California dog restaurant legal

Dogs to be given restaurant dining rights

August 25, 2014

A bill that was made necessary by some particularly idle anti-dog diners has been signed in by Governor Jerry Brown.

For years, pet owners would bring their K9 companions along with the family to eat out, but somewhat recently there was a crackdown on the practice after some unappreciative diners made a fuss, and located law that forbid it.

The new law will take effect January 1, 2015 and gives restaurant owners the right to ban patrons from bringing their pets.

Essentially, this law acts as a shield for the owners of restaurants from being sued if they allow dogs on their patios. That is, if they fulfill “basic health standards and local ordinances are followed” says the offices of Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada whom designed the bill.

These health standards include rules such as the dog remaining in an outdoor dining area, be on a leash, behaved and away from an food preparation areas.

Of course enforcement of some of these guidelines are subjective and left up to the discretion of the management. Additionally, local jurisdictions have the right to over-rule these laws and set their own guidelines or ban the practice all together.

On the one hand it’s refreshing to see a no non-sense law such as this be enacted statewide – not removing the rights of the restaurant owner or local governments, but otherwise setting a clear precedence for a somewhat common occurrence.

On the other hand, it’s unfortunate that we needed this legislation. As mentioned earlier the pot was stirred when disgruntled diners were unhappy with the presence of dogs at some particular restaurant(s).

One could imagine that in a perfect world, if diners were not enthusiastic about sharing patio space at their favorite restaurant with dogs, they’d simply move across the patio, indoors or worst case stop frequenting that particular establishment.

I take solace in that in the end, the complaints of this group led to their own preferential demise. Ironically their intolerance and unwillingness to accommodate for others led to the legislation that will force them to deal with the problem with even greater and legitimate frequency.

John Rosenbaum is an Orange County attorney whose 99.8% success rate in areas including Workers Compensation and Personal Injury have afforded him a reputation as one of the best practicing attorneys in Southern California.

CategoryLegal News, Politics
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