MEMBER ALERT 6/14/2024

Urgent Notice on Service Animal Lawsuits Targeting Hotels

Dear Members,

We are alerting you to a rise in service animal lawsuits targeting hotels. Our legal counsel has identified multiple cases involving a plaintiff named Paul Spector, who is exploiting regulations surrounding service animals to file frivolous lawsuits against hotels.

What We Have Learned

  • Spector visits hotels with his alleged service dog “KoKo” asking if they have a room for the night and the cost for him and his service animal. He records the interaction and subsequently files a lawsuit through the law firm Rein & Clefton. In one instance, Spector was in the hotel for only two minutes before initiating legal action. The dog has been seeing wearing a red harness and Spector was seen driving a maroon Toyota FJ Cruiser with license plate AU670 DP. Please see below photos for reference.
If identified, CHLA recommends strongly against immediately denying accommodation or treating Spector differently from other guests. Instead, take time now to ensure staff are trained on the proper protocol for service animal interactions and act in accordance with this training. For additional protection, you may choose to document the training and relevant guest interactions. In the event your property is sued, contact CHLA immediately to access specialized counsel via our ADA Protection Program.

Proper Protocol for Service Animals

To protect your hotel from similar lawsuits, ensure your staff follows these guidelines when dealing with service animals:

  • Permissible Questions:
    • Is your dog a service animal to assist with a disability?
    • What task has the dog been trained to perform?
  • Prohibited Actions:
    • Do not ask for proof, such as certificates or licenses.
      PLEASE NOTE: There are no certificates or licenses required in California
    • Do not inquire about the owner’s disability due to privacy laws.
  • Remember:
    • Service animals must be allowed access to any guest room available.
    • “Emotional support animals” or companion/comfort dogs are not “service animals” protected by the ADA.
    • Lawsuits can easily be avoided if hotel staff adhere to the correct procedures.


If you have any additional questions about how to implement these best practices, please contact us for additional assistance.

The CHLA Team