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Representative Matters

2017 AGUDATH ISRAEL OF AMERICA V. JACKSON TOWNSHIP, N.J. AL MADANY ISLAMIC CENTER OF NORWALK, INC. V. CITY OF NORWALK, CONN. ALBANIAN ASSOCIATED FUND V. TOWNSHIP OF WAYNE, N.J. AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE V. PRISON FELLOWSHIP MINISTRIES BAIS BRUCHA V. TOWNSHIP OF TOMS RIVER BENSALEM MASJID V. BENSALEM TOWNSHIP, PA BERKOWITZ V. EAST RAMAPO CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, N.Y. BETHEL WORLD OUTREACH MINISTRIES V. MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD. BIKUR CHOLIM, INC. V. VILLAGE OF SUFFERN, N.Y. BUDDHIST EDUCATION CENTER OF AMERICA, INC., V. CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. CHABAD JEWISH CENTER OF TOMS RIVER V. TOWNSHIP OF TOMS RIVER, N.J. CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CHAPEL WESLEYAN CHURCH V. TOWNSHIP OF HILLSBOROUGH CONAWAY V. DEANE CONGREGATION ARIEL RUSSIAN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE V. BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD. CONGREGATION HEICHEL DOVID CONGREGATION KOLLEL, INC. V. TOWNSHIP OF HOWELL, N.J. CONGREGATION MISCHKNOIS LAVIER YAKOV V. BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE VILLAGE OF AIRMONT, N.Y. CONGREGATION RABBINICAL COLLEGE OF TARTIKOV V. VILLAGE OF POMONA, N.Y. COPTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH ARCHDIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA V. ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF TOWNSHIP OF CEDAR GROVE, N.J. DAYALBAGH RADHASOAMI SATSANG ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA V. TOWNSHIP OF OLD BRIDGE, N.J. EAGLE COVE CAMP & CONFERENCE CENTER V. TOWN OF WOODBORO, WISC. FAITH TEMPLE CHURCH V. TOWN OF BRIGHTON, N.Y. FIRST PENTECOSTAL UNITED HOLY CHURCH V. CITY OF CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA FISHERMEN OF MEN CHURCH, APPLICATION OF, D.C. GREAT LAKES SOCIETY V. GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, MICH. GREENWICH REFORM SYNAGOGUE V. TOWN OF GREENWICH, CONN. GURU GOBIND SINGH SIKH CENTER V. TOWN OF OYSTER BAY, N.Y. HARBOR MISSIONARY CHURCH V. CITY OF SAN BUENAVENTURA, CAL. HINDU TEMPLE AND CULTURAL SOCIETY OF USA V. BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, N.J. HUNT VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH V. BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD. HUNT VALLEY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH V. BALTIMORE COUNTY JESUS CHRIST IS THE ANSWER MINISTRIES V. BALTIMORE COUNTY KELLEY, THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, AND THE GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION V. GARUDA MOXLEY V. TOWN OF WALKERSVILLE, MD. NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR AMISH RELIGIOUS FREEDOM NAVAJO NATION V. UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE NEW BEGINNINGS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP V. TOWNSHIP OF BRICK PARAMESWARAN V. MYSOREKAR RIVERDALE BAPTIST CHURCH V. ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD. ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTIAN CHURCH V. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF BOULDER COUNTY SAHANSRA V. WESTCHESTER COUNTY HEALTH CARE CORPORATION SPIRIT OF ALOHA TEMPLE V. COUNTY OF MAUI ST. JOHN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST V. INDIANAPOLIS HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION, IND. ST. JOHN´S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST V. CITY OF CHICAGO THAI MEDITATION ASSOCIATION OF ALABAMA V. CITY OF MOBILE PLANNING COMMISSION THIRD CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HISTORIC PRESERVATION REVIEW BOARD TROTMAN V. BEN GILMAN SPRING VALLEY MEDICAL AND DENTAL CLINIC VALLEY CHABAD V. BOROUGH OF WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. YESHIVA GEDOLA NA'OS YAAKOV V. OCEAN TWP., N.J.

Bikur Cholim, Inc. v. Village of Suffern, N.Y.

06/24/2010: S&G media release on Bikur Cholim Shabbos House settlement.

Read the United States Department of Justice’s Religious Freedom in Focus, highlighting Bikur Cholim’s case.

06/18/2010: S&G client Bikur Cholim Shabbos House and United States Department of Justice sign Consent Decrees with Village of Suffern, New York to permit operation of an existing one-family residence for free overnight lodging

Bikur Cholim v. Village of Suffern, Civ. No. 05-10759.

United States v. Village of Suffern, Civ. No. 06-7713.

06/18/2010: S&G client Bikur Cholim Shabbos House settles with Village of Suffern

A New York City suburb has settled a civil rights lawsuit and will allow Orthodox Jews to gather at a house near a hospital so they can visit patients on the Sabbath without breaking their religious laws.

The village of Suffern had denied a variance from single-family zoning. Under the settlement, as many as 14 people can stay overnight at the home, known as a "Shabbos House."

The Orthodox, who typically don't drive, use electricity, exchange money or carry objects on the Sabbath, can drive to the residence on a Friday, before the Sabbath begins at sundown. They can walk to Good Samaritan Hospital during the Sabbath and drive home after it ends. Discharged patients can also stay there.

Jim Fitzgerald, suburb settles suit over Jews’ "Shabbos House," Associated Press (June 17, 2010)

“Suburban NY village will allow Orthodox Jews to gather at house near hospital on Sabbath,” Fox News (June 17, 2010)

Khurram Saeed, “Suffern settles Shabbos house lawsuits with operators and feds,” Journal-News (June 18, 2010)

“Rockland County Village Agrees To Permit ‘Shabbos House’ To Resolve U.S. Civil Rights Lawsuit,” Vos Iz Neias (June 17, 2010)

“Orthodox Union praises settlement of Bikur Cholim lawsuit,”Orthodox Union (June 18, 2010)

“Media Release,” U.S. Attorney’s Office (June 17, 2010)

Editorial, “Making room for Shabbos house,"Journal-News (June 21, 2010)

06/24/2009: Judge refuses to dismiss Shabbos House case

The federal court for the Southern District of New York held that

It has the power and authority, if appropriate, to enjoin defendant from enforcing its Zoning Law and requiring it to revise the Zoning Law to comply with RLUIPA and relevant constitutional provisions...

See the attached opinion. S&G’s Media Release here.

James Walsh, "Suffern Shabbos House dispute may need a trial to get answers,” Journal News (July 3, 2009).

A trial appears likely in the four-year dispute between the village and the operators of a house used by observant Jews visiting patients at Good Samaritan Hospital.... Savad and Roman Storzer, a Manhattan attorney also representing Bikur Cholim, cited the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, or RLUIPA, as their protection against discrimination. Storzer also represents five other individuals suing Suffern, citing RLUIPA in opposing the village. They claimed their practice of religion was burdened by having to choose between observing the sabbath and holidays or visiting the sick at the hospital.

“Court Refuses to Dismiss RLUIPA Challenge to Shabbos House,” Religion Clause (June 30, 2009).

03/07/2009: United States Department of Justice’s “Religious Freedom in Focus” highlights the Bikur Cholim Shabbos House decision

On June 25, a federal court in New York ruled that the [lawsuit] under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) should proceed to trial against a village that barred a Jewish group from operating a “Shabbos House” next to a hospital. . . . The court rejected the Village’s argument that facilitating visiting the sick on the Sabbath was not “religious exercise” for purposes of triggering the protections of RLUIPA. The court held that “religious exercise” under RLUIPA is intended “to be defined broadly,” and “covers most activity that is tied to a religious group’s mission.” Thus, the court held, Bikur Cholim’s facilitation of Sabbath observance for Jews visiting the hospital or being discharged from the hospital constitutes religious exercise under the statute.

Shabbos House’ Suit May Proceed, Court Rules, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division’s Religious Freedom Focus (Vol. 39). Storzer & Greene represents the Shabbos House and is litigating the case against the Village of Suffern together with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.

 

09/26/2006: United States Department of Justice sides with Bikur Cholim, sues Village of Suffern

On September 26, 2006, the federal government filed a lawsuit against the Village of Suffern for violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The Complaint states:

Suffern's denial of the variance application substantially burdens the religious exercise of Orthodox Jews who need to visit the sick in Suffern while observing religious proscriptions against driving on the Sabbath and other Holy Days.

In its Complaint, the Department of Justice requests the court to declare that the denial of Storzer & Greene client Bikur Cholim's variance application violates RLUIPA, and prevent the Village from substantially burdening Bikur Cholim's religious exercise.

Mr. Storzer will be appearing in federal court on October 4 to seek a preliminary injunction permitting Bikur Cholim to continue operating.

Suffern Is Sued for Religious Discrimination After Village Rejects an Orthodox Lodging, New York Times (Sept. 27, 2006)

U.S. Sues to Allow N.Y. Sabbath House, New York Times (Sept. 26, 2006).
Also in Forbes, Fox News, Jerusalem Post, New York Sun, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, others.

Suffern accused of discriminating against Jewish group 'on basis of religion, The Journal News (Sept. 27, 2006).

Suffern sued over Sabbath house, Times Herald-Record (Sept. 27, 2006).

U.S. sues Rockland village for denying variance to Orthodox group, Newsday (Sept. 26, 2006).

07/05/2006: Numerous Orthodox Jewish organizations support Bikur Cholim in federal court

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