Thursday, October 27, 2011

ACY Rescue Mission joins amended suit, seeks $2M reimbursement

This afternoon, we filed new and expanded court claims on behalf of Ocean County’s homeless against Lakewood Township and Ocean County.  As you know, Lakewood began the lawsuit by seeking to eject the community of approximately 70 homeless men and women, including victims of the economy, living in the Lakewood tent city on publicly owned land in the woods.  In addition, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission has now sided against Lakewood and Ocean County, including claims against Lakewood and the County for, collectively, in excess of $2 million:  the costs that the Mission contends it has wrongfully had to bear to provide emergency assistance to residents of Ocean County and Lakewood.
Among other things, the court filing today (an Amended Answer, Counterclaim and Third Party Complaint) alleges that Lakewood and Ocean County have violated New Jersey’s General Poor Laws by turning away thousands of men, women and children who sought emergency shelter and other emergency assistance.  The filing also alleges that Ocean County has engaged in systematic, improper “interpretations” of other laws, the Specific Poor Laws, and wrongfully denied emergency shelter under those laws.  A copy of today's court filing is attached.  The main defenses to Lakewood's Complaint start on p. 5, and the claims against Lakewood and the County are on pp. 8 - 34.
In addition, as you already know, Lakewood has now -- more than a year into the litigation, with the winter approaching -- filed a motion asking Judge Foster to declare that Lakewood can force the homeless out of their tents in the woods, even though we contend that there is no available shelter for them in Ocean County. Once again, the hearing on Lakewood's motion is scheduled for Friday, November 18th at 9 a.m. at the Superior Court of New Jersey, 100 Hooper Avenue, in Toms River.
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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