MORRISTOWN, N.Y. (AP) Members of an upstate New York Amish sect cannot claim that local building codes hinder their religion or give them special standing, a town judge has ruled. Morristown Town Judge James Phillips Jr. said the cases against eight Amish men will now proceed to trial. He ordered lawyers in the case to meet for a pretrial conference.
"The Amish desire 'not to conform to this world' must be reasonably and rationally tempered with required compliance to regulations imposed by a town and society in which they are citizens," Judge Phillips wrote in the 10-page decision.
The Amish men do not deny the charges.
They are part of the strict Swartzentruber sect and say requirements for smoke alarms and engineer-approved designs violate their religious tenet to oppose modernization.