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Delaware

Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: 9 Del.C. 902, 916; 16 Del.C. 9501 - 9506; 21 Del.C. 4144; 6 Del.C. 4501 - 456; 31 Del.C. 2117

Citation: DE ST TI 9 902, 916; DE ST TI 16 9501 - 9506; DE ST TI 21 4144; DE S TI 6 4501 - 4516; DE ST TI 31 2117


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:  

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.



Statute in Full:

West's Delaware Code Annotated. Title 9. Counties. Part I. Provisions Affecting All Counties. Chapter 9. Dogs. Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 902. Fees for dog and kennel licenses; terms

§ 916. Unauthorized acts against a service dog; penalties

Title 31. Welfare. Part II. Welfare Agencies. Chapter 21. Delaware Commission for the Blind.

§ 2117. Relating to the blind and “seeing eye dogs"; penalties.

Title 21. Motor Vehicles. Part III. Operation and Equipment. Chapter 41. Rules of the Road. Subchapter V. Pedestrians' Rights and Duties.

§ 4144. Drivers to exercise due care

Title 6. Commerce and Trade. Subtitle II. Other Laws Relating to Commerce and Trade. Chapter 45. Equal Accommodations.

§ 4501. Purpose and construction

§ 4502. Definitions

§ 4504. Unlawful practices

§ 4505. Authority of the Commission; delegation

§ 4506. Commission's power to adopt rules

§ 4507. Education and conciliation

§ 4508. Procedure on complaint

§ 4509. Division's power to investigate compliance

§ 4510. Compelling attendance of witnesses and production of documents, oaths, subpoenas

§ 4511. Judicial review

§ 4512. Enforcement by the Attorney General

§ 4513. Criminal jurisdiction

Title 16. Health and Safety. Part IX. Disabled and Partially Disabled Persons. Chapter 95. Delaware White Cane Law.

§ 9501. Public policy; White Cane Day

§ 9502. Rights and liabilities

§ 9503. Rules of the road

§ 9504. Enjoyment of public facilities

§ 9505. Housing accommodations

§ 9506. Violations

 

 

 

Title 31. Welfare. Part II. Welfare Agencies. Chapter 21. Delaware Commission for the Blind.

§ 2117. Relating to the blind and “seeing eye dogs”; penalties.
 
(a) Any person who by reason of loss or impairment of eyesight or hearing is accompanied by a dog described as a “seeing eye dog,” or any dog educated by a recognized training agency or school, which is used as a leader or guide, is entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, hotels, lodging places, all places of public accommodation, amusement or resort and other places to which the general public is invited and shall be entitled to take the dog into such conveyances and places, subject only to the conditions and limitations applicable to all persons not so accompanied; provided, that the dog shall not occupy a seat in any public conveyance.

(b) Any person, firm or corporation who deprives any person suffering from such loss or impairment of eyesight or hearing of any right conferred by subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $100, or be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 3 months, or both and for every such offense such person shall forfeit and pay a sum of not more than $100 to any person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county where such offense was committed.

CREDIT(S)
57 Laws 1969, ch. 162; 64 Laws 1984, ch. 389, §§ 4, 5; 78 Laws 2011, ch. 179, § 346, eff. Aug. 17, 2011.
 

Title 21. Motor Vehicles. Part III. Operation and Equipment. Chapter 41. Rules of the Road. Subchapter V. Pedestrians' Rights and Duties.

§ 4144. Drivers to exercise due care

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person or a person wholly or partially blind, carrying a cane or walking stick white in color, or white tipped with red or accompanied by a guide dog, upon a roadway.

54 Laws 1963, ch. 160, § 1; 60 Laws 1976, ch. 701, § 32.

 

Title 6. Commerce and Trade. Subtitle II. Other Laws Relating to Commerce and Trade. Chapter 45. Equal Accommodations.

 
§ 4501. Purpose and construction
 
This chapter is intended to prevent, in places of public accommodations, practices of discrimination against any person because of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. This chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that the rights herein provided for all people, without regard to race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin, may be effectively safeguarded. Furthermore, in defining the scope or extent of any duty imposed by this chapter, higher or more comprehensive obligations established by otherwise applicable federal, state, or local enactments may be considered.
 
Credits
 
54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 58 Laws 1971, ch. 133, § 1; 58 Laws 1972, ch. 386, § 1; 65 Laws 1986, ch. 377, § 1; 70 Laws 1996, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, § 8, eff. July 6, 2006; 77 Laws 2009, ch. 90, § 1, eff. July 2, 2009; 79 Laws 2013, ch. 47, § 1, eff. June 19, 2013.

 

§ 4502. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Automatic door” shall mean a door equipped with a power-operated mechanism and controls that open and close the door automatically upon receipt of a momentary actuating signal. The switch that begins the automatic cycle may be a photoelectric device, floor mat, or manual switch.

(2) “Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the State Human Relations Commission.

(3) “Commission” means the State Human Relations Commission.

(4) “Complainant” means the person who files a complaint under § 4508 of this title.

(5) “Conciliation” means the attempted resolution of issues raised by a complaint, or by the investigation of such complaint, through informal negotiations.

(6) “Conciliation agreement” means a written agreement setting forth the resolution of the issues in conciliation.

(7) “Disability” means a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a person's major life activities, or being regarded as having such an impairment, but such terms do not include current, illegal use of a controlled substance as defined in Section 102 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. § 802) or Delaware Code, Title 16, Chapter 47, Uniform Controlled Substance Act. Discrimination against a person with a disability includes discrimination against the use of a support animal because of a physical disability of the user. Support animal means any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks to meet the requirements of a physically disabled person, including, but not limited to, minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

(8) “Discriminatory public accommodations practice” means an act that is unlawful under this chapter.

(9) “Division” means the Division of Human Relations.

(10) “Gender identity” means a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth. Gender identity may be demonstrated by consistent and uniform assertion of the gender identity or any other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of a person's core identity; provided, however, that gender identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.

(11) “Marital status” means the legal relationship of parties as determined by the laws of marriage applicable to them or the absence of such a legal relationship.

(12) “Panel” means a group of 3 or more Commissioners appointed by the Chairperson to perform any task authorized by this chapter.

(13) “Panel chair” means that commissioner serving on a panel who is designated by the Chairperson to serve as the chairperson of the panel.

(14) A “place of public accommodation” means any establishment which caters to or offers goods or services or facilities to, or solicits patronage from, the general public. This definition includes state agencies, local governement1 agencies, and state-funded agencies performing public functions. This definition shall apply to hotels and motels catering to the transient public, but it shall not apply to the sale or rental of houses, housing units, apartments, rooming houses or other dwellings, nor to tourist homes with less than 10 rental units catering to the transient public.

(15) “Respondent” means a person who is alleged to have committed a discriminatory public accommodations practice.

(16) “Sexual orientation” exclusively means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.

(17) “Special Administration Fund” means the Fund created pursuant to § 3005 of Title 31.

Credits

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 66 Laws 1987, ch. 68, § 1; 70 Laws 1996, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, §§ 9, 11, 26, 28, eff. July 6, 2006; 77 Laws 2009, ch. 90, § 2, eff. July 2, 2009; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 346, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; 79 Laws 2013, ch. 47, §§ 2, 3, eff. June 19, 2013.

 

§ 4504. Unlawful practices

(a) No person being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, director, supervisor, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, shall directly or indirectly refuse, withhold from or deny to any person, on account of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin, any of the accommodation, facilities, advantages or privileges thereof. A place of public accommodation may provide reasonable accommodations based on gender identity in areas of facilities where disrobing is likely, such as locker rooms or other changing facilities, which reasonable accommodations may include a separate or private place for the use of persons whose gender-related identity, appearance or expression is different from their assigned sex at birth, provided that such reasonable accommodations are not inconsistent with the gender-related identity of such persons. For the purpose of training support animals to be used by persons with disabilities, all trainers and their support animals shall be included within those covered by this subsection.

(b) No person, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, shall directly or indirectly publish, issue, circulate, post or display any written, typewritten, mimeographed, printed or radio communications notice or advertisement to the effect that any of the accommodations, facilities, advantages and privileges of any place of public accommodation shall be refused, withheld from or denied to any person on account of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin, or that the patronage or custom thereat of any person belonging to or purporting to be appearing to be of any particular race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin is unlawful, objectionable, or not acceptable, desired, accommodated or solicited, or that the patronage of persons of any particular race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin is preferred or is particularly welcomed, desired or solicited.

(c) It shall be unlawful to assist, induce, incite or coerce another person to commit any discriminatory public accommodations practice prohibited by subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(d) Requirements for newly constructed places of public accommodation. - All buildings which are constructed after January 1, 2011, and intended for use as places of public accommodation (as defined in § 4502 of this title), must be equipped with an automatic door or calling device at each entrance that is intended to be a main entrance accessible by members of the general public. For purposes of this subsection, a calling device shall mean any device that allows a person with a disability to request assistance with entry meeting the following minimum specifications:

(1) The device must provide a recognizable signal inside the place of public accommodation;

(2) The device must be capable of being operated using only 1 hand or limb;

(3) The device must have at least 1 sign next to it which identifies the device and how to use it; and

(4) The device must be capable of being operated in accordance with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act[FN1] Accessibility Guidelines.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as an abrogation of any requirements otherwise imposed by applicable federal or state laws or regulations.

Credits

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 58 Laws 1971, ch. 133, § 1; 58 Laws 1972, ch. 386, § 1; 65 Laws 1986, ch. 377, § 3; 66 Laws 1987, ch. 68, § 1; 70 Laws 1996, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, §§ 10, 28, eff. July 6, 2006; 77 Laws 2009, ch. 90, § 4, eff. July 2, 2009; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 346, §§ 2, 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; 79 Laws 2013, ch. 47, § 5, eff. June 19, 2013.


[FN1] 42 U.S.C.A. § 12101 et seq.

 

§ 4505. Authority of the Commission; delegation

(a) The State Human Relations Commission shall implement the provisions of this chapter not expressly vested in another entity.

(b) The Commission may delegate, to a panel of its members, any power, duty, or function vested in it by this chapter. No panel to which any power, duty, or function of the Commission is delegated shall consist of fewer than 3 members of the Commission.

(c) The Commission may delegate, to the Division of Human Relations, any power, duty, or function vested in it by this chapter unless the delegation is expressly prohibited. If the Commission delegates to the Division a power, duty, or function vested in it by this chapter, the delegation shall specifically state the power, duty, or function being delegated.

(d) The Commission shall not delegate its power or duty to conduct public hearings or order relief to the Division.

CREDIT(S)

70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, § 12, eff. July 6, 2006.

 

§ 4506. Commission's power to adopt rules

The Commission shall have the power in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act in Title 29 to adopt rules and regulations concerning the manner in which complaints shall be investigated or other investigations pursuant to this chapter shall be conducted, the manner in which public hearings shall be conducted, the general form and content of agreements and orders provided for in this chapter and such other rules as the Commission shall consider appropriate to assist it in performing its duties and in carrying out the purposes of this chapter. Such rules and regulations shall have the force and effect of law.

CREDIT(S)

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996.

 

§ 4507. Education and conciliation

(a) The Commission may commence such educational activities as, in its judgment, will further the purposes of this chapter. It may hold conferences for persons in the business industry and other interested parties to acquaint them with the provisions of this chapter and its suggested means of implementing it. The Commission may issue reports on such conferences as it deems appropriate.

(b) The Division may commence such conciliatory activities in order to further the purposes of this chapter. It may call conferences of persons in the business industry and other interested parties to acquaint them with the provisions of this chapter governing conciliation and the means it employs to implement those provisions. It shall endeavor, with their advice, to develop programs of voluntary compliance and enforcement. The Division may issue reports on such conferences as it deems appropriate.

(c) When undertaking their respective duties under this section, the Commission and the Division may consult with state and local officials and other interested parties to learn the extent, if any, to which discriminatory public accommodations practices exist in the State or locality, and whether and how state or local enforcement programs might be utilized to combat such discrimination. The Commission may issue reports on such consultations as it deems appropriate.

CREDIT(S)

70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, § 13, eff. July 6, 2006.


§ 4508. Procedure on complaint

(a) A person believing himself or herself aggrieved by a discriminatory public accommodation practice proscribed by § 4504 of this title may, by himself or herself or by his or her attorney-at-law, file with the Division a complaint in writing stating:

(1) His or her name and address;
 
(2) The name and location of the place of public accommodation at which the discriminatory public accommodation practice occurred, and the date, time and an explanation thereof;
 
(3) If known, the name and address of each respondent and, if different, the name of the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager or superintendent of the place of public accommodation; and
 
(4) Such other information as the Division requires.

(b) No complaint shall be filed with the Division more than 90 days after the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory public accommodation practice.

(c) Within 120 days after the complaint is filed, the Division shall investigate the complaint and endeavor to eliminate any unlawful discriminatory practice discovered through conciliation. Insofar as possible, conciliation meetings shall be held in the county where the alleged discriminatory public accommodations practice occurred. If the matter is resolved through conciliation, the parties shall enter a conciliation agreement stating the terms of the resolution of the matter. If the Division determines that the allegations in the complaint do not state a claim for which relief is available under this chapter or that the claim is not within the scope of the Division's jurisdiction, it may petition the Division, with notice to the complainant, to dismiss the complaint.

(d) Whenever the Division has reasonable cause to believe that a respondent has breached a conciliation agreement, the Division shall refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that a civil action be filed under § 4512 of this title for the enforcement of such agreement.

(e) If a complaint cannot be resolved through conciliation as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the Commission shall appoint a panel to hold a public hearing within 60 days after the expiration of 120-day period for investigation and conciliation. The deadlines provided in subsection (c) of this section and this subsection may be extended by the Chairperson or the Panel Chair at the request of any party or an employee of the Commission of Human Relations upon a showing of good cause.

(f) Public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with rules prescribed by the Commission. Each party may appear in person, be represented by counsel, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses and obtain the issuance of subpoenas under § 4510 of this title. The Delaware Rules of Evidence shall apply to the presentation of evidence in a public hearing as they would in an administrative hearing conducted in accordance with subchapter III of the Administrative Procedures Act in Title 29. A record shall be kept of all public hearings, a transcript of which shall be provided at cost upon request of a party. Decisions of the panel shall be made by a majority of the members of the panel.

(g) If the panel determines that a violation of § 4504 of this title has not occurred, it shall issue an order dismissing the complaint. The panel may award reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and expenses to the respondent pursuant to this subsection if it determines that the complaint was brought for an improper purpose, such as to harass or embarrass the respondent.

(h) If the panel determines that a violation of § 4504 of this title has occurred, it shall issue an order stating its findings of fact and conclusions of law and containing such relief as may be appropriate, including actual damages suffered by the aggrieved person “including damages caused by humiliation and embarrassment,” costs, expenses, reasonable attorneys' fees and injunctive or other equitable relief. To vindicate the public interest, the panel may assess a civil penalty against the respondent(s), to be paid to the Special Administration Fund:

(1) In an amount not exceeding $5,000 for each discriminatory public accommodations practice if the respondent has not been adjudged to have committed any prior discriminatory public accommodations practice;
 
(2) In an amount not exceeding $15,000 for each discriminatory public accommodations practice if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed one other discriminatory public accommodations practice during the 5-year period ending on the date of the complaint; and
 
(3) In an amount not exceeding $25,000 for each discriminatory public accommodations practice if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed two or more discriminatory public accommodations practices during the 7-year period ending on the date of the complaint.

(i) Copies of orders entered pursuant to subsections (g) and (h) of this section shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail to each party or their counsel.

(j) If the Division concludes, at any time following the filing of a complaint, that prompt judicial action is necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter, the Division may authorize a civil action for appropriate temporary or preliminary relief pending final disposition of the complaint under this section. Upon receipt of such authorization, the Attorney General may elect, in the absence of a conflict of duties, to commence and maintain such an action in the Court of Chancery on behalf of the Division. If the Attorney General does not elect to pursue such an action, the Division may, with the written authorization of the Secretary of State, employ special counsel to pursue such action notwithstanding § 2507 of Title 29. The commencement of a civil action under this subsection does not affect the initiation or continuation of proceedings under this section.

(k) The Commission, by regulation, shall adopt procedures for dismissal of complaints based on lack of jurisdiction or failure to state a claim upon which relief is available under this chapter. Notwithstanding the limitation of delegation in § 4505 of this title, the Commission may authorize such dismissal by a single commissioner prior to appointment of a panel.

CREDIT(S)

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, §§ 14, 15, 17, 18, eff. July 6, 2006.

 

§ 4509. Division's power to investigate compliance

The Division is empowered to investigate compliance with this chapter whether or not a complaint is filed pursuant to § 4508 of this title. In furtherance of and not in limitation of this power, the Division may review practices of any place of public accommodation within this State. Investigations pursuant to this section that cannot be resolved through conciliation may be referred by the Division to the Attorney General for further proceedings pursuant to § 4512 of this title.

CREDIT(S)

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, §§ 19, 20, eff. July 6, 2006.

 

§ 4510. Compelling attendance of witnesses and production of documents, oaths, subpoenas

(a) The Commission may issue subpoenas and order discovery in aid of investigations and hearings under this chapter. Such subpoenas shall be signed by the chairperson or panel chair and may be served by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or any member of the Commission or employee of the Division of Human Relations and return thereof shall be made to the Commission. Such subpoenas and discovery may be ordered to the same extent and subject to the same limitations as would apply if the subpoenas or discovery were ordered or served in aid of a civil action in the Superior Court. Provided, however, that such subpoenas and discovery in aid of investigations are first to be reviewed by the Attorney General to determine whether there is reason to believe that there has been a violation of this chapter.

(b) At any public hearing, any member of the Commission may administer oaths to all witnesses who may be called before the Commission.

(c) Witnesses summoned by a subpoena under this chapter shall be entitled to the same witness and mileage fees as witnesses in proceedings in Superior Court.

(d) Where any person fails or neglects to attend and testify or answer any lawful inquiry or to produce records, documents or other evidence, if it is in such person's power to do so, in obedience to the subpoena or other lawful order under subsection (a) of this section, the Attorney General, on behalf of the Commission, shall petition the Superior Court in the county where such person resides or conducts business for an order requiring such person to appear before the Commission to produce evidence if so ordered or to give testimony pertaining to the matter under investigation or in question. Any failure to obey such order may be punished by the court as being in contempt of court.

(e) Criminal penalties--

(1) Any person who willfully fails or neglects to attend and testify or to answer any lawful inquiry or to produce records, documents or other evidence, if it is in such person's power to do so, in obedience to the subpoena or other lawful order under subsection (a) of this section, shall, in each instance be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(2) Any person who, with intent thereby to mislead another person in any proceeding under this chapter:

a. Makes or causes to be made any false entry or statement of fact in any report, account, record or other document produced pursuant to subpoena or other lawful order under subsection (a) of this section;

b. Wilfully neglects or fails to make or cause to be made full, true and correct entries in such reports, accounts, records or other documents; or

c. Wilfully mutilates, alters or by any other means falsifies any documentary evidence; shall in each instance be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

CREDIT(S)

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, § 39, eff. July 6, 2006.

 

§ 4511. Judicial review

(a) Any party aggrieved by an order for relief under § 4508 of this title granting or denying, in whole or in part, the relief sought, may obtain a review of such order in the Superior Court in the county in which the discriminatory public accommodations practice is alleged to have occurred, pursuant to the civil rules of that court and the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29]. Filing of the petition for review shall be not later than 30 days after the order is entered.

(b) Any party to the proceeding before the panel may intervene in the Superior Court in the appeal process.

(c) No objection not made before the panel shall be considered by the court, unless the failure or neglect to urge such objection is excused because of extraordinary circumstances or when the interests of justice so require.

(d) If the Attorney General has not commenced a civil action within 60 days of notice of breach of a Commission order or conciliation agreement as authorized by § 4512 of this title, an aggrieved party may commence an action in the Superior Court, or Court of Chancery, or both, seeking enforcement and appropriate relief, including conversion of a Commission order conferring monetary relief to a judgment subject to execution. The Court may also award the aggrieved party reasonable costs and attorneys' fees in connection with the enforcement action.

CREDIT(S)

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 356, § 16, eff. July 6, 2006.


§ 4512. Enforcement by the Attorney General

(a) Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaging in a pattern of discriminatory public accommodation practices, that any person or group of persons has been denied any of the rights granted by this chapter and such denial raises an issue of general public importance or that any party to a conciliation agreement has breached such agreement, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in the Superior Court, Court of Chancery or both in any county of the State for appropriate relief including, but not limited to, equitable relief, monetary damages, reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and expenses. To vindicate the public interest, the court may assess a civil penalty to be paid to the Special Administration Fund in an amount not exceeding $25,000 for a first violation of this section and in an amount not exceeding $50,000 for any subsequent violation of this section.

(b) When a civil action is initiated by the Attorney General pursuant to this section, no court shall charge fees of any kind in such proceeding to the Attorney General, the Commission or any of its members.

CREDIT(S)

54 Laws 1963, ch. 181, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996.

 

§ 4513. Criminal jurisdiction

The Superior Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all criminal violation of this Chapter.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 90, § 26, eff. July 2, 2009.

 

§§ 4514 to 4516. Repealed by 70 Laws 1995, ch. 350, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996

 

Title 16. Health and Safety. Part IX. Disabled and Partially Disabled Persons. Chapter 95. Delaware White Cane Law.

§ 9501. Public policy; White Cane Day

(a) It is the policy of this State to encourage and enable persons who are blind, visually impaired or have physical disabilities to participate fully in the social and economic life of this State and to engage in remunerative employment.

(b) It is the policy of this State that persons who are blind, visually impaired or have physical disabilities shall be employed by all employers including this State, political subdivisions of this State, the public schools and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as are persons without such disabilities unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.

(c) Each year the Governor by proclamation or the General Assembly by resolution may take public notice of October 15 as White Cane Safety Day so that the public may continue to be aware of the significance of the white cane and be able to recognize the presence of persons with disabilities on the streets and sidewalks of the State.

CREDIT(S)

58 Laws 1971, ch. 222; 78 Laws 2011, ch. 179, §§ 236-238, eff. Aug. 17, 2011.

 

§ 9502. Rights and liabilities

(a) Persons who are blind, visually impaired or have physical disabilities shall have the same rights as persons without such disabilities to use streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities and other public places.

(b) Persons who are blind, visually impaired or have physical disabilities are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges on all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, and in all hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law.

(c) Every person who is totally or partially blind may be accompanied by a guide dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed within this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog, provided that the person who is totally or partially blind shall be liable for any damages done to the premises or facilities by such dog. A guide dog may be excluded from any of the places enumerated in this section if the admission of such dog would create the clear danger of a disturbance or physical harm to other persons in such place.

CREDIT(S)

58 Laws 1971, ch. 222; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 78 Laws 2011, ch. 179, §§ 239-241, eff. Aug. 17, 2011.

 

§ 9503. Rules of the road

The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian who is totally or partially blind who is carrying a cane predominately white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip) or using a guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian who is blind, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused to such pedestrian. A pedestrian who is totally or partially blind not carrying such a cane or using a guide dog in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances listed in § 9502 shall have all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons and the failure of a pedestrian who is totally or partially blind to carry a cane or use a dog in any such places, accommodations or conveyances shall not be conclusively held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence.

CREDIT(S)

58 Laws 1971, ch. 222; 78 Laws 2011, ch. 179, §§ 242, 243, eff. Aug. 17, 2011.

 

§ 9504. Enjoyment of public facilities

Any person or persons, firm or corporation or an agent thereof who denies or interferes with the admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in § 9502 or otherwise interferes with the rights of a person who is totally or partially blind or has a disability as specified in § 9502 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

58 Laws 1971, ch. 222; 78 Laws 2011, ch. 179, § 244, eff. Aug. 17, 2011.

 

§ 9505. Housing accommodations

(a) Persons who are blind, visually impaired or have physical disabilities shall be entitled to full and equal access as other members of the general public to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease or compensation in this State, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law on all persons.

(b) “Housing accommodations” shall mean any real property or portion thereof which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of 1 or more human beings, but shall not include any accommodations not included within subsection (a) or any single-family residence the occupants of which rent, lease or furnish for compensation not more than 1 room therein.

(c) Nothing in this section shall require any person renting, leasing or providing for compensation real property to modify such person's property in any way or provide a higher degree of care for a person who is blind or visually impaired.

(d) Every person who is totally or partially blind who has a guide dog shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section and the person who is totally or partially blind shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such guide dog, but shall be liable for any damage done to the premises by such a guide dog.

CREDIT(S)

58 Laws 1971, ch. 222; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 78 Laws 2011, ch. 179, §§ 245-247, eff. Aug. 17, 2011.

 

§ 9506. Violations

Any person who violates this chapter shall, upon conviction for such offense in a Justice of the Peace Court, be fined $100 for every such violation.

CREDIT(S)

58 Laws 1971, ch. 222.

 

Title 9. Counties. Part I. Provisions Affecting All Counties. Chapter 9. Dogs. Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 902. Fees for dog and kennel licenses; terms

(a) Dog licenses. -- Each county shall issue dog licenses. Every dog owner shall obtain said dog license in the county in which the dog owner resides or where the retail dog outlet is located. Any dog license purchased from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control shall remain valid through the expiration date noted, at which time a license must be purchased from the county. The counties, in their discretion, shall set the license fees and provide applications for the following licenses:

(1) Individual dog owner licenses. -- Except for persons residing within the corporate limits of the City of Wilmington, the owner of any dog, 6 months of age or older, on or before March 1, shall apply to the county or its duly authorized agents on a form prescribed by the county for an individual dog owner license for such dog. All individual dog owner licenses shall be valid through December 31, and the valid period of the license is to be determined by the county but may not exceed 3 years. The counties may, in their discretion, charge up to $10, on an annual basis, for an individual dog owner license for a spayed or neutered dog and up to $15, on an annual basis, for an individual dog owner license for an unspayed or unneutered dog.

(2) Retail dog outlet licenses. -- Each owner of a retail dog outlet in the State must apply to the county for a retail dog outlet license on or before March 1. A retail dog outlet license shall be valid through December 31 but may not exceed 1 year.

(3) Kennel licenses. -- Any person who maintains a kennel wherein more than 4 dogs are kept for show, trial, sale, breeding or other purposes may apply to the county in which the kennel owner resides or its duly authorized agents on a form prescribed by the county for a kennel license in lieu of an individual dog owner license for each dog. Kennel licenses shall be valid through December 31, and shall not be valid for more than 1 calendar year.

(4) Lost or stolen dog licenses or tags. --Each county shall adopt a policy to issue a replacement individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license or kennel license, or the tags accompanying such license, and shall set the fees for such replacement licenses or tags.

(5) The license fee limitations of $10 for a spayed or neutered dog and $15 for an unspayed or unneutered dog as set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall expire July 22, 2011, unless otherwise provided by a subsequent act of the General Assembly.

(b) Upon application and payment of the fee for an individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license, or kennel license, the applicant shall be entitled to receive a license, provided proof of a currently valid rabies vaccination can be presented for each dog for which the license is sought. Each individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license and kennel license shall show the date on which the license fee is paid. The county or its duly authorized agent shall issue each license showing the year for which the license is paid and the serial number of the license. Each issued license will be accompanied by either a metal tag or an alternative method of identification, such as, but not limited to, a microchip or tattoo. In the event a dog tag is issued, the tag shall be of a design to be adopted by the county, and shall be affixed to the collar by the owner of such dog. Dog collars with associated county tags may be removed and need not be worn at all times when the dog is licensed as [sic] a kennel or retail dog outlet and is housed in an enclosure or a pen. If the collar has been removed, a valid dog tag and license must be readily available for review by a dog control agent as proof that the individual dog is licensed. Dogs engaged in the act of hunting are exempted from wearing county tags while they are in the act of hunting, but must have some means of valid identification on the dog, and a valid dog tag and license must be available for review by a dog license agent while the dog is in the act of hunting.

(c) Whoever fails to secure a valid dog license, retail dog dealer’s license or kennel license for the calendar year on or before March 1, or when otherwise required by this section shall be fined not less than $50. The county may impose fines in excess of $50. For each subsequent offense occurring within 12 months of a prior offense, the person shall be fined not less than $100. The county may impose fines in excess of $100 for subsequent offenses. The minimum fine for a subsequent offense shall not be subject to suspension. Conviction for the failure to pay the license tax is a violation.

(d) Each county may revoke any individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license or kennel license issued by said county, and may deny any person the right to secure any such license for a period of time within the Department’s discretion, if the licensee or person has been convicted of animal cruelty under the laws of Delaware or any state or federal law.

(e) The license fee set by the county pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not be required to be paid when the dog is one which qualifies as a seeing eye, lead or guide dog or as a dog which has previously served in a branch of the United States armed forces. The county shall issue either a metal license tag or an alternative method for identification in accordance with subsection (b) of this section to such persons without the necessity of the payment of the dog license fee.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 916. Unauthorized acts against a service dog; penalties

(a) “Service dog” means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

(b) No person shall intentionally interfere with the use of a service dog by obstructing, intimidating or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the user or animal. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(c) No person shall intentionally injure or disable a service dog that is being used by its owner or the officer teamed with the dog. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(d) No person shall intentionally kill a service dog owned by a private person or agency. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class D felony. This subsection, however, does not apply to a law-enforcement officer as defined by § 222 of Title 11 who is forced to take such action pursuant to the lawful performance of the officer's duties.

(e) No person shall intentionally steal, take or wrongfully obtain a service dog owned by a private person or agency. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class E felony.

(f) In any case where a person is convicted under subsection (b), (c), (d) or (e) of this section, that person shall also be ordered to make full restitution for all damages, including incidental and consequential expenses incurred by the service, guide or seeing eye dog owner and the dog which arise out of or are related to the criminal offense.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 



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