Ruling on Perth Amboy Shul Appealed

After Judge Ciuffani ruled against the plaintiffs in the Perth Amboy Shul case giving the defendants the rights to sell off the historic Shul, Attorneys have filed an appeal, Attorney Larry Loigman tells TLS.

The Argument on the appeal was conducted last week before Judges Carmen Messano and Marie Lihotz at the Brennan Court House in Jersey City.

“Prior to the argument, the judges read the briefs as well as the trial transcript; the appearance gave the lawyers an opportunity to emphasize the most important portions of their positions, and to answer any questions which the judges might have”, Loigman says. “I explained that the shul, founded in 1903, had always followed Orthodox practices, and, therefore, halacha required that this dispute be settled by a beis din. The civil court should have deferred to the beis din, which had disqualified the trustees who wanted to sell the shul. In addition, the vote taken by the members did not comply with state statute or the shul’s by-laws.”

Following the ruling last year, Loigman said he believes they will have a better opportunity to present the case in the Appellate Division, and is looking forward to a more favorable result. “The trial judge clearly did not give our arguments the attention that they deserved”, Loigman said at the time.

The judges last week asked a number of questions of both sides, and reserved decision.

A written opinion will be issued, which could affirm or reverse the trial court, or send the case back for a new trial.

Herschel Chomsky, one of the plaintiffs, is hoping for a better outcome this time round.

“We’re optimistic, but can’t be overly optimistic”, says Chomsky. “Hopefuly  the judge will analyze it differently and we can have a better outcome.”

Decisions usually are issued within 4 to 6 weeks, but some cases take several months or even longer. TLS.

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