TOMS RIVER, N.J. — Three homeowners have sued their New Jersey condominium association, which restricts coed swimming because most of the residents are Orthodox Jews.
Residents Steve and Diana Lusardi and Marie Curto, who are non-Orthodox Jews, sued A Country Place in Lakewood seeking to quash the policy and $50 fines levied against them for breaking the rules, The Asbury Park Press reports (http://on.app.com/2dgoQbn ).
Their lawsuit says the policy violates anti-discrimination provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
The condominium association’s attorney declined comment.
The condominium complex serve people 55 or older. Swimming is restricted by gender at certain times in observance of Jewish law that prohibits men and women from bathing together. Otherwise, coed swimming is allowed from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday through Friday and there is open swimming on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
Steve Lusardi was fined after he remained in the pool beyond the designated hours; Curto was fined on a different day when she refused to leave the pool area during men-only swim time, the newspaper reported.
The association’s board of directors said in a letter to Lusardi that the community is a private association and the board is within its rights to serve the majority.
“You are inconsiderate of the majority and wish for minority rule,” the letter said.
The board sent a similar letter to Curto.
A hearing was set for Nov. 4 in Toms River.
Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com