Notified on 4/25/19 that the emotional service animal request was denied but no further details could be provided. We were told to call a number to find out more. We called the provided number on 4/25 and they had no idea what I was talking about and had no idea about details on ESAs and approvals. I emailed Carlos the leasing agent back on 4/26 explaining the situation. On 4/26 Carlos responded back a different phone number and said to call and talk to "Legal". I called the number, was transferred to legal and spoke with Sam who told me that the reason for denial was that the letter was more than 1 year old, did not have an NPI number, and was from an out of state doctor. I responded that the law was very clear and that there is no rules about it having to be from an instate doctor.Sam replied that "actually, the law is pretty vague" and that this was their policy. I said that I wanted to be clear and make sure there was no random rules on who their company would choose to deem as a legitimate doctor. He replied that no, any doctor would work. I complied with his request, sending Carlos a new ESA letter with an NPI provided for an instate doctor. He emailed me back stating that he had forwarded the request to legal.
On 5/10 I received another email from Carlos, once again saying the ESA had been rejected. Sam from legal was called on 5/15/19 at 8:57 am, no answer, 10:35 am, no answer. 12pm, no answer. Called on 5/15/19 at 10:06am, left VM, 11:16am no answer, 12:27 spoke to Maggie who confirmed that Sam is working today but away from his desk. She did not know a good time to call back but transferred me to his line, no answer. At 12:47 I received a call from Sam in legal. With regards to my letter, he said everything appeared to be in order but that he had to confirm with his boss. He said someone (himself or carlos) would be reaching out to confirm. We then received a letter in the mail saying our apartment had been given away. We called Carlos to find out what happened. He alleged that the doctor who had written the ESA was not "the right kind" of doctor.
I would gladly have filed a complaint with DCR however the thought of going through legal proceedings would have compromised my already delicate state of health and I opted not to file. I have read the law very thoroughly and have also seen several department of civil rights lawsuits (some of which involved this management company) in which the judge had already concluded that none of these reasons (NPI not listed, age over 1 year, out of state medical doctor, non MD doctor) are legitimate for the denial of a service animal. The only valid reason for denial is is the management company claims undue hardship. Sam did not (as the voice recordings of our conversion prove). One would think that since this exact situation had gone to court several years before and that the management company had only just gotten off probation with DCR that they would be intimately aware of the legal situation with disability services.
Here are other NJ legal case numbers to refer to:
DCR DOCKET NO. HM25MB- 66066
Supreme court of NJ Appellate division: DOCKET NO. A-2344-10T2