New Jersey – Free speech on trial in co-op’s leafleting ban case
The New Jersey Supreme Court is considering whether the board of directors of a massive co-op can prohibit leafleting by dissident residents who want to seek election to the board.
The court heard arguments Sept. 8 in a case where the board of directors of a co-op in Fort Lee, N.J., is seeking to overturn an appeals court’s ruling that said it violated a tenant’s free-speech rights when it prohibited him from passing out leaflets to other residents, even though the board itself regularly passed out leaflets touting its accomplishments and attacking its critics.
In Dublirer v. 200 Linwood Avenue Owners, the Supreme Court is set to determine whether the board violated the tenant’s rights under Article I, Paragraph 6 of the state constitution.
The board’s attorney, Natalie Mantell, said during arguments that the board has the right to restrict speech because the co-op is private property. The board is exempt from its own rule because it is required to communicate with the residents, Mantell added. Read more: