Hasidic group sues Orange homeowners association for discrimination

Posted: Updated:
HIGHLAND MILLS -

A group of Hasidic homeowners filed a lawsuit against a homeowners association in Orange alleging religious discrimination.

The Highland Mills homeowners say they're being singled out for being Hasidic and that they’re being harassed by members of the board.

A 19-page federal complaint was filed by civil rights attorney Michael Sussman on behalf of 10 Hasidic homeowners and a realtor.

Sussman says his clients allege they are being discriminated against because of their religion by the Highland Lake Estates homeowners association, its board and management in Highland Mills by following them around, cursing at them and throwing things on their porches.

The $7.5 million suit claims the board is adopting rules to "harass Jews" and keep them from buying in the community, interfering with their religious practices and enforcing thousands of dollars in fines when those rules aren't followed.

The families claim the alleged discrimination has been going on for months, but neighbors News 12 spoke to who aren't Jewish say that's not the case.

"It's not about anti-Semitism at all. It's about the rules. They don't pay their home fees, they want to do things expressly prohibited,” said a neighbor.

An attorney for Highland Lake Estates said by email that they welcome religious diversity, but that the community's rules and regulations need to be followed by everyone living there.

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