Agudath Israel of America v. Jackson Township, N.J.
12/14/2017: United States Department of Justice and N.J. Attorney General's office investigate Township after it adopts laws targeting S&A clients
The U.S. Justice Department and the New Jersey State Attorney General's Office are investigating whether the township has discriminated against Orthodox Jews in land-use issues, . . . .
S&A currently represents several clients challenging recent actions taken by the Township and its zoning board. See A. Bogues, "Jackson: Justice Department, NJ probe anti-Semitic discrimination claims," APP.com (Dec. 14, 2017)
12/12/2017: N.J. Township permits S&A clients to build eruv
JACKSON - Orthodox Jews will be allowed to construct an eruv on public utility poles, under terms of an "interim settlement" with an advocacy group that puts a religious discrimination lawsuit against the township on hold as the two sides enter mediation. The Township Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at town hall on West Veterans Highway and is scheduled to approve a "interim settlement"resolution that would reverse a 2-month-old decision to effectively ban construction of eruvin, called for in a lawsuit filed by Agudath Israel, an Orthodox Jewish advocacy group that accused the township of anti-Semitism.
M. Davis, "Jackson eruv can be built, Orthodox Jews still hope for school," APP.com (Dec. 12, 2017)
11/02/2017: S&A clients amend lawsuit against Jackson Township, N.J. to include challenge to eruv ban
First it was dormitories. Now it’s eruvin, according to an amended lawsuit filed by a New York-based Orthodox Jewish advocacy group and New Jersey-based school-building company against Jackson Township.
Agudath’s amended lawsuit contends these ordinances are “the latest action taken by the township in a long campaign to erect a wall on its border with Lakewood Township, where many Orthodox Jews live, in order to discourage them from moving into Jackson.” The ordinances discriminate against the Orthodox Jewish community based on their religious practices, it said.
J. Peacock, "Groups’ Amended Jackson Lawsuit Now Includes Eruvin," Jersey Shore Online (Nov. 2, 2017)
“We made serious efforts to communicate with the Township Council and even after bringing 300 people to the last township meeting to show how important this is to us, they continue to ignore our respectful ask,” Avi Schnall, director of Agudath's New Jersey office, said in a statement. “At this point, we reluctantly concluded that our only recourse would be in a court of law.”
S. Barchenger, "Jackson eruv ban motivated by anti-Semitism, lawsuit says," APP.com (Oct. 31, 2017)
05/30/2017: Agudath Israel of America, represented by S&A, challenges Jackson Township, N.J.'s dormitory and school ordinances
Agudath Israel of America, which advocates for the interests of Orthodox Jewry, is asking a federal court to rule that ordinances enacted by the Jackson Township Council which ban the construction of dormitories in the municipality is unconstitutional and illegal under the U.S. Constitution. A lawsuit filed by attorney Sieglinde Rath, of the firm Storzer and Associates, Washington, D.C., in U.S. District Court, seeks to have the ordinances annulled and to have Jackson officials permanently enjoined from applying them.
The lawsuit asserts that “the purpose of the ordinance was to target the Orthodox Jewish community, to prevent that community from being able to have the necessary educational institutions to teach their youth and to discourage that community from residing in Jackson.” The document asserts that “the ordinances are the latest action taken by the township in a long campaign to erect a wall on its border with Lakewood, where many Orthodox Jews live, in order to discourage them from moving into Jackson."
M. Rosman, "Jackson dormitory ban draws lawsuit from advocacy group," CentralJersey.com (May 30, 2017)
“This is not as if we’re jumping at an opportunity to sue the township. But we’re not going to have our rights stripped from us,” Schnall said at the time.
Both the applause and Lakewood-centric statements — usually in reference to overdevelopment and traffic — were noted by an Asbury Park Press reporter on the scene. The accuracy of those reports was denied in the township’s response.
M. Davis, "Jackson Dorm Ban," APP.com (June 16, 2017)