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Montana

Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: MT ST 49-4-202 to 49-4-217; 61-8-516

Citation: MCA 49-4-202 to 49-4-217; 61-8-516


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2013

Summary:  

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



Statute in Full:

MONTANA CODE ANNOTATED. TITLE 49. HUMAN RIGHTS. CHAPTER 4. RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. PART 2. RIGHTS OF THE PHYSICALLY DISABLED.

49-4-201. Repealed by Laws 1983, ch. 239, § 11

49-4-202. Policy of the state

49-4-203. Definitions

49-4-204 through 49-4-210 reserved.

49-4-211. Right to use public places and accommodations

49-4-212. Access to housing accommodations

49-4-213. Use of white or metallic-colored canes restricted to the blind

49-4-214. Right to be accompanied by service animal -- identification for service animals in training

49-4-215. Penalty for violating rights

49-4-216. Duty and civil liability of pedestrian or driver approaching blind person

49-4-217. Penalty for violation of duty or unauthorized use of cane

TITLE 61. MOTOR VEHICLES. CHAPTER 8. TRAFFIC REGULATION. PART 5. PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC.

61-8-516. Operator of vehicle to yield to blind pedestrian

 

 

TITLE 49. HUMAN RIGHTS. CHAPTER 4. RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. PART 2. RIGHTS OF THE PHYSICALLY DISABLED.

49-4-201. Repealed by Laws 1983, ch. 239, § 11

 

49-4-202. Policy of the state

    It is the policy of the state to encourage and enable the blind, the visually impaired, the deaf, and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state and to engage in remunerative employment. The blind, the visually impaired, the deaf, and the otherwise physically disabled must be employed in the state service, the service of the political subdivisions of the state, the public schools, and all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 181, L. 1971; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1304; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 176, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 407, L. 1993.

 

49-4-203. Definitions

    (1) "Housing accommodation" means any real property or portion of real property that is used or occupied or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied as the home, residence, or sleeping place of one or more human beings. The term does not include any single-family residence the occupants of which furnish for compensation not more than one room within the residence.

    (2) "Service animal" means a dog or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.

History: En. 71-1305.1 by Sec. 5, Ch. 266, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 35, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1305.1(2); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 394, L. 1997.

 

49-4-211. Right to use public places and accommodations

    (1) The blind, the visually impaired, and the deaf have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places.

    (2) The blind, the visually impaired, and the deaf are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, as defined in 69-11-101, and all public accommodations, as defined in 49-2-101, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 181, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 266, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1305(2), (3); amd. Sec. 22, Ch. 177, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 176, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 22, Ch. 407, L. 1993.

 

49-4-212. Access to housing accommodations

    Blind, visually impaired, and deaf persons are entitled to as full and equal access as other members of the general public to any housing accommodation offered for compensation in this state.

History: En. 71-1305.1 by Sec. 5, Ch. 266, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 35, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1305.1(1), (3); amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 176, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 801, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 23, Ch. 407, L. 1993.

 

49-4-213. Use of white or metallic-colored canes restricted to the blind

    No person, except those wholly or partially blind, shall carry or use on any street or highway or in any other public place a cane or walking stick which is white or metallic in color or white or metallic tipped with red.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 181, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 266, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1305(1).

 

49-4-214. Right to be accompanied by service animal -- identification for service animals in training

    (1) A person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal or a service animal in training with identification complying with subsection (4) in any of the places mentioned in 49-4-211(2) without being charged extra for the service animal. The person with a disability is liable for any damage done to the property by the animal.

    (2) A person with a disability who has a service animal or who obtains a service animal is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations as provided in 49-2-305 and 49-4-212. The person with a disability may not be required to pay extra compensation for the service animal but is liable for any damage done to the premises by the service animal.

    (3) A person who is training a service animal is entitled to the same rights and assumes the same responsibilities granted to a person with a disability in this section.

    (4) For the purposes of this section, a service animal in training that is a dog shall wear a leash, collar, cape, harness, or backpack that identifies in writing that the dog is a service animal in training. Other service animals in training must also be identifiable by written identification as a service animal in training. The written identification for service animals in training must be visible and legible from a distance of at least 20 feet.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 181, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 266, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1306; amd. Sec. 23, Ch. 177, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 176, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 394, L. 1997.

NOTES, REFERENCES, AND ANNOTATIONS

Compiler's Comments

    1997 Amendment: Chapter 394 in (1) and (2), in five places, substituted "service animal" for "guide or hearing dog"; in (1) and (2), at beginning, substituted "A person with a disability" for "Every totally or partially blind or deaf person"; in (1), near middle of first sentence, substituted "or a service animal in training with identification complying with subsection (4)" for "especially trained for the purpose" and near end of second sentence substituted "property" for "premises or facility" and at end substituted "animal" for "dog"; inserted (3) concerning rights and responsibilities of person training service animal; inserted (4) requiring service animal in training to wear written identification; and made minor changes in style.

    1981 Amendment: Inserted "or deaf" after "blind" near the beginning of (1) and (2); inserted "or hearing" between "guide" and "dog" throughout.

 

49-4-215. Penalty for violating rights

    Any person, firm, or corporation or the agent of any person, firm, or corporation who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in 49-4-211 or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind, deaf, or otherwise disabled person under 49-4-211 is guilty of a misdemeanor.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 266, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1309; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 176, L. 1981.

 

49-4-216. Duty and civil liability of pedestrian or driver approaching blind person

    (1) A pedestrian who is not totally or partially blind or a driver of a vehicle who approaches or comes in contact with a person who is totally or partially blind and is carrying a cane or walking stick predominately white or metallic in color or white tipped with red or is being led by a trained guide dog wearing a harness and walking on either side of or slightly in front of such blind person shall immediately come to a full stop and take such precautions before proceeding as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to such blind person.

    (2) A driver or pedestrian who fails to take such precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused the totally or partially blind person. A totally or partially blind pedestrian who is not carrying such a cane or using a guide dog in any of the places listed in 49-4-211 has all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons, and the failure of such a pedestrian to carry such a cane or to use a guide dog in any such place may not be held to constitute or be evidence of contributory negligence.

History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 181, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 266, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1307; amd. Sec. 24, Ch. 177, L. 1979.

 

49-4-217. Penalty for violation of duty or unauthorized use of cane

    Any person other than a person wholly or partially blind who shall carry a cane or walking stick such as is described in this part, contrary to the provisions of this part, or who shall fail to heed the approach of a person carrying such a cane as is described by this part or who shall fail to come to a full stop when approaching or coming in contact with a person so carrying such a cane or walking stick or being led by a trained guide dog or who shall fail to take precaution against accidents or injury to such person after coming to a stop, as provided for herein, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $25.

History: En. Sec. 6, Ch. 181, L. 1971; R.C.M. 1947, 71-1308.

 

TITLE 61. MOTOR VEHICLES. CHAPTER 8. TRAFFIC REGULATION. PART 5. PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC.

61-8-516. Operator of vehicle to yield to blind pedestrian

    On a way of the state open to the public, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a blind pedestrian who is carrying a visible white cane or who is accompanied by a guide dog.

History: En. Sec. 9, Ch. 374, L. 2003.

 

 



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