be of great help for such children when it comes to a range of everyday tasks.

So, when a parent with a child with a disability gets a service animal for their child, they likely will want their child to be able to take the animal with them in their everyday activities, This could include school. However, schools sometimes put up resistance to allowing a service animal on their premises.

A parent may be very worried about their child’s educational well-being when their child has been barred from bringing a service animal or other aid with them to school. These worries could lead to a parent having a desire to take legal action over the matter.

When a parent feels that a school has wrongly barred their child from bringing a service animal to school, what do they have to do before they can pursue a lawsuit against the school? The U.S. Supreme Court has recently taken up a case that regards this issue.

The case involves a Michigan family’s attempt to bring a lawsuit against a school district for restricting their daughter who has cerebral palsy from bringing her service dog with her to school. As a note, in the time since the circumstances that the family’s attempted lawsuit regards occurred, the girl changed school districts.

A lower court threw out the family’s lawsuit, claiming that the family needed to pursue an administrative hearing before they would be able to sue. An appeals court affirmed this dismissal.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the family’s appeal of this dismissal. The court will hear the case in its new term, which starts this fall.

When parents of students with disabilities believe that a school has improperly taken actions that put up a barrier to their child getting a strong education, what things such parents have to do in order to seek remedies (such as whether they have to go through administrative processes before suing) can be quite impactful. Consequently, what the court ultimately decides in this case could have some real implications for families who encounter problems with their child’s school when it comes to service animals. So, in the next court term, it will be worth watching for what the court ultimately does in this case.

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