NEW YORK (Dec. 18)
Judge Herman Weinkrantz of Brooklyn Criminal Court here reserved decision today, until January 3, on a motion to dismiss the prosecution against Charles Pam, an Orthodox Jewish grocer in Brooklyn charged with selling a can of tuna and a jar of baby food on a Sunday during hours prohibited by the New York State Sunday closing laws.
Marvin M. Karpatkin, an attorney and officer of the American Jewish Congress who is representing Mr. Pam, filed the motion for the dismissal on the grounds that the Sabbath Law “is an unnecessary infringement upon the constitutional rights of persons who observe a day other than Sunday as their day of rest” and the fact that the police enforce the law against small businessmen like Mr. Pam while ignoring newspapers, television stations and other large enterprises operating on Sunday.
During the hearing yesterday, witnesses representing major newspapers and television stations, department stores and other large enterprises testified that their firms had never received summonses for their Sunday operations.
Meanwhile, 12 shopkeepers on Manhattan’s Lower East Side were fined $5 each in Criminal Court yesterday on charges of Sunday Law violation. The Jewish merchants protested, pointing out that they kept their stores closed on Saturdays. Criminal Court Judge Walter Bayer told them to get certificates to that effect from their rabbis. He indicated that if the merchants had had such certificates on their court appearance, he would have suspended sentence.