NJ Store Sues Township for Harassment

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — The owners of Gemini bookstore have filed suit in Superior Court in Woodbury against Washington Township for allegedly harassing the business and its patrons, and wrongfully revoking its business license, according to the Gloucester County Times.

The suit states that parent company Laser Data Multi Media Inc. was cited in October for having holes between its viewing booths, a municipal code violation. The store was given until Nov. 4 to repair the holes.

Charges were also filed in October against owner Michael Adelman, of Sellersville, Penn., for "maintaining a sexually oriented business where persons gather for engaging in illegal conduct."

The lawsuit against the township, filed by Joseph Grimes of Cherry Hill, claims that the store's license was taken away without a proper hearing or a criminal conviction.

Mayor Paul Moriarty and construction official Tom Krwawecz are named as defendants, and are accused of having the police department make motor vehicle stops at the business without probable cause.

Township solicitor John Eastlack called the claims "unfounded" and said Krwawecz is "completely within his right to inspect this premises to make sure they're compliant with all their township codes. They were not as of the time they were inspected."

Eastlack added that hearings had been scheduled, but the store owners postponed them.

Gemini has been charged with municipal code violations for holes in the viewing booth walls in 2005, 2004 and 2003, the Times reported.

"It doesn't matter what past administrations have done," said Eastlack. "This administration is going to be vigilant on this, and it's not going to be allowed to continue."