May 17, 2016
The Camden County borough of Lindenwold has agreed to pay an interracial couple $110,000 over a lawsuit alleging years of discrimination.
According to NJ.com, the married couple, Alfred and Deborah Patterson, claim in the lawsuit, filed in 2012, that they are victims of racial discrimination at the hands of the borough of Lindenwold under the pressure of Councilman Joseph C. Strippoli, whose house is adjacent to theirs.
In the lawsuit, which names both Strippoli and the borough of Lindenwold, the Pattersons allege that since purchasing their home in 2003, the town has unfairly targeted them.
For example, according to the lawsuit, police were sent to the Pattersons' home because of a freestanding basketball net situated at their curb.
“Although several non-interracial families in the neighborhood had basketball hoops on their front curbs, the Pattersons claimed that they were the only ones to be cited for a code violation,” NJ.com reports.
The lawsuit also claims that Strippoli once asked Deborah Patterson, who is white, why she had married Alfred Patterson, who is black.
A judge formally dismissed the suit in 2014, but an appeals court reinstated the claims against Strippoli this past February. The Pattersons then filed another lawsuit against the councilman and borough.
Lindenwold has since agreed to the $110,000 settlement to avoid going to trial. On April 6, the borough agreed to pay $80,000 to the Pattersons within 30 days of the settlement and $30,000 “after the couple moves out of town,” NJ.com said.
Read the full report at NJ.com.