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Thread: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

  1. #21
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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    but one she agreed to, just like posting in ME here. the rules are dumb but you agree to follow them when posting. she agreed to not place such objects on her property without board approval

    and hopefully, that is how the board will see it when she makes that request of it
    Sure, but the board could be cool and realize that being that harsh will not yield any positive result.
    Simply warning her for the first incidence and then allowing it, would be the way to go.
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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal N. Bloeme View Post
    Here we go again. Take it all the way to the USSC. This crap has to be stood up against in the USA. Sick.

    Connecticut Condo Owner Told To Remove Jewish Religious Ornament Or Face Fines | Fox News

    With anal retentive home owner associations telling people they can't American flags, have to mow their lawns at a certain time, can't have certain types of Christmas decorations in their yard why would anyone in their right mind buy a home with a home owners association attached to it?
    Last edited by jamesrage; 03-30-12 at 10:54 PM.
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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    If the board says "no", I'd keep it up and call their bluff.

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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    but one she agreed to...

    Of course the fallacy in your argument is that it assumes contracts are contracts -> that signing it ==that's it, and provisions can't be challenged, or outright illegal in whole or part, which common sense, IMO, dictates is not always the case.
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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelsonic View Post
    Of course the fallacy in your argument is that it assumes contracts are contracts -> that signing it ==that's it, and provisions can't be challenged, or outright illegal in whole or part, which common sense, IMO, dictates is not always the case.
    here is a hint: contracts ARE contracts
    nothing has been indicated that the resident signed hers under duress
    which allows me to conclude that by her execution, she knowingly agreed to the terms of the contract
    terms she now opposes
    she has the opportunity to seek board approval to authorize her exception - especially recognizing one has been authorized for the exhibition of Christian decorations
    then, if her request of the board is rejected, she will have the opportunity to seek relief in the courts
    no one is denying that. but she will be expected to have exhausted her administrative remedies before seeking the court's indulgence
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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Easy solution.. move.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Some recent legal precedent
    Looks like a very close call.
    No USSC, but US Court of Appeals (2009), which looks like highest it's gone, reversed decisions declaring ban legal.
    And some State laws now ensure it can be used.
    But still seems unclear as a Federal law allowing this particular piece wasn't passed.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezuzah

    Legal battles in the U.S.

    The widely-popular Jewish practice of affixing a mezuzah to the entranceway of a residential unit[7] has been rarely challenged in the United States or Canada,[8] and there was until recently no case law precedent on the subject.

    In Chicago in 2001, the condominium association at the 378-unit Shoreline Towers adopted a rule banning “mats, boots, shoes, carts or objects of any sort… outside unit entrance doors”,[9] which by board vote in 2004 was interpreted to be absolute.[10] Relying on the Association rule, during 2004 Shoreline Towers management removed the hallway mezuzot of condominium tenants, resulting in letters from Jewish groups which unsuccessfully protested the rule. Complaints by Shoreline Towers tenants were subsequently filed with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Illinois Attorney General, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, alleging housing discrimination on the basis of religion[11] and seeking damages. Meanwhile, a newspaper report indicated that Shoreline Towers was not the sole condominium association in Chicago with such a restriction, although one of them soon agreed to modify its rule.[12]

    On reading a news report of the mezuzah dispute at Shoreline Towers, Chicago alderman Burton Natarus, like other Jewish observers of the development,[13] was upset by the ban. He sat down and drafted an amendment to the city’s Municipal Code which made it illegal for a renter or owner of an apartment, house, or condo to be prohibited from "placing or affixing a religious sign, symbol or relic on the door, door post or entrance."[14] Although there was opposition to such a move,[15] it became law in Chicago that December.[16] The first such legislation in North America, it included a maximum $500 fine for its violation. In 2006, a more narrowly-focused amendment to the state’s Condominium Property Act was initiated by Illinois Senator Ira Silverstein, the first such state law.[17]

    Notwithstanding this legislation, court action continued concerning separate complaints against Shoreline Towers for its rule affecting mezuzot. In 2006, a federal court judge determined that the condominium association’s rule did not violate the Federal Fair Housing Act;[18] the district court upheld the opinion on appeal in 2008;[19] in 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago reversed the 2008 decision,[20] and the case proceeded. Meanwhile during the dispute, records of the Chicago Jewish Star (which had been reporting on the case) were unsuccessfully subpoenaed,[21] and for the first time Illinois’ anti-SLAPP legislation was applied.[22] In 2011, a confidential settlement to the Shoreline Towers disputes was finally achieved.[23]

    Controversies similar to the one in Chicago also occurred during this time in Florida and Texas. In 2006, a woman in a 16-story condo building in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was instructed to remove the mezuzah from her hallway unit and threatened with a fine. After a lengthy legal battle, the condo association was found guilty of discrimination. In 2008, House Bill 995, an amendment to the Florida Condominium Act modeled on the Illinois state legislation, became law.[24]

    In Texas in 2007, a couple living in the Madison Park area of Houston was instructed to “remove the item attached to your door frame” to avoid violating association rules.[25] A legal battle ensued, during which a U.S. District Court judge ruled in 2008 on behalf of the condo association. Subsequently the couple turned to Texas House of Representatives member Garnet F. Coleman. His bill introduced in 2009 was not adopted, but in June 2011 a slightly revised version (HB1278) was signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry.[26]

    A federal law to prevent mezuzah bans nationwide was proposed in 2008 by U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (H.R. 6932). It never became law.[27]
    Last edited by mbig; 03-31-12 at 09:30 AM.
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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    "The declaration expressly prohibits unit owners from hanging or displaying anything on the outside windows or outside walls of any building, and also prohibits any sign from being affixed to or placed upon the exterior walls … without prior consent of the association's board of directors," attorney Kurt Ahlberg, said in a March 21 response.
    I've never heard of a mezuzah until now, and the wiki article doesn't say. But does it have to be on the outside of the doorframe?
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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Its the fact its on the doorframe. If I were handling the legal obligations of the condominium, I would strongly suggest an exception and a possible slight change to the legal wording on decorations to allow her to keep something that is obviously important to her.

    Bad PR is something you dont need or want as a property owner. This such a small thing that its silly to have national attention drawn to it and trash the rep of the condo ownership as tyrants. Let her keep it, sign a new contract for her and anyone else wants one that is more accomodating to religious decoration, 3 or 4 ways to solve the problem with the heavy handed tactics.

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    Re: Connecticut condo owner told to remove Jewish religious ornament or face fines

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    but one she agreed to, just like posting in ME here. the rules are dumb but you agree to follow them when posting. she agreed to not place such objects on her property without board approval

    and hopefully, that is how the board will see it when she makes that request of it

    Reading your posts reminds me why we have fair housing laws in the first place. Else you could write codes as was done in many communities to blatantly keep out Jews and blacks. Now it is not so easy, but people like you can keep trying.

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