WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) – Eleven Old Order Amish families sued a New York community Tuesday, saying that its refusal to grant permits for their traditionally built homes is religious discrimination.

The Amish families claim in the federal lawsuit that the town of Morristown is targeting them for building code enforcement.

Since 2006 – when the town’s codes were updated – Morristown officials have brought more than 10 separate prosecutions against the Amish, the lawsuit said. The Amish decided to sue after Morristown Town Judge James Phillips ruled in July that their religion gave them no special standing.

to avoid compliance with local building codes.

The sect has had zoning disputes with local authorities elsewhere in New York, as well as in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

AP-ES-01-06-09 1412EST


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