News and Press Releases

U.S. Attorney’s Office Obtains Settlement with Motel for Discriminating Against Service Dog Owner

January 31, 2012

COEUR D’ALENE - U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that her office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit has completed its investigation and settled a case in which a Coeur d’Alene motel discriminated against a disabled patron by charging her an extra fee for having a service dog. The extra fee was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, known as the ADA. Budget Saver Motel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has refunded the extra fee to the patron and issued a written apology. In addition, Budget Saver has posted a service dog policy that complies with the ADA and has conducted employee training regarding its service dog policy. Budget Saver also paid the patron $500 for her distress.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act provides equal access to public accommodations for people with disabilities,” said Olson. “I applaud Assistant United States Attorney Amy Howe and the Budget Saver Motel for acting quickly and cooperatively when the violation in this case was identified. Businesses that serve the public must understand their obligations under the ADA.”

Under the ADA, state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must, with few exceptions, allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. Short stay motels are included in these businesses. To learn more about the ADA and the Department of Justice’s enforcement efforts, go to