Iowa Supreme Court Says Drake Student Can’t Sue Over Service Dogs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Drake University by a former student who trains service dogs for veterans.

Nicole Shumate, a 2009 Drake Law School graduate, sued in August 2011 claiming the university barred her from taking a dog to classes. A district court judge dismissed the case in 2012, saying a person training a service dog may not sue for damages in the same way as someone with a disability who uses a service dog.

The Iowa Court of Appeals in November reversed that decision.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled Iowa does not allow service dog trainers to sue, but a law that permits dog trainers to take the animals into public places does allow violators to be fined and sentenced to jail time.

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