The following is a brief summary of major pending litigation:
1 TENNIS CLUB ASSOCIATION V. TOWNSHIP OF TEANECK Tennis Club Associates (TCA) cases have been going on for several years. TCA has, over the years, started five lawsuits against the Township, all pertaining to certain land that it owns at the intersection of Water Street and American Legion Drive, south of Cedar Lane. In the summer of 1995, TCA and the Township entered into a written Stipulation of Settlement, which among other things provided that: (a) all litigation related to TCA against Teaneck and its officials would be dismissed; (b) Mayfair Foodtown (which had entered into a lease with TCA) would be permitted to build a smaller supermarket than originally proposed (without offices and other stores) if it received all necessary approvals; (c) all of Teaneck's real estate taxes (in excess of $500,000.00) would be paid. As of the end of 1996, the settlement was in process of being completed, with all approvals expected, all back taxes being paid to Teaneck, and construction to begin in the Spring of 1997.
2. STERMAN V, TEANECK -In this case a newly formed Orthodox Jewish congregation sued to challenge the constitutionality and legality of a Teaneck Zoning Ordinance. The Ordinance states that all houses of worship must be on at least one-half acre of land and have a required number of off-street parking spaces. In an attempt to establish a synagogue, the congregation had purchased a house on less than one-quarter acre and submitted plans in their application for a variance which had no provision for off-street parking. Our Board of Adjustment denied the variance, and the congregation sued in Federal Court. The congregation claimed that our zoning requirements were in violation of their religious liberties. After depositions had been taken and document discovery concluded, that congregation decided to move to another site in Teaneck that was at least one-half acre. As a result, the case is expected to be settled by the congregation dropping its claims against the Township.
3. ABRASIVE DISTRIBUTORS V. TEANECK- In this zoning case, the former owner of property on the corner of Cedar Lane and Palisades Avenue (including the site of a very large and old oak tree) sued Teaneck claiming that Teaneck had made it difficult for it to sell its property at a reasonable price, by, among other things attempting to declare the oak tree an historic site, and dissuading purchasers from buying the property. Teaneck denied these claims and the case is currently in the discovery stage. Trial is expected in about a year.
4. MULROY V. TEANECK - This is an automobile accident case in which one of Teaneck's police cars was involved in an intersection accident with another car. The driver of the other car died in the accident, and passengers in the car were injured. Extensive discovery is in progress, including the use of experts on crash reconstruction and other matters. Trial is not expected for several years.
5 VARIOUS SELFINSURANCE FUND CASES. Since Teaneck is self-insured for .most accident cases (other than automobile, liability) we defend claims involving damages claimed to have been caused on our streets, parks, and other public property. At the end of the year there were 21 such cases being defended by the Township Attorney
6. VARIOUS STATE TAX COURT APPEALS. There are numerous State Tax Court Appeals - 21 at the year's end. Most of these involve commercial or industrial properties and the aggregate of the values in suit is substantial. Seven of the cases are by institutions requesting exemption from all real estate taxes. On each of these cases the Township has served or will serve written Interrogatories in order to obtain the information and documents needed to properly prepare for trial.
7. VARIOUS CONSTRUCNON CASES. From time to time, when residents seriously violate Building Department regulations, it is necessary to take them to Teaneck Municipal Court to try and obtain compliance with the law. Teaneck is mainly concerned with having the violations removed and the unsafe conditions cleared up, but the law provides penalties and the fines for noncompliance can be quite high. In the event that compliance and payment of fines is not made, Teaneck has the option of enforcement in the Superior Court. These cases concern the failure on the part of the homeowners to obtain certificates of occupancy, building permits for extensions, required inspections, etc. Information about the Legal Department