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Bergen Blue Laws Battle Headed to Court

Paramus seeks to enforce Blue Laws after Christie ordered them suspended.

It's been a week since Gov. Chris Christie issued the order to suspend Bergen County's Blue Laws so that residents most impacted by Hurricane Sandy could purchase necessary repair items. And while Paramus has the strictest Blue Laws on the books, County Executive Kathleen Donovan may take the borough to court this week to keep local officials from limiting what stores can be open.

Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan had asked the state last Saturday to suspend the county’s Blue Laws as the County struggled with numerous power outages. Christie gave the order on Sunday, Nov. 4 to allow for retail stores to open.

The Executive Order is meant to allow the sale of clothing and wearing apparel, building and lumber supply materials, furniture, home or business or office furnishings, household, business or office appliances.

But Paramus posted on its borough website that the remainder of the towns Blue Laws remain in effect. A letter was also issued to the Paramus Chamber of Commerce outlining what could and could not be sold on Sunday. Officials have stated they will enforce the laws and if need by fine any retail stores that attempt to sell books, jewelry, recreational and athletic equipment, or automobiles.

“You mean to tell me that Neiman Marcus and an $800 pair of Christian Louboutins are a necessity at this point? Come on,” Mayor Richard LaBarbiera told northjersey.com. “Or that the 100,000 square feet of jewelry stores need to be open in Paramus? It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And I find it disingenuous that they think that this is necessary to address the needs of those people impacted by the storm.”

County officials stated they intend to head to court on Thursday seeking a ruling to prevent Paramus and any other towns from enforcing the Blue Laws.

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.

BellairBerdan November 09, 2012 at 07:04 PM
LW what makes you think you will have Sundays off for long if we continue to let big business chip away at what the People have voted?
Ricky November 10, 2012 at 07:16 AM
Unless you rely solely on public transportation, these blue laws aren't a big hassle. Supermarkets are open and they carry batteries and many other items that can still be purchased. But again, there's a Lowes, Home Depot within a 15 minute drive of most of the county anyway. If you live in Elmwood Park or Fair Lawn, it's more like 5 minutes or less.
JP November 15, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Even better... let it go business by business. Want to stay open, do so, don't, then don't. I didn't see a meltdown in Paramus last weekend because stores were open, did anyone?
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