JACKSON-A contempt of court order has been issued against Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina, issued by the law firm of Storzer and Associates for the alleged violation of a court order issued by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Marlene Lynch Ford.
In court documents filed on December 16th, 2019, Roman P. Storzer, the attorney for Agudath Israel of America is giving Reina until January 10th to comply with the court’s order to appear before him to conduct a deposition and to produce a litany of documents requested by the court and the plaintiff in that case.
According to court records, Reina and his attorney had agreed with the court to provide the deposition on November 15th, 2019, but the plaintiff said that the township attorney, Ron S. Gasirowski failed to comply with the order by refusing to give a time or place for the deposition to be conducted. This order to be deposed was signed by Judge Ford on September 30, 2019.
In that order, Judge Ford gave Mayor Reina 14 days to comply with the discovery requested by the plaintiff, adding that the deposition must have occurred before her court-ordered date of November 22nd.
The plaintiff requested 72 different requests for discovery against Reina, including documents related to his communications with several Facebook groups including Jackson Strong, Rise Up Ocean County, Fed Up Jackson Residents, Jackson Township Zoning Board Watchdog Group, Citizens of Jackson Township and others. It also requested emails between the mayor and different groups, including professionals and members of the above Facebook groups.
Judge Ford said the Mayor must comply with three of those 72 requests, including all postings he made on social media regarding development in Jackson Township; all posting and communications between the mayor and any third parties regarding the Orthodox Jewish community, Jewish people or Jewish practices; and all documents reviewed by the mayor in connection with answering depositions served upon the township by the plaintiff.
While the plaintiff requested documents related to the township’s alleged campaign to monitor private homes used as shuls, Judge Ford did not order the mayor to produce those documents.
Storzer also requested personal communications between Reina and individuals in town who have made known statements against the Orthodox Jewish community. Storzer identified a list of individuals he felt communications with the Mayor were relevant to the case.
In addition to Storzer’s request, Ford ordered Reina to provide documents including township council agendas and meeting minutes; the release of Facebook and social media accounts by former planning and zoning board members; township emails; and land use approvals within 14 days of the court-ordered discovery in September.
Judge Ford ordered that the Mayor provide the plaintiff with all 72 requests for information by January 10th date. Judge Ford also ordered that all depositions in the case shall be concluded by April 17, 2020, and a trial shall be scheduled to hear the matter before the court on May 7, 2020.