HOUSE BILL NO. 4910
September 03, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Hall,
Chirkun, Kennedy, Hornberger, Markkanen, Sabo, Miller, Bellino, Liberati,
Cambensy, Garza, Brenda Carter and Meerman and referred to the Committee on
September 03, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Hall, Chirkun, Kennedy, Hornberger, Markkanen, Sabo, Miller, Bellino, Liberati, Cambensy, Garza, Brenda Carter and Meerman and referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform.
the people of the state of michigan enact:
(a) "Dwelling" means a building or structure, or any portion of a building or structure, that is occupied as or designed or intended for occupancy as a residence, including, but not limited to, a building or structure that is part of an apartment, manufactured home, or condominium community, a group home or nursing home, or a seasonal residential facility.
(b) "Emotional support animal" means a common domestic animal that is prescribed to a person with a disability, by a health care provider that has determined that the animal's presence and the animal's provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship is necessary to alleviate the disabling effects of a mental, emotional, psychological, or psychiatric condition or illness that otherwise would prevent the person with a disability from having the same housing opportunities as a nondisabled person. Emotional support animal does not include a service animal as that term is defined in section 502c of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.502c.
(c) "Health care provider" means any of the following:
(i) A health professional licensed or registered under article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838.
(ii) A health facility or agency licensed under article 17 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20101 to 333.22260.
(iii) A local health department as that term is defined in section 1105 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.1105.
(d) "Housing provider" means a person, including a private or public business, that is subject to fair housing laws and that offers, provides, or regulates the use of a dwelling.
(e) "Person with a disability" means an individual who has a disability as that term is defined in section 12102 of the Americans with disabilities act of 1990, 42 USC 12102 and 28 CFR 36.104.
(2) Unless a disability and a disability-related need for an emotional support animal is readily apparent, a housing provider may request reliable documentation from an individual's health care provider to confirm that the individual is a person with a disability and to indicate the relationship between the individual's disability and the need for an emotional support animal.
(3) A health care provider that prescribes an emotional support animal shall not falsely represent that an individual has been diagnosed with a disabling mental, emotional, psychological, or psychiatric condition or illness and requires the use of an emotional support animal to alleviate the disabling effects of that condition or illness.
(4) All of the following apply to a health care provider that prescribes an emotional support animal:
(a) The health care provider must be licensed in this state or in the state in which the individual resides or resided during the previous 180 days.
(b) The health care provider must maintain a physical office space where patients are regularly treated and where the individual for whom an emotional support animal is prescribed has received treatment during the previous 180 days.
(c) Upon request by a housing provider, the health care provider must provide documentation establishing the following:
(i) That the health care provider has treated the individual for a period of not less than 6 months immediately preceding the date on which the housing provider requests the documentation.
(ii) That the individual is a person with a disability.
(iii) The disabling effects of the condition or illness.
(iv) The relationship between the disabling effects of the condition or illness described by the health care provider under subparagraph (iii) and the need for the emotional support animal.
(v) The manner in which the emotional support animal provides the person with a disability with the same opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling as would a nondisabled person.
(d) The documentation required under subdivision (c) must be in the form of a notarized letter or a completed and notarized questionnaire.
(e) If requested by a housing provider, the health care provider must provide the notarized letter or completed questionnaire described in subdivision (d) on an annual basis.
(5) An emotional support animal registration of any kind, including, but not limited to, an identification card, patch, or certificate, or a similar registration that is obtained for a service animal under 2015 PA 146, MCL 37.301 to 37.307, does not satisfy the documentation requirements of this act.
(a) Imprisonment for not more than 90 days.
(b) A fine of not more than $500.00.
(c) Community service for not more than 30 days.
(2) If an individual who resides in a dwelling leased or otherwise provided or regulated by a housing provider falsely represents that an animal kept on the leased premises is an emotional support animal, the housing provider may terminate the lease, or otherwise terminate the tenancy of the individual, and recover possession of the premises under section 5714(1)(c)(iv) or section 5775(2)(l) of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 264, MCL 600.5714 and 600.5775.
Sec. 7. The department of civil rights shall use a telephone complaint hotline, either currently existing or specifically created for the purposes of this act, to receive reports of an individual who is falsely representing that he or she is in possession of an emotional support animal or of a health care provider that is falsely representing that an individual is in need of an emotional support animal. The department may refer an alleged violation of this act to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.