Monday, November 28, 2011
Kiryas Joel, NY - Judge Dismisses Suit That Sought to Dissolve Village
Kiryas Joel, NY - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Kiryas Joel dissidents accusing community leaders of discrimination and arguing that the village is an unconstitutional “theocracy” that should be dissolved.
Civil-rights attorney Michael Sussman brought the case this year on behalf of residents who claim that secular and religious authority are closely entwined in Kiryas Joel and that village officials discriminate against them because of a split in the Satmar Hasidic movement over leadership.
In a decision signed Monday, Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the patchwork of claims, concluding that some had already been addressed in previous cases and that others were lacking because the alleged victims weren’t parties to the case.
Among other things, the plaintiffs had accused the village’s public safety force of acting as enforcers for the community’s main congregation and failing to protect dissidents when they were menaced by young supporters of Grand Rebbe Aaron Teitelbaum.