Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

New Jersey Court Voids Barring Jews from Owning Property

March 8, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A three-judge panel of the State Superior Court’s Appellate Division, here, has ruled that a restrictive clause in effect barring Jews and others from owning property in a section of Wayne, New Jersey, is “unquestionably null and void, and no court will rule otherwise.” The court, however, reserved decision on whether the ruling is to be applied to the community at large, or to a group of 17 previous defendants, or to two individual defendants who figured originally in the complicated litigation.

The case was filed by two property owners who charged that a covenant signed by all property owners in the exclusive Packanack Lake section of Wayne required the owners to be members of the Packanack Lake Country Club and Community Association. It was alleged that membership in the community was barred to persons of Italian, Spanish, Latin American or Jewish background and to all other persons not of a Northern European or Christian background.

The club had told the lower court that it would not enforce the covenant, and the lower court designated the club officers as representatives of the community whose actions would bind the entire community. It was on that part of the lower court’s ruling that the appeal was taken. Now another suit may be necessary to determine whether all the property owners or only some are bound by the new “null and void” ruling.

Wayne is the town in New Jersey where, several weeks ago, the former vice-president of the local Board of Education opposed publicly the election of two Jews who were candidates for Board membership. In the subsequent election, the Jewish candidates were defeated.

Recommended from JTA