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City, Islamic Center seek more time to work out a settlement

NORWALK, Conn. – The city of Norwalk and the Al Madany Islamic Center are hoping that time is on their side when it comes to settling a lawsuit in federal court.

According to a document posted Monday on the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut website, the two sides are making progress toward finding a way out of the legal morass created when Al Madany filed suit against the city and the Zoning Commission alleging that commission’s rejection of a permit to build a mosque was based on religious reasons.

The commission and the city asserted in rejecting the permit that the mosque and accompanying utility building made the project to big and would create too much traffic for the residential neighborhood.

There have been a series of settlement talks ordered by Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in an attempt to resolve the issue out of court. The most recent conference was held March 28.

Monday’s post on the court site indicated that, “During the most recent extension of discovery deadlines, the parties have made substantial progress toward settlement, although no final agreement has been reached. Following a productive mediation conference with Magistrate Judge Martinez on March 28, 2014, the Parties exchanged revised, comprehensive proposals regarding the dimensions and usage of Al Madany’s planned development of the property at 127 Fillow Street. This exchange, while not resolving the litigation, has resulted in a number of agreements on individual issues and significantly narrowed the number of issues that remain in discussion.”

The document said both parties have requested an extension of time for “detailed, revised architectural plans to be drafted and discussed.”

The document indicates that, to allow that time, deadlines for discovery that would be needed if the suit were headed for trial would be extended.

“Such plans will take time and involve significant costs, costs the Parties are not inclined to incur if they must resume discovery. In order to allow enough time for these plans to be completed, and for the parties to then be able to discuss and possibly revise them, the Parties request an eight-week extension of the discovery deadlines.”

The motion, included in the document attached below, states “The Parties expect that, if any settlement is ultimately reached, it will likely be reached during this extension period.”

As of this winter, the city had incurred legal expenses totaling over $265,000, according to a story posted here Feb. 12.

Al Madany-Norwalk court document: Al Madany 042214

Comments

2 responses to “City, Islamic Center seek more time to work out a settlement”

  1. Don’t Panic

    Does this settlement process allow the two parties to negotiate solutions that violate the zoning code?

  2. fillow fatwa

    The mayor should prepare himself to be the target of a class action law suit if he makes any settlement over this matter. The application was denied on solid legal grounds, not to mention common sense ones. Stay frosty Mr. Mayor.

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