Auburn Woods


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AUBURN WOODS I HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents, v. FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING COMMISSION, Defendant and Appellant; ABDELFATAH ELEBIARI et al., Real Parties in Interest and Appellants. C044087 California Court of Appeal, Third District, Placer County August 25, 2004 Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Gov. Code § 12900 et seq.; subsequent unspecified statutory references are to the Government Code), it is an unlawful practice to refuse “to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when these accommodations may be necessary to afford a disabled person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” (§§ 12927, subd. (c)(1), 12955.) FACTS Ed Elebiari was involved in a serious car accident in 1991 and suffered brain damage that required three surgeries. He is hydrocephalic, has a seizure disorder, has severe headaches, and suffers from depression. At times he feels so debilitated that he feels he is “just barely staying alive day by day.” His psychiatrist, Dr. Schnitzler, diagnosed him as having bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and seizure disorder. Dr. Schnitzler considered Ed to be permanently disabled and incapable of working. Ed’s wife, Jayne, also suffered from depression. Dr. Schnitzler and Dr. Lasser, a psychologist, both diagnosed her condition as “major depression, recurrent,” meaning that serious episodes of depression, lasting from nine months to one year, return as recurrent episodes. During these episodes, Jayne has sleeping problems, lacks concentration, engages in acts of self-mutilation, and avoids social interaction. Dr. Schnitzler believed Jayne would do fairly well if treated with medication, and thought she could continue working. In 1998, the Elebiaris bought a condominium at Auburn Woods. Section 6.17 of the condominium’s covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R’s) provides: “No reptiles or animals shall be permitted in the Condominium Units or on the property except that pet birds and domestic house cats (limit of 2) shall be allowed so long as they do not constitute a nuisance to the neighbors and other residents. The Board of Directors has the discretion to adopt reasonable rules and regulations in regard to the keeping of these specifically enumerated pets so as to avoid nuisance problems or health and safety hazards. No dogs are allowed to be kept anywhere in the development .” (Italics added.)
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Despite this ban on dogs, in April 1999, the Elebiaris brought home a small terrier named Pooky. Jayne believed the dog would help her and her husband with their depression. In fact, Jayne’s agitation lessened, her concentration improved, her interpersonal relationships improved, she slept better, and the acts of self-mutilation became less severe. The dog also had a positive effect on Ed by keeping Ed occupied. Ed took the dog for walks and played with her. The dog alleviated depression for both Jayne
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2012 for the course FIN 365 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.

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