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8 N.J.A.R. 110

Kurman, Amy v. Fairmount Realty Corp
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Citation: 8 N.J.A.R. 110
Decision Date: 1984
Synopsis: Petitioner filed a complaint with the Divisioh on Civil Rights charg- ing that respondent had discriminated against her and her then co- petitioner, Jose Cruz, by refusing to rent an apartment to them be- cause of their marital status in violation of N.J.S.A. 10:5-4 and 10:5-12(g). After a finding of probable cause, the matter was tranferred to the Office of Administrative Law as a contested case. The administrative law judge assigned to the case determined that two issues had to be resolved: (1) could the action proceed without the joinder of the co-petitioner; and (2) had petitioner been dis- criminated against and if so, to what relief was she entitled. The judge denied respondent's motion to dismiss for lack of an indispensible party, namely, Cruz, concluding that there was no statu- tory requirement that a matter based upon the refusal to rent an apartment to two unmarried persons could proceed only if both were willing to move forward with the proceedings. As to the allegation of discrimination, the respondent offered as a defense the argument that the conduct complained of consisted of a decision to deny an apartment based upon the absence of a 'marital relationship' and not upon the 'marital status', per se. The judge rejected this argument, concluding the legislative intent behind the statute was clear that the 'marital status' prohibition was aimed at outlawing the denial of a rental to two unmarried persons of the opposite sex. Finding no issue of material fact, the judge granted the motion for summary judgment to petitioner. In his initial decision on the question of damages, the judge de- termined that since no contradictory evidence was offered, petitioner was entitled to damages for pain and suffering, commutation to work from her alternative living site, time lost from work in pursuing her State of New Jersey 111 claim and parking expenses incurred at work and in pursuing her claim. Upon rex)Jew, the Director of the Division on Civil Rights adopted this initial decision. Corrine L. McGovern and Lynn B. Norcia, Deputy Attorneys General, for the Division on Civil Rights (Irwin I. Kimmelman, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney) Jerry S. Needleman, pro se, President, Fairmount Realty Corp., for respondent, Order Granting Partial Summary Decision
Statute(s) Cited: 10:5-4 10:5-12(g)