Posted Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Court Rules in Favor of Morris County Freeholders on Historic Grants to Religious InstitutionsSuperior Court Judge Margaret Goodzeit, sitting in Somerville, ruled last week on a lawsuit filed against Morris County by the Freedom of Religion Foundation.

Judge Goodzeit, on Jan. 9, dismissed the lawsuit that sought to prevent Morris County from issuing historic preservation grants to, among others, religious institutions to help preserve their historic churches or properties.

Judge Goodzeit’s 1-9-17 Orders on Religious Historic Sites


We are gratified that the state Superior Court has agreed with the county’s actions in regards to historic preservation by ruling in the county’s favor.

We remain confident that our historic preservation process, which includes a totally independent review of all historic preservation applications by a volunteer board of county resident with expertise in historic structures, clearly follows state and federal guidelines.

Morris County has long followed state and federal guidelines in awarding grants to the owners of historic churches, among many other historic sites, so they can be preserved as a part of the county’s rich history. We intend to continue following these legal guidelines.

It is important to note than only structures, including churches, which are listed on or eligible for the State or National Registers of Historic Places are considered for county historic preservation grants.

In Morris County, as in all counties in New Jersey and across the nation, churches and other religious buildings are a vital part of the historic fabric of where we live, interwoven with the history of how our county developed.

In voting to set aside grant money for historic preservation, county taxpayers overwhelmingly told us that they value that history. We look forward to a continued historic preservation program that targets our most valuable historic assets.

For more information about Morris County’s Historic Preservation Program, click here