Court rules in favor of Shamong Township in Dingletown lighting suit

By Katrina Grant

Shamong Township was handed a victory a few weeks back when an appellate court ruled in its favor regarding a long-standing fight over lighting at the Dingletown Sports Complex.

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“The court affirmed Judge Bookbinder’s ruling that there was no damages to the plaintiffs because of the lighting,” Douglas Heinold, township attorney said. “There was a restriction on the lights by the Pineland’s Approval Process. We had the ability to go back and seek amended approvals, and we did that. The plaintiffs did not object.”

Dingletown One and Two are next to each other. Dingletown One is where the boys play their sports games. Dingletown Two is where the girls play softball and where the restrictions were. The issue was that the township couldn’t tell the boys that they could have lights and the girls couldn’t.

“In 2002 we brought in four residents that this potentially affected,” Heinold said. “The two women agreed, the two men didn’t and filed suit.”

In early 2010, the argument was that they couldn’t install the lights because they could be seen from the plaintiffs’ homes, which it was later determined that they couldn’t.

The township litigated, filed briefs and argued in front of the appellate division and two judges, and the appellate court upheld the previous judge’s ruling.

“We hope that this concludes the matter,” Heinold said. “They can take it to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, but I’m speculating that they won’t.”

Most costs to the township associated with the case come from attorney and hiring fees. Heinold speculates that the cost to the township is roughly around $25,000.

One plaintiff is deceased and the other was not listed in the phonebook for comment.

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