Judicial Branch Guide to the Use of Service Animals
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Pets or other animals are not permitted in the public areas of Judicial Branch facilities unless they are service animals. The State of Maine Judicial Branch welcomes your service animal in our public areas. We recognize that accommodation needs vary and that service animals perform a variety of functions.
A service animal is any animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker or has been individually trained to assist the person with a physical or mental disability.
Service animals work and perform tasks; service animals are not pets.
To determine if your animal is a service animal, we may ask you:
- whether your animal is a service animal, and/or
- whether the animal is necessary for a disability.
We will not request proof of a disability, nor will we request certification of a service animal’s status.
We understand that you alone are responsible for the care and supervision of your service animal, and we thank you for maintaining control of your service animal while you are visiting Judicial Branch facilities. Based on your service animal’s behavior, should a need arise to exclude your service animal from our facility, we will give you the option of removing your service animal from our premises and then returning to our facility.
We will ask you to remove your service animal only when
- your service animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of our employees and/or members of the public;
- the behavior of your service animal would result in substantial physical damage to Judicial Branch property; or,
- your service animal substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of our services by others.
We thank you in advance for your assistance in ensuring a safe and pleasant environment that may be used by all.
Information Concerning the Care of Your Service Animal
Please feel free to ask what, if any, areas there may be for you to tend to your service animal.
We have many facilities around the State of Maine. Some are state-owned, while others are not. The facilities available in and around our buildings will vary, and we cannot guarantee designated areas where you can tend to your animal’s needs, such as eating and other bodily functions.
Additionally, there may be other public areas located nearby where you can tend to your service animal.
Do You Believe that You Have Been Treated Unfairly?
We are committed to providing quality customer service for all members of the public. If you have a concern or complaint, please do not hesitate to bring it to our attention.
The use of service animals in public places is guided by federal, state, and local laws. All public places must allow trained service animals and service animals in training to accompany people with disabilities into their facilities and in all areas where customers are normally allowed to go.
If you feel that you have been treated unfairly, please contact:
Access to Justice Coordinator
P.O. Box 4820 Portland, Maine 04112