, Salem, MA

Local News

June 23, 2014

Housing dispute over exception for dogs heads to court

SALEM — A months-long dispute between a tenant and the Salem Housing Authority has landed in federal court.

The issue: Jorge Maisonet, 39, wants to keep two dogs, Fuji the Shih Tzu and Candy the miniature fox terrier, in his apartment at the James A. Dalton Residence on Bridge Street.

But the housing authority allows elderly and disabled residents who live in their buildings just one small dog.

Maisonet is facing eviction over the issue at the end of the month .

When he moved into the building last summer, after three years on a waiting list, Maisonet brought both Fuji and Candy with him. Before that, he was homeless, according to his complaint.

Maisonet said in his complaint that he suffers from chronic depression and he needs both dogs for emotional support. He submitted a note from his social worker stating as much. Maisonet wants an exception made so he can keep two dogs.

But the housing authority said it needs more evidence that he requires two dogs, not just one, and asked him to fill out a “reasonable accommodation” request.

Maisonet has refused, saying that the form requests detailed information about his illness that he does not want to share with the agency.

Last week, after months of back and forth between the housing authority, its lawyer, and Maisonet’s attorney, Maisonet filed suit in U.S. District Court, seeking not only to stop the eviction but to collect monetary damages. The suit accuses the agency of violating federal and state housing laws and consumer protection laws and also contends that the eviction is in retaliation for his complaints.

Brad Singer, Maisonet’s attorney, did not return a call seeking comment Friday, but his case is detailed in both the lawsuit and in correspondence between the parties that was filed with the court.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson Today in History August 21 Holder Pledges Top Investigators for Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List
Comments Tracker