Woman Fined for Displaying Jewish Symbol on Door
A woman in Stratford, CT, was fined $50 per day for displaying a Mezuzah on the exterior door frame of her condominium. The story reported that the attorney for the woman noted that the neighbor is displaying a crucifix but did not mention if the neighbor was also fined. [The original story is located here.]
This is interesting to me and I will monitor it as I am very curious as to the outcome. It has more than just a religious component, it is a question of whether or not the By-laws infringe on unit owners’ right to practice their own religions.
The By-laws of this condominium project forbid the displaying of any item on the exterior of the unit. This is an extremely common restriction in the legal documents of condominiums. So I think this goes beyond a sort of religious persecution unless the neighbor wasn’t fined in the same manner.
In the state of Connecticut, there is a three-day rescission period for the purchases of condominium units. During this time, the prospective buyer is to read the legal documents and review the financial status of the project. If the buyer uncovers something that is objectionable, he/she has the right to rescind during the three-day period.
In practice, this very rarely happens in my 10 years of experience as a real estate agent in Connecticut. I would like to know if the woman read the By-laws, specifically the section forbidding the displaying of anything on the exterior of the property.
I am not against people practicing their religion. However, if the By-laws clearly state this restriction, then it was her right to not purchase a unit in that project. By purchasing the unit, she has agreed to abide by all of the restrictive covenants in the governing documents.
She and her attorney are protesting that the By-laws violate an individual’s rights. The flip side is that the person also has the right to not purchase in that project.
I encourage your comments on this matter.
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