Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Town of Brookhaven Responds to Cemetery Maintence Suit

January 13, 2010

In July of 2009, the Fire Place History Club filed a lawsuit with the New York State Supreme Court in an effort to force the Town of Brookhaven to maintain the ancient historic cemeteries in the hamlets of South Haven and Brookhaven, NY. This action followed three years of efforts to get the Town to maintain the cemeteries in accordance with State law, and repeated promises by Town officials that they would do so—but with no substantitive action. The efforts of the Fire Place History Club are documented elsewhere in this blog, and are further documented at the cemetery pages.

The Brookhaven Town Attorney, on 13 January filed a response to the July court filing—nearly six months after the original filing with the court—obviously an attempt to delay in the hope of discouraging that the reasonable requests of ordinary citizens.

Their response was essentially that the Town had no obligation maintain the cemeteries, and the that the Fire Place History Club had no standing to sue the Town.

To view the Town of Brookhaven's January 2010 response, click

Cover Letter and Affidavits | Town Arguments | Exhibit D

The Town arguments document included all their Exhibits except Exhibit D. Exhibit D is a copy of an inventory of all cemeteries in New York State prepared by the Association of Municipal Historians of New York State. Ironically, it's preface contains the following:

William Edward Gladstone quote

I suspect that the Association of Municipal Historians would be appalled that their informative inventory would be used by the Town as one of the justifications for not maintaining historic cemeteries.

The Fire Place History Club is proceeding with the suit, and has organized a sub-committee to work with our attorney Regina Seltzer on the document.

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