LARGO, FL. – A dispute between a non-profit condominium association, a property owner, and a back-peddling osteopathic physician has led to a lawsuit over the ownership of a dog in a 55-plus community.
Lakeview of Largo South Condominium Association, Inc. has filed suit against Vince Lindberg, 58, and spouse Lina Lindbergh, 48, residing at 11945 143rd Street within the Lakeview of Largo adult community.
According to Sunbiz.org, Vince Lindbergh was a board member of the association as recently as April 2021.
The association’s rules and regulations indicate that pets are not allowed to reside on the property with the exception of goldfish, tropical fish, canaries, parakeets, and similar pets. All guests, renters, and loaners are expected to be informed by residents that no other pets are ever allowed in an effort to prevent a disturbance for other residents.
Despite Vince Lindberg’s affiliation with the condominium association, he and Lina own a dog on their property. On May 19, 2021, the association demanded the Lindbergs remove the animal from the property within ten days.
On or about May 27, Lina Lindberg submitted a medical exemption for owning the dog. Dr. Alison Jane Howard, an osteopathic physician practicing at Anona Medical Center in Largo, wrote to the condominium association that the dog was medically necessary for Lina as she needed its emotional support.
But the condominium association requested Dr. Howard make a statement about Lina’s health and its qualifications that made her possession of a dog compliant with Florida Statute, Section 760.27.
The statute indicates that discrimination is prohibited “in housing provided to persons with a disability or disability-related need for an emotional support animal.”
The lawsuit states, however, no federal, state or local government agency determined Lina to be disabled, and neither was there proof she received any disability benefits. There was also no proof of eligibility for housing assistance or a housing voucher due to a disability.
Further, the suit claims that Anona Medical Center back-peddled and “provided correspondence to specifically state that the Defendant is not considered disabled by the Federal and Florida Fair Housing laws.”
Dr. Howard also indicated she recommended Lina to see a psychologist. Immediately after this communication dated June 2 according to the legal complaint’s exhibits, the association demanded the Lindbergs remove the animal from their property within 14 days.
The Lindbergs refused to remove the dog. The association reacted on July 19, offering pre-suit mediation with the Lindbergs, as required by law. But the Lindbergs allegedly did not respond.
The lawsuit was filed August 10 in the Pinellas County courts. Stephan C. Nikoloff, a Dunedin attorney, serves the Plaintiff in this case. Attempts were made to contact him to no avail.
The Lindbergs, the Association and Dr. Howard also could not be reached.
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