Law & Justice

Judge: Jersey Animal Coalition Can Reopen Shelter, Begin Adoptions

July 7, 2014 at 11:28 AM

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ (UPDATED) – A Superior Court judge lifted the quarantine against the animal shelter operated by the Jersey Animal Coalition and will allow the shelter to adopt animals out after the JAC filed a lawsuit earlier today.

Judge Dennis Carey III also forbid South Orange from taking any action to evict the JAC from the animal shelter on Walton Avenue. The village had served an eviction notice to the JAC effective July 9, citing lease violations.

The JAC and its president filed a lawsuit today (July 7) in state Superior Court in Essex County against the village and several of its employees.

Sign Up for E-News

The suit, filed today (July 7), alleges that the village overstepped its authority in a number of areas while attempting to close the shelter. Defendants include village Administrator Barry Lewis, Deputy Administrator Adam Loehner, health officer John Festa, and former JAC executive board President Robert Barenbach.

“The Jersey Animal Coalition takes great pride in serving the residents of South Orange and Maplewood at no cost,” said Ruth Perlmutter, president of the JAC’s executive board. “The Board, our staff and all our volunteers want nothing more than to continue that service, save the lives of animals and find them loving homes. Due to our dedication to no-kill sheltering, today we are filing suit against South Orange and we thank the public for all the support we have received in this difficult time.”

The plaintiff’s brief, written by attorney William Strazza, cites five causes of action. Two of these allege that South Orange and Barenbach are responsible for many of the issues found at the shelter during the March 12 inspection, which resulted in the ongoing quarantine.

“Defendant, South Orange, beached the terms of the lease in that an ACO (animal control officer) brought a feral cat to the shelter after hours, and then left said cat in the shelter’s general population,” reads the document.  “Upon JAC investigation, it was this cat which caused the outbreak of ringworm at the shelter which then served as basis for the quarantine imposed by defendant in March 2014.”

The brief also argues that Barenbach failed in his duties as board president by firing the facility’s veterinarian and not replacing him, which ultimately led to the use of expired medications and inadequate record keeping.

If there is a positive side to the lawsuit, it is that the deficiencies found during the initial inspection have finally been confirmed by the JAC, according to Lewis.

“At least at this point they do acknowledge that these issues exist, even if they are blaming them on Mr. Barenbach,” Lewis said.

The brief also alleges that South Orange overstepped its authority in dealing with the conflict between the shelter and the village.

According to the lease agreement, the JAC serves both South Orange and Maplewood, and both towns must agree on a course of action before it is implemented. The brief states that South Orange served the JAC an eviction notice without Maplewood’s consent.

“Wherefore, plaintiff, JAC seeks a declaration from this Court that South Orange may not, under said lease, act unilaterally and that JAC is not in breach,” reads the brief.

Finally, the document alleges that South Orange’s municipal code, as it relates to the issues at hand, is unconstitutional because it sets forth standards that cannot be accurately reviewed and grants the local health department more authority than allowed by statute.

“SOMC §172-77 is unconstitutional, in that it is overly broad, vague, and sets no enforceable standard nor one which can be properly reviewed,” according to the brief.  “SOMC §172-77 is unconstitutional, as it affords the local health department more authority than that which is delegated by statute of administrative code.”

Lewis responded to the filing of the lawsuit by saying that the information in Strazza’s brief is incorrect and that the village will continue to take action as needed.

“We’re disappointed that they chose this course of action,” he said. “Their arguments are factually inaccurate, and we’ll respond to them as they develop.”

UPDATED 7/7/14 at 3:55 p.m. This version updates the story to add new information regarding the judge's order to allow the shelter to reopen.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

December 7: Santa and Mrs. Claus in Maplewood

Maplewood received a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus on Saturday, Dec. 3, read more about it here.

There's another chance for a Santa sighting this Saturday, Dec. 10, at Maplewood's Annual Breakfast with Santa at St. James's Gate and Village Trattoria.

Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis, and there is limited seating. Purchase tickets for the St.

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Daytime Home Burglaries Reported

December 7, 2016

November 30 - Burglary; Between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. a home on Warren Rd. was forcibly entered.  Jewelry and electronics were reportedly removed from the home.

December 1 - Burglary Attempt; During the daytime hours, entry was attempted to a home on the 100 block of Parker Ave.

December 1 - Burglary; During the daytime hours a home on Melman Terr. was forcibly ...

South Orange Police Blotter - December 5

Burglary - Theft - A Grove Rd. resident reported that between 9 a.m. on Nov. 27 and 9 a.m. on Nov. 29 actor(s) unknown broke into her garage and stole a black, Cannondale "CAAD 12" bicycle. The Detective Bureau processed the scene and is currently investigating the incident.

Theft of auto - A Georgia resident reported that sometime between 11 p.m. on Friday, ...

Maplewood Police Share Tips for Preventing Thefts from Vehicles

December 4, 2016

The following is from the fall edition of the Maplewood leaflet:

Each year there are thefts from motor vehicles in Maplewood and surrounding towns. The vast majority of these thefts are to unlocked vehicles and are preventable. In the very small percentage of burglaries to vehicles where force is used, it is usually because an item of value is left in plain view.

While investigating many of ...

South Orange Health & Fitness Challenge is Back with SOFit17

From Kate Schmidt, South Orange Recreation Department

The Village of South Orange is once again leading the charge for a healthier year ahead with SOFit17, the 3rd annual South Orange Health and Fitness Challenge. 

The theme of SOFit17 is the “Hundred Day Challenge” beginning January 20 and ending April 29. As in the past 2 years, community residents are invited ...

Maplewood Glee Club to Perform Winter Concert on Saturday, Dec. 3

The following is from the Maplewood Glee Club Facebook page

Featuring local a Cappella sensation SOULFEGE (Millburn High School) and audience favorites The BACKLOGS (MIT alumni quartet).

If you’re looking for a fun way to kick off the holiday season, the Maplewood Glee Club may have just the ticket. The group, currently celebrating its 70th year of singing, will perform its annual ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0f22b4fc6757a5672de7_18770b072e31ebc2054a_040

Thu, December 8, 9:00 AM

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit

Holiday House Tour & Boutique to Benefit ...

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_900e739a81563fea2bf1_judith_krall_russo1

Thu, December 8, 11:00 AM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Winter Holidays Food Lecture with food historian ...

Education Food & Drink

Carousel_image_59206f743631ca5809e9_dr._lisa_miller__ph.d.

Thu, December 8, 7:00 PM

Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, Short Hills

Dr. Lisa Miller to Speak at Congregation B'nai ...

Education Religions And Spirituality

Obituary: Murray H. Ross

November 27, 2016

Murray H. Ross

Born in Glen Cove, NY on Jan. 17, 1926
Departed on Nov. 21, 2016 and resided in Maplewood, NJ

Murray H. Ross, 90 of Maplewood formerly of Carlisle, PA died at Winchester Gardens on Mon, Nov 21, 2016. 

Murray was born in Glen Cove, Long Island. He lived most of his life in Cranford, NJ before moving to Carlisle, PA. He moved to Maplewood 2 ...

Obituary: Jennifer Feinberg, Teacher at South Mountain School

Jennifer Feinberg

September 28, 1969 - November 7, 2016

 

Jennifer Stulberger Feinberg, a life-long resident of Livingston, NJ, died unexpectedly on November 7, 2016 at the age of 47. 

Jennifer, known as Jenn, was born on September 28, 1969 in Boston, MA to Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Audrey Stulberger. Jenn graduated from Livingston High School, Muhlenberg College and Bank Street ...

Search for Next Director of Special Services & Survey

November 28, 2016

The following was sent via email on Nov. 28 to the South Orange Maplewood School District Community 

Dear South Orange & Maplewood School Community,

Dr. Leroy Nunery of Atlantic Research Partners is the consultant selected to lead our search for the new Director of Special Education. The following timeline has been developed to lead us to a recommendation to the ...

What to Look for in a Real Estate Lawyer

Although real estate law doesn't sound as exciting as criminal court cases, having the right real estate lawyer can make or break a deal. You should take the time to find a good one.

What qualities should you look for in a good attorney?

Do you personally know anyone who has used the attorney and has had a good experience? Does the lawyer have mostly positive online reviews? ...

20-Year-Old Man from Orange Arrested for Murder of Sarah Butler

December 7, 2016

NEWARK, NJ - An arrest was made on Tuesday in the murder of Sarah Butler, age 20, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Montclair Police Chief Todd Conforti announced during a press conference in Newark on Wednesday.

Authorities announced that they arrested Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, of Orange, who is suspected of the murder of Butler by ...

Founder of NJ-Based ‘Unchained at Last’ Sees Her Bill to End Child Marriage Move Forward

December 6, 2016

WESTFIELD, NJ — Fraidy Reiss, founder Westfield-based Unchained At Last, just got one step closer to her goal of ending forced child marriages. The bill that she wrote and advocated for that would bar individuals under the age of 18 from marrying or entering a civil union, sponsored by Assemblywomen Nancy F. Munoz (R-Union), recently received approval by the state general assembly.

Reiss ...

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger Talks Local Travel Security at Seton Hall University

December 1, 2016

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger discussed the future of Newark International Airport and local travel security as a guest lecturer at Seton Hall on Tuesday night.

Neffenger spoke about his career as head of the TSA, as well as the success of the administration’s Instagram account @TSA, which has over 500,000 followers. He cited rehabilitating the public ...

Nearly 1.25 Million New Jerseyans Expected to Travel Over Thanksgiving: AAA

NEW JERSEY -- AAA Travel forecasts 48.7 million Americans, including nearly 1.25 million in New Jersey, will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s one million more travelers than last year, representing a 1.9 percent increase over 2015, and the most Thanksgiving holiday travelers since 2007, when 50 million people traveled.

This year’s ...

Lisa Miller to Speak at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Millburn on Dec. 8

December 7, 2016

We are so excited and honored to host Lisa Miller at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, this Thursday, December 8, at 7 p m.  

Dr. Miller is an outstanding speaker who is extremely inspiring. She has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Weekday Today as a leading psychologist and an expert in her field. In her presentation, Lisa Miller’s words are thought provoking and profound ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace & Cafe - December 5 to 11

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Boar’s Head Beef Pastrami $10.99 lb (Deli)
Provolone Piccante  $9.99 lb (Cheese)
Spectrum Essentials Chia Seeds $7.99
Kii Naturals Organic Artisan Crisps  $5.49
Chocolove Chocolate Bar  2/$5.00
Avocado 3/$5.00

See all specials here.

Ashley Marketplace ...

New Curator of the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC

The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is delighted to announce the recent appointment of Jeremy Moss as the curator for the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery, located at One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ. He will be overseeing the strategic direction of the gallery, as well as bringing new exhibits to the South Orange landmark that reflect the mission of the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery - to ...