A federal court judge said Monday that he will delay issuing an opinion on a suit against Bay View in Emmet county alleging the community’s religious requirement is in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Current Bay View bylaws require people to be Christians in order to own a cottage in the upscale community.
Lawyers for Bay View submitted a proposed bylaw amendment to the court last week which would strike the religious requirement.
Judge Paul Maloney said he would not issue an opinion until the fate of the proposed amendment is decided.
Mike Bogren is an attorney for the defendants. He said because plaintiffs were calling for an injunction against the religious requirement the judge’s hands were tied.
“If the court doesn’t have jurisdiction to issue an injunction because there’s been a change in the bylaws the judge didn’t have much choice but to do that.”
Sarah Prescott is the attorney representing the group suing Bay View. She said the defense is needlessly delaying a decision.
“To have them come to court four days ahead of some vote and say ‘don’t come after us Judge we might change this’ seems like a game, honestly. They are playing a game.”
The vote on the bylaw amendment is scheduled for Saturday.
If it passes both parties have until August 28th to file briefs on how it changes the case - and whether it renders the case moot.