The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and a circuit court judge have ruled Christine Emmick, as a disabled person, is entitled to keep her dog in a "no pets" apartment because Max helps her deal with depression.
The apartment complex "refused to reasonably accommodate her mental disability by allowing her to keep a dog," the civil rights commission ruled -- a violation of the state's Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act.
In addition to being allowed to keep Max in her apartment, the commission awarded Emmick $107,749 in damages and attorney fees.
"The dog, as far as the cooperative is concerned, is nothing more than a pet," said the apartment complex's attorney Patrick Rode. He said the ruling "opens the door to anybody who wants to bring a cat or dog into a restaurant" in Michigan, since restaurant owners are subject to the same disability laws as apartment building operators.