Judge issues temporary restraining order following complaint filed by Monmouth County Health Department

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order today against Mesivta Keser Torah-Jersey, Rabbi Dovid Heinemann, and Camp Emzee, Inc., preventing them from continuing to operate an unlicensed youth day camp in the Borough of Belmar.

The facility, located at 503-505 Eleventh Avenue, is currently housing a youth day camp that has not received the proper certificate of approval as required by New Jersey state law. The order issued by Judge Joseph P. Quinn immediately restrains the defendants from operating the camp not only at the Eleventh Avenue property but in any other location within Monmouth County until a final determination is made as to the claims set forth in the complaint submitted Attorneys Andrew Bayer, Esq. and David A. Clark, Esq. on behalf of the Monmouth County Health Department.

“We are gratified that Judge Quinn acted quickly and decisively today on this matter of great concern,” Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD), said. “The Health Department has numerous responsibilities not the least of which is enforcing the laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety. We are entrusted with the public’s welfare and it was imperative that we took swift action on behalf of the young people attending this camp.”

Specifically, the defendants are allegedly in violation of the New Jersey Youth Camp Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 26:12-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 8:25-1.1 et. seq.  The NJYCSA and the Youth Camp regulations provide that youth camps must obtain a certificate of approval from the New Jersey Department of Health in order to lawfully operate. After receiving information from local authorities, the MCHD investigated the location and discovered there are approximately 30 campers ranging from second to seventh grade participating in the camp.

Among the alleged violations are that the camp does not employ a camp director with proper qualifications as outlined in the regulation; there is no medical program in place under the direction of a New Jersey licensed physician or a dedicated health director; and that the youth camp operator or camp director is failing to use swimming pools or beaches which conform to all applicable municipal ordinances, state statutes, and public recreational bathing rules.  The defendants allegedly repeatedly allowed their campers to swim in a private, residential pool which does not comply with this regulation.

The property has also received numerous violations from the Belmar Bureau of Fire Prevention including the failure to maintain a fire alarm system – which directly places the health and safety of the youth campers at risk.

“We ask anyone who has concerns about any facility or camp to please contact the Monmouth County Health Department at 732-431-7456,” Freeholder Curley said. “It is imperative that we ensure the health and safety of our County’s youth so they can enjoy the summer months in a protected environment.”

The next scheduled court appearance regarding this matter is scheduled for August 29th at 2 p.m.