Clark County, Washington woman wins $13,044 in service animal complaint against mobile home park

Candida Campbell, a disabled woman from Clark County, Washington, was awarded $13,044 in damages as a result of a disability discrimination complaint filed with the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) against Timberlane Mobile Home Park located in Winlock, Washington. The park attempted to enforce a no-pets policy against Campbell’s service animal.

Campbell asserted that managers at Timberlane Mobile Home Park denied her residence because of her use of a service animal. Campbell suffers from severe migraine headaches. They range in severity and may come on with advance warning or very suddenly. Campbell’s dog, Spicey, is able to alert others to her need for assistance. Spicey is a Pomeranian.

Although Timberlane Mobile Home Park has a no-pets policy, the Washington State Law Against Discrimination says, “It is an unfair practice for any person, whether acting for himself, herself, or another, because of . . . any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a disabled person” to refuse to rent or sell housing to that person. The WSHRC investigated Campbell’s complaint and concluded that the mobile home park had acted illegally in denying housing to Campbell and Spicey.

In addition to the $13,044 awarded to Candida Campbell, the administrative law judge who ruled in the case awarded $2,000 to her brother, Scott Campbell for emotional distress and mental suffering. The judge also assessed a civil penalty of $2,000 to vindicate the public interest and prevent further discrimination. Timberlane Mobile Home Park has filed an appeal of the decision in Clark County Superior Court.

According to Mary Clogston of the WSHRC, the administrative law judge awarded the maximum amountsfor humiliation and mental suffering allowable under Washington law. She also noted that the initial awards had been lower but that Campbell appealed.

Campbell originally filed her complaint in 1997 with the Commission. The first hearing in the matter occurred in February 2002 with the final ruling in September 2002.

From the November 2002 Advocate