Michigan State University

Michigan Senate Sympathetic to Service Dogs in Courts

Jon Harrison

Senate Supports Support Dogs In Court
Support dogs will be allowed in court to calm certain witnesses, under legislation the Senate passed unanimously today. HB 5645, sponsored by Rep. Tom Barrett (R-Potterville), would require courts to allow the K-9 companions to accompany the witnesses as long as there is a handler to sit with, or be in close proximity to, them during his or her testimony.

Such witnesses would be required to provide notice of intent to use a courtroom support dog as long as the notice required only that the person or dog were to be used during trial.

A recent Appeals court split decision confirmed that under Michigan' s current laws adult crime victims cannot be accompanied by a support animal when testifying in court 

Source : "Senate Supports Support Dogs In Court", MIRS Capitol Capsule, June 12, 2018.

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