Broward County Gets to Foot the Bill for Federal Lawsuit Over a Chihuahua

Categories: Broward News
Here are your tax dollars at work: The Broward County Civil Rights Division filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of a 68-year-old Deerfield Beach woman who says her Chihuahua is prescribed to her by a doctor for emotional support.

In what Phyllis Schleifer's attorney calls a "prescription pet lawsuit," the county is suing her condo association, Ventnor "H" Condo Association, for not allowing her three-pound Chihuahua named Sweetie to live in the condo with her.

The condo association has a no-pet policy, but Schleifer decided to bring the dog in anyway as an "emotional service animal."

Regardless of the condo's rules not allowing pets, Schleifer insists she's the victim in the situation -- hence the lawsuit.

She says the dog helps her cope with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, and the condo association and residents haven't made it any better.

First, a notice was posted on her complex's bulletin board, alerting residents that she had the dog.

It said the dog was barking and disturbing residents, and the condo owners were geared up to fight a lawsuit if Schleifer wanted to try.

Then, Schleifer alleges she was pushed down the stairs and got a "fuck you" from neighbors -- both of which were conspicuously left out of the lawsuit -- all of which "shame, humiliate, and intimidated" Schleifer.

According to the condo association's lawyer, Patrick Murphy, Schleifer has dropped several excuses to keep the dog, with "prescription pet" being the most recent.

First, Murphy says, Schleifer originally told the association that she had back problems and that a doctor told her the dog would help with her balance.

Then she said she needed the dog because she was "depressed" before finally bringing up that it was for an "emotional disability."

Schleifer's complaint to the county finally got through on her third attempt, after being denied the first time and then losing her appeal.

But the Broward County Commissioners approved the lawsuit last week, indicating a likely legal tab of $15,000 to $50,000.

Click here to read through the entire lawsuit filed by the county on behalf of Schleifer.

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parkland man
parkland man

Not so long ago, former Mississippi-based Richard "Dickie'' Scruggs was one of the most powerful civil lawsuit attorneys in the country. In prison, he will be inmate No. 12734-042.

Scruggs, 62, must report to a federal prison in Kentucky by 2 p.m. Aug. 4 to begin serving a five-year sentence for conspiring to bribe a judge. His law partner goes to prison the same day. And Scruggs' son, a lawyer who also worked with his father's Oxford law firm, must turn himself in later this month.

Scruggs reached the pinnacle of his career in the 1990s by using a corporate insider against tobacco companies in lawsuits that resulted in a multibillion dollar nationwide settlement.

The case made Scruggs one of the richest lawyers in America and was portrayed in the 1999 film "The Insider,'' starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.

A scene from the movie was shot at Scruggs' waterfront home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina destroyed that home and many others in August 2005. Eventually, the money Scruggs wrested from an insurance company on behalf of other Katrina victims would be his downfall.


Very sad that the county is forced to spend our tax dollars on something like this.  Hey New Pulp, can you find out what law it is that forces Broward to spend money on this?

The Pulp Blog
The Pulp Blog

The Broward County Human Rights Act, sections 16.5-30.6 and 16.5-30.7

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