Article Courtesy of The
By Carrie Bradon
Published June 7, 2018
FORT MYERS – A Port Charlotte woman in a lawsuit claims she was denied her
emotional support dog at her home, which caused her a great deal of distress.
Kailani Carlson seeks damages against
Sunshine Villas HOA Inc, Allan Nielsen and Doris Walters
following an incident in which she claims she was deprived
her emotional support dog at her home, where it was needed
to help her manage her post-traumatic stress disorder
symptoms. The plaintiff complains the defendant violated the
federal Fair Housing Act, as well as the Florida Consumer
Credit Protection Act.
Sunshine Villas is located in Port Charlotte and Walters is
the vice president of the Sunshine Villas HOA and is the
owner of the plaintiff's unit, while Nielsen is the
registered agent and treasurer of the Sunshine Villas HOA.
Carlson is an individual who has reportedly been diagnosed
with PTSD and is treated by doctors for her condition.
In April 2017, the plaintiff's doctor recommended that she
acquire an emotional support dog. The plaintiff has resided
with her minor daughter at the Sunshine Villas in Port
Charlotte for about 3 years.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben
Carson speaks at an event marking the50th anniversary of the Fair
In September, the plaintiff spoke with Walters about the
ESA (emotional support animal) and gave Walters a written request for
accommodating the animal, as well as a letter from the doctor. While Walters
did not say no to the ESA, he did ask that the plaintiff clean up after the
On Sept. 26, Walters told the plaintiff in a letter she was not allowed to
have her dog at the home, even though the plaintiff provided Walters with a
second letter from her doctor. Then, on Oct. 6, the plaintiff was sent a
final notice to vacate and that she was now on month-to-month rental basis.
Carlson complains this month-to-month basis has made her feel as though she
could be evicted at any moment and is therefore insecure. The defendant has
also moved to dismiss the plaintiff's FHA claims and this motion to dismiss
for failure to state a claim is granted, but only that the "disparate
treatment portion of Count I is dismissed without prejudice." Otherwise, the
court denied the defendants' motions.