Judge Rules In Favor of Blue Law Suspension

Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera states that although he and borough residents disagree with the ruling the borough will abide it and hopes this will be the final weekend for Blue Law suspension.

A Bergen County Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of suspending Blue Laws —meaning Paramus stores will be open Sunday —despite the mayor's efforts to protect the law, claiming it favors the quality of life of borough residents.

Mayor Richard LaBarbiera stated Friday that "although the residents of Paramus and I strongly disagree with this ruling we will of course abide it."

"The County Executive says that this will be the last Sunday without the Blue Laws and I intend to hold her to that," said LaBarbiera in a statement.  "The Blue Laws are absolutely essential to keeping Paramus livable and I will never stop fighting to make sure they are always here to protect our quality of life. I thank the many Paramus residents who expressed their support for this fight and their fierce determination to protect our community, which I share."

State legislators Sen. Bob Gordon and Assembly persons Timothy Eustace and Connie Wagner said Friday they have called on the Governor to put an end to the Blue Law suspension after this weekend.

Wagner, who is a resident of Paramus, stated it would be in the best interest of residents to rescind the suspension order after this weekend "in order to help resotre a sense of peace and normalcy to our towns that have been battered by Sandy."

Wagner also argued continuing to suspend the Blue Laws will distract local officials with legal entanglements "that we would be much better off avoiding at this point so we can concentrate on more pressing matters.”

Last week Governor Chris Christie issued an order to suspend Bergen County's Blue Laws so residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy could purchase repair and survival items. The move was supported by County Executive Kathleen Donovan who vowed to take the borough of Paramus to court in order to keep local officials from limiting what stores could open.

Paramus, which has some of the state's largest malls, has the strictest Blue Laws in the county, designed to protect quality of life in the borough by restricting shopping on Sundays. 

Earlier this week, Westfield Garden State Plaza posted on its Facebook page that it will be open on Sunday, 11am to 6pm. The  Bergen Town Center Paramus Park and Shops at Riverside will also be open on Sunday as well.

Mark Ruckhaus November 10, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Wait a sec here... If individual towns decide, aren't THEY imposing restrictions on others, too, just on a smaller scale? How about everyone opens anytime they want--Sundays, middle of the night, whenever--and individuals, on their own, can decide when and where they want to shop? The point is, sometimes larger entities have to do something for the common good and enact laws and regulations. Unfortunately, not all are pleased by such a decision and want their way with little regard to others, like the business owner and the workers who can't have one weekend day or holiday with their families because those with little regard just HAVE to shop on Sundays or Thanksgiving. Of course, many businesses just can't say "no" to Sundays and major holidays as they have visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads. Never mind that they're probably making more in six days than many places do in seven, especially since the rules around here are very well-known. And that's why I have tremendous respect for an outfit like PC Richard, which makes it very clear that they won't open on Thanksgiving, and no respect for the money-grubbers who can't take a breather and have respect for their employees for even one lousy, stinking day.
Mark Ruckhaus November 10, 2012 at 04:54 PM
The anachronism was that Sunday was supposedly the Lord's day. The Blue Laws, as now constructed, have little to do with temperance and much to do with giving everyone a breather for one day. But, I'll concede this: I wouldn't mind Sunday shopping if stores were closed on another day, like Tuesday. Do we really need seven days a week to shop? And, since you know what the rules are, you deal with them accordingly. So, eliminating the Blue Laws has little to do with an anachronism but, rather, more about you getting your own way, likely at the expense of others who have to work to please you and others like you. And that's selfish. Take a day off, OK?
Mark Ruckhaus November 10, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Mal, Garden State is the third most profitable mall in the COUNTRY (Short Hills is #2). (Source is US News & World Report, June 26, 2009--probably hasn't changed much since then). And they're doing it in a six-day week. We can afford the breather. Impartial enough?
RB November 10, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Keep the malls closed on Sunday. Enough.
Keith Kaplan November 11, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Change the Blue Laws to Saturday.
Kelly McKensy November 11, 2012 at 03:24 AM
its political gamemanship to begin the discussion of blue laws during an emergency. Its well know the County Exe and her cronies are to make millions when the American Dream mall opens as the lobbyist is the County Exe top advisor. In fact Donovan took her oath of office at the lobbyist mansion!!! Also it has to be done by the county legislature, but there werent even conferred with this changing of the blue laws to 2014.
Kelly McKensy November 11, 2012 at 03:29 AM
The western world doesnt have five malls in one town. And you cant do a study with these crooks who run county government, they are hell bent on changing the blue laws because it helps the incentive fees for the Iranians that own the American Dream strip mall who want to open a Water park in the malls parking lot... Dont you get it, this is a total political scam for the corrupt Donovan adminstration and her hacks to make millions,,, thats why it was done during the worst natrual disaster ever in Bergen coutny. Add in we have a 58 never married lesbian Bergen Republican about to be exposed for hiring or her lesbian lover to 6 figure county jobs,,,, so she had to do this now.... imho
Ridgewooder November 11, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Kelly McKensy November 11, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Follow democracy and lets freeholders change the blues, not a corrupt tryant.
zizi November 11, 2012 at 08:57 AM
Mark, I think we should have no restrictions period......... Let each business decide and each customer decide.... seems fairer to me....
Amy November 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I read a couple of times that the reason you like the blue law was because you got a chance to see open road... well if its supposed to be "lords day" and nothing is open, why are you out and about? This shows that you still shop on a Sunday, you just travel somewhere else to do it.
Concerned November 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Good one.. Makes as much sense as Sunday.
Macy November 11, 2012 at 01:13 PM
MAybe open roads means giong to vist and spend time with friends and family instaed of running around shopping! something that was done for many years and actually contrbuted to a QUALITY of life. Actually I would love to see blue laws all over the country or at least do like many other countries do open from noon to 6 only.
Amy November 11, 2012 at 01:34 PM
To each their own.. but I know that for me and my crazy schedule, being able to go to the store on Sunday is a big deal. Since I don't have a normal 9-5 job, Sunday is my only time off to get things done..
BellairBerdan November 11, 2012 at 01:54 PM
What makes you so sure you will continue to have Sundays off when you allow politicians to nullify the vote of the people in order to support their corporate donors?
Concerned November 11, 2012 at 03:20 PM
So much judging. To each their own but in their OWN town and not the whole county. Most people of Paramus and neighboring towns chose to live there knowing the Blue laws might not last forever. End of story. Let the towns decide and Paramus can have their own way and not dictate for the County. I think we should put it on the ballet to move this to the control of the towns
Mark Ruckhaus November 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Ridgewooder, You made my point; thanks. You're selfish. IF you want the one day off, it has to be on YOUR terms alone and let everyone else be damned, right? They just have to be available for you--Sunday, any day--when you wish to indulge. You showed your true colors. Lowlife.
Mark Ruckhaus November 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Zizi, But, the point is, once the Blue Laws are rescinded, businesses can't decide. Maybe it's in their own heads that they won't be able to survive without opening Sundays, despite seeing that they've been able to until now; they'll be forced to open Sundays. And, as I've already said here, never mind that many places are doing more business in six days than other places outside of Bergen are doing in seven and that the rules here are well known and that Garden State is the third most profitable mall in the country, and on six days; if businesses are allowed to open on Sunday, they will. Because it's in their heads that they have to. Why can't we take one damned day off, even if it's Tuesday? It doesn't have to be Sunday. Or does everyone have to be available all the time when you decide it's time to indulge? It's worked just fine for the past 50-odd years and people have been able to all their shopping. And, if (pardon me) you really had a hard-on for shopping on Sunday, there are places not too far away that would take care of that need. So, given that everyone gets a chance to take a breather on Sunday, at least the business owners and the people who work for them and, as a general rule, no one has to "run a benefit" for anyone in the county because they aren't allowed to open on Sunday, why is it necessary to change the status quo?
Mark Ruckhaus November 11, 2012 at 05:05 PM
If you don't have a normal 9-5 job (and, son of a gun, neither did I for ALL the time I worked), I'm sure you can find other times during the week to do your shopping. Go to the mall at 10 AM on a weekday, if you can. It's a lot better than bucking the crowds on a weekend day. Are you saying that you have absolutely no time at all between 10AM-9PM at any time between Monday and Saturday?
Mark Ruckhaus November 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I think we should put it on the ballet, too. The NYC ballet? The Kirov? Maybe we should get the opera involved, too. Wouldn't want to make them jealous, you know. And, Paramus isn't dictating for the county. The county is dictating for the county. Let's hope the county doesn't dictate for Paramus, which could happen. Do you have a problem with the Blue Laws, or just who's doing the dictating? Reading between the lines, it appears to me that, if you can get the enforcement of the Blue Laws down to the town level, you can more easily eliminate them entirely.
BellairBerdan November 11, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Nothing for nothing but Ridgewood won't allow any fast food restaurants in town. What's that about?
Concerned November 11, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Yep they are religious in nature and completely unjust but I do understand Paramus and surrounding towns not wanting traffic and I support that town by town.
Cece November 11, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I think the Blue Laws should remain. Paramus is a community that happens to have a few mega-malls in their midst. This is a quality-of -life issue in Paramus and surrounding towns. There are residences right behind many of these malls unlike Willowbrook and Palisades Center which are surrounded primarily by other retail/businesses and industrial parks. Donovan said she was concerned about those in Moonachie and Little Ferry who need these stores to stay open. It may be just as convenient for these residents to access Home Depot and Lowe's on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen along with the stores in Secaucus, Route 3 (Clifton) and Willowbrook. Do we really need Saturday traffic on Routes 4/17 on a Sunday too?
Mark Ruckhaus November 11, 2012 at 09:37 PM
They WERE religious in nature. Not any more. And, unjust to who, exactly? The rules have been in place for at least the past 50-60 years and everyone knows them. And, as I said, most businesses around here (at least judging by Garden State Plaza) are likely doing more business in six days than other places outside of Bergen are doing in seven. Tell you what (and I've said so already)... I'll concede Sunday in return for another quiet day. Yes, the customer is always right, but remember that the person behind the counter could be you. And, wouldn't you like a mandated day off once in a while? Are Blue Laws archaic? By current standards, absolutely. But, isn't it nice to have a breather on Sunday?
Raysa November 12, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Nowhere else in the country, stores are closed on Sundays. I am totally in favor of opening on Sundays, most people work during the week and have errands to run on Saturdays. Why if the Paramus residents the ones aren't stores in Hackensack and other neibooring towns not allow to open? I live in Ridgewood and I know many people that would approve of suspending an antiiquated and useless law like the "Blue Law".
Mark Ruckhaus November 12, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Most people have always worked during the week. This is nothing new. And their Saturdays are not constantly filled with running errands; they do have some down time. And, all these people who work during the week have evenings to go shopping. And they're not constantly going shopping anyway. It's a once in a while thing. And, when it comes to food shopping, the stores are already open on Sunday. Are you saying that people have no idea how to budget their time? Are you also saying that Sunday shopping will miraculously bring a place like Hackensack back to life? What are you saying?
TomW November 12, 2012 at 03:20 AM
I had no power last Sunday so I did not venture out on the roads. But I did explore the area and went food shopping today. The roads were more congested, not as bad as it is on Saturday but more congested and took me longer to get to where I needed to go. Keep the blue laws. It was nicer on Sundays before the suspension. Go to the neighboring towns that have shopping.
josh November 12, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Everyone keeps saying that paramus is forcing everyone to have blue laws and that is not true. The county keeps voting to keep it. The county, not just paramus. The residents get to decide, not the businesses. Have another vote if you want. Have one each year if you want. You will not win. The majority of us just don't want it. You are going to have to go to hudson and passaic county. Secaucus has plenty of shopping too. Sorry.
The people November 12, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Mark Ruckhaus needs to calm down & listen to what others are saying. I think voting is an excellent idea, it would be fair and just for all communities. Unless you are afraid that the majority of ppl want Sundays open? Let the people decide.
Mark Ruckhaus November 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM
How do you assume that I'm not calm? Because I might disagree with you? And not all of the others are saying the same thing. There are plenty of people here who aren't in favor of rescinding the Blue Laws. So, don't be such a jackass. And voting? It's been voted down twice already (1980 & '93). But, let's keep doing it until you get the results you want, OK? Have an exceptionally nice day!


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