A U.S. District Court judge denied an appeal challenging the dismissal of a religious discrimination lawsuit filed against Baltimore County by Friends of Lubavitch, the organization that operates a Jewish outreach program in Towson.
The group asserted in 2018 that the county discriminated against it when a county Circuit Court judge ruled that an addition of the Chabad house in Towson’s Aigburth Manor neighborhood was illegal because it violates county zoning code and had to be torn down.
U.S. District Court Judge George L. Russell III in September 2019 threw out the lawsuit. The religious organization had not provided enough facts to support its claim of religious discrimination, he wrote, or “any consistent pattern of actions” by the county adversely affecting the Friends of Lubavitch or similar groups.
Nathan Lewin, an attorney representing Friends of Lubavitch in the religious discrimination case, filed a motion for the court to reconsider that order.
Lewin sought to challenge that claim with an amended complaint, but Russell this month declined to accept it, writing in a Sept. 1 opinion the religious organization failed to follow proper court procedure when they submitted their request; summaries of draft amendments, which were included as part of the Friends of Lubavitch’s request, were “so broad that they fail to adequately apprise the Court of Plaintiffs’ allegations,” Russell wrote.