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HOA's Case Against Dallas Congregation Tossed

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MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) - A judge on Wednesday morning ruled in a case that pitted a DFW house of worship against a neighborhood's homeowners association. The legal battle has been brewing for more than a year, and it ended with a ruling in favor of Congregation Toras Chaim of Dallas.

The issue first started in 2013 when the homeowners association of Highlands at McKamy in far north Dallas took legal action against the synagogue. Orthodox Jewish members of the congregation worshipped daily at a private home in the neighborhood.

Homeowners said that this violated neighborhood rules.

Attorneys for the synagogue aruged on Wednesday that the case should be dismissed, citing both federal and state laws which permit religious freedom. The judge ruled in their favor, throwing out the case.

"We don't view this as a victory," said Rabbi Yaakov Rich after the decision came down. "The victory would be when the whole neighborhood comes together. The victory would be when all of us feel good about each other."

But at least one person does not feel so good about the ruling. "Honestly," neighbor David Schneider said, "at the end of the day, I envision a scenario where I go to sell my house, at some point in time, and there are people that don't want to move in because they'd be across the street from a church or synagogue."

Schneider said that he likes his neighbors, but wishes that they would find a different location for worship. He is not yet sure if he will file an appeal.

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