Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jeff Wild: Tent City case moved to Judge Foster's court; other progress noted

I know the last update was very sad, but there is also some good news relating to Tent City. Working with Minister Steve's counsel, Todd Wilson, we were able to reach an agreement with Lakewood that should allow the residents of Tent City to remain while we continue to try and solve the underlying problem (the lack of available shelter in Ocean County). As part of this agreement, any wooden structures built since the consent order was signed will be removed and some Tent City residents will be relocated to new tents (for which I understand funding has already been donated). Obviously, this is not a long-term solution, but the residents of Tent City are relieved that, at least for now, they are not at risk of being ejected with no other place to go.

In terms of the ongoing litigation with the County, we learned that Judge Grasso has re-assigned the case to a new judge, the Hon. Joseph L. Foster. Judge Grasso's letter so advising (copy attached) did not give a reason for the re-assignment, but this can happen during a case for a variety of reasons. In any event, our new judge, Judge Foster, is known for being fair and compassionate, such as in the landlord-tenant context when individuals are facing possible eviction. We have sent Judge Foster a letter (copy also attached) requesting a conference to discuss discovery information to be provided by the County and, after we receive that discovery, the date for the filing of an amended and amplified Third-Party Complaint (as Judge Grasso previously authorized). We look forward to working with Judge Foster as the litigation continues, and will let you know when Judge Foster sets the first court date before him regarding this matter.

Jeffrey J. Wild
Member of the Firm
Lowenstein Sandler PC
65 Livingston Avenue
Roseland, New Jersey 07068
Tele: 973-597-2554
Fax: 973-597-2555
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Tele: 212-262-6700
Fax: 973-5970-2555

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