While we certainly do not profess to be medical experts, when we reviewed a new Michigan federal district court decision which contained the following quote from a plaintiff’s doctor’s prescription, we chuckled a bit:
“I am prescribing reasonable accommodations for her disability in the form of reserving the three parking spaces directly in front of her unit… for her quiet enjoyment of her home. These accommodations are reasonable in that they will: not cause a hardship to the Association and co-owners; not infringe upon the neighbor’s quiet enjoyment of their unit; aid in [the plaintiff’s mental] rehabilitation.”
How nice of the doctor to include legal opinions in his prescription!
Fortunately, we have courts to determine what accommodations are reasonable and necessary. In Burrows v. Cubba, Slip Copy, 2017 WL 4285534, the judge ruled against the plaintiff’s federal Fair Housing Act claim because there was no evidence presented that the requested accommodation of the three parking spaces was necessary to address her mental disability (the doctor merely states a conclusion without any supporting discussion of how it would allegedly help). Further, the judge ruled that the request was unreasonable.
In fact, the Southfield association and its manager, in trying to settle the matter, had gone above and beyond what was likely required by law, offering to create one reserved handicapped parking space for the plaintiff. But the plaintiff said that having anyone park directly outside her home disturbed her, so she needed all three spaces to be reserved.
It seems the sky is the limit, and certain doctors can be persuaded by their patients to write a prescription for just about anything related to housing accommodations these days (for example, practically any number of pets). If a co-owner presents you with a prescription that doesn’t pass the smell test, contact us for a firm legal opinion.
And of course, if the matter involves dogs, our legal beagles will get right on it!