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First Amendment

Amish Families to Sue N.Y. Town Over Building Code Enforcement Issues

Posted Nov 10, 2008 2:58 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Contending that their First Amendment right to religious freedom is being abridged by too-zealous enforcement of a New York municipality's building codes, a group of Amish families plans to file a federal suit against Morristown.

"Lori H. Windham, an attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty of Washington, D.C., said Friday that a federal lawsuit against the town and its code enforcement officer will be filed shortly in U.S. District Court Northern District of New York," reports the Watertown Daily Times. The case reportedly could be of national import.

She says the families' religious freedom is being violated by the town's insisting that they must install smoke detectors, submit engineering plans and allow inspections of their homes, the newspaper reports.

Town officials have previously said that turning a blind eye to building code violations by members of the Amish community in Morristown would be unfair to other residents.

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