TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP/CBSNewYork) — A Jersey shore community has been ordered to reimburse the American Civil Liberties Union for some legal fees stemming from lawsuits the group filed to end the town’s practice of allowing borough council members to say a prayer before meetings.
But the $11,200 that Point Pleasant Beach will pay out is much less than the nearly $38,000 in fees sought by the group.
State Superior Court Judge Vincent Grasso issued the ruling this week. It stems from litigation the ACLU filed on behalf of a Jewish resident who objected to the council’s practice of reading the Lord’s Prayer before meetings.
The first suit resulted in the council adopting a policy that allowed individual council members to give a nonsectarian invocation. But when some council members chose to make invocations with religious overtones, the ACLU sued again.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)