The previous post described the dispute between Barbara Cadranel and the California Condominium Association of Stratford, Connecticut, regarding Ms. Cadranel’s mezuzah. Thankfully, the parties resolved the matter, and Ms. Cadranel will be allowed to keep her mezuzah on the doorpost outside of her apartment.
Today, the attorney for the California Condo Association sent the following letter to the Stratford Star:
To the Editor:
As attorney for the California Condominium Association of Stratford, I am pleased to advise that we have resolved the issue of the mezuzah on the door post of the unit owned by Barbara Cadranel. Continue reading
In the previous post, I mentioned the case of Bloch v. Frischholz, 587 F.3d 771 (7th Cir. 2009), which involved claims against a condominium association that repeatedly took down mezuzos from the plaintiff’s doorway. The case has continued for several years, making its way through the courts. Last week a federal judge refused to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims that the association violated the Illinois Condominium Property Act and breached its fiduciary duty by removing the mezuzos. Click here to read more, and here for the court’s order.
On July 12, U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall approved of a settlement between the parties. According to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin:
“The decree bars the Shoreline Towers Condominium Association on Chicago’s North Side and its president from retaliating against the residents who sued the association or from interfering with the sale or lease of any Shoreline unit in which those residents have an interest.
The decree also bars the association and its president from taking any action against the plaintiffs or any other unit owner ‘on account of their race or religion that would interfere with their right to use — or the exercise or enjoyment of — their property or fair housing rights.’
The remaining terms of the settlement are confidential.” (Click here for the full article.)
(In this post, I put the citations in footnotes [e.g., (1), (2)] at the bottom to make it easier to read. You can let me know what you think about the new format by commenting below.)
Recently, a new law took effect in Texas that ensures that property owners’ associations do not adopt or enforce rules that prohibit residents from placing mezuzos on their doorposts. Actually, the language of the legislation is a little broader than that. It refers to the display or affixing on the entry of one’s dwelling “religious items that are expected to be displayed by a tenet of the owner’s or resident’s religion.” (Click here for the full text.) However, the inspiration behind the law was a Houston couple who were ordered by their condo owners’ association to take down a mezuzah from their door frame. (Click here for the full story.) Similar occurrences have led to comparable legislation in both Illinois and Florida.(1) (Interestingly, the Florida law requires a reasonable accommodation for “a reasonable accommodation for the attachment on the mantel or frame of the door of the unit owner of a religious object not to exceed 3 inches wide, 6 inches high, and 1.5 inches deep”––just the right place and size for a mezuzah!)
The nature of common interest communities (CIC’s) creates an interesting problem with regard to religious discrimination. Continue reading