Grewal v. Sanchez

The NJ Attorney General’s Office’s Civil Rights Division brought suit under the Law Against Discrimination against defendant, a landlord, for turning down one prospective tenant because she was a Muslim and for making a negative comment to an undercover agent from the AG’s Office regarding her gender when she tried to rent an apartment from defendant. After a defense verdict, the AG’s Office appealed. At issue were numerous evidentiary rules made by the trial court, most notably under NJRE 610 and NJRE 106. The trial court had allowed defense counsel to vigorously cross-examine the putative tenant regarding her adherence to the Quran, and that scriptures supposed support for lying and belittling non-Muslims. In addition, the trial court prohibited the plaintiff from introducing certain interviews that defendant gave to news media that supposedly showed his bias toward Muslims. Since the raw, unedited interviews had not been retained by the news media, the trial court would not permit the partial interview in. Again, the Appellate Division reversed.