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Jun 29, 2011 12:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Court Hearings Expected To Conclude Wednesday On Application For Temporary Religious Boundary

Jun 29, 2011 2:08 PM

Even though court hearings on an application seeking to establish a temporary Jewish religious boundary in western Southampton Town were expected to conclude on Wednesday, a ruling on the request is not expected to be handed down anytime soon.

Attorney Tiffany Scarlato, who is representing Southampton Town—one of the three defendants that are being sued by the nonprofit East End Eruv Association—recently explained that the hearings began on June 15 in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. She added that she does not expect U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler to hand down a ruling soon on the request to set up a temporary boundary that would be demarcated by wooden markers affixed to utility poles.

The nonprofit is arguing that the temporary boundary, a symbolic measure that would allow Orthodox Jews to push and carry objects to temple on the Sabbath, is needed until a ruling on a permanent boundary, called an eruv, is reached.

On June 15, lawyers representing Quogue Village, another one of the defendants, defended its decision to deny the association’s request to create a permanent boundary that would include parts of the village and the hamlet of Westhampton, as well as much of Westhampton Beach Village.

Jeltje deJong, the attorney representing Quogue Village, was on vacation this week and unavailable for comment.

Attorneys representing both Southampton Town and Westhampton Beach, meanwhile, made their cases during a second hearing that began on Monday and was expected to finish up on Wednesday, June 29, according to attorney Brian Sokoloff of Sokoloff Stern LLP. He is representing the Village of Westhampton Beach in the matter.

Both Westhampton Beach Mayor Conrad Teller and Village Board member Hank Tucker were called to testify this week. Both men were named as defendants in the lawsuit, as were other members of the board, including past members. Other defendants include Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and all members of their respective boards.

Both Mr. Teller and Mr. Tucker declined to comment on their testimony, citing the legal nature of the case.

A ruling in the nonprofit’s favor would allow the creation of a temporary boundary in all three communities.

Robert Sugarman, a Manhattan-based attorney who is representing the association in the case, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment this week.

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