JACKSON, NJ – Jackson Township Attorney Gregory P. McGuckin, whose firm also services public legal contracts in Lakewood is have a tough time trying to win a case in Jackson. This week, McGuckin was handed yet another legal defeat after New Jersey Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson, Jr. ruled in favor of a local rabbi who was conducting prayer worship in his home.
The township sought an injunction to shut down the makeshift shul, but was denied by the court. The case of Jackson Township v. Moshe Perlstein ended in victory for the defendant who will be allowed to continue operating religious services from a home he owns in the township.
Perlstein has come under intense scrutiny by residents and out-of-towners who say he’s running illegal prayer services. Judge Hodgson disagreed with that assessment.
The township levied four charges against Perlstein seeking to prevent religious gatherings and assemblies at his home, blocking him from further construction and violations of the township code. The judge struck down all three charges, but allowed the town to be able to conduct code enforcement inspections only at the site.
“The Court will require Defendant to permit Plaintiff access to the subject Property at a mutually agreeable day and time, for the purpose of permitting Plaintiff or its agents to inspect the Property to determine [if] any unpermitted work was done and whether as a result, there is a safety risk,” the judge wrote in his brief.
The defeat for McGuckin comes after the embattled pay-to-play lawyer has found himself on the losing end of every court case he and the township have filed against Orthodox Jewish homeowners, developers and others since being appointed by Mayor Michael Reina in 2019.