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SUPREME COURT: Dog Trainer Can’t Sue School

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The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed the decision of an appeals court that said a service dog trainer could sue Drake University Law School because she was barred from bringing the dog she was training into the classroom.

Nicole Shumate filed the lawsuit in 2011. Her lawsuit was dismissed in district court, but the Iowa Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision and remanded the case for further action saying the lawsuit could move forward.

In its ruling the Appeals Court stated there is an “implication the legislature intended citizens afforded rights under chapter 216C to be able to seek civil redress when those rights are violated.”

Drake University Law School asked for the Iowa Supreme Court to review the ruling in January.  Friday, the court released its ruling vacating the Appeals Court’s action. In the Supreme Court’s decision Justice Thomas Waterman writes, “We conclude the legislature purposely omitted a private right to sue from chapter 216C.”


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