Frum Couple Launches Legal Battle Over Motion Sensors On Shabbos


bournemouth-1The Daily Echo reports: Orthodox Jews have launched a legal battle over a decision to install movement sensors to control the lights in their Bournemouth flat block. The couple claim they cannot leave or enter their property at Embassy Court, Gervis Road during the Sabbath because of the motion sensors that have been installed in the hallways. It’s understood they are observant Jews who refrain from switching lights or any other electrical item on or off, or causing them to be switched on or off during the Sabbath or a Jewish festival.

The act is regarded by many Jews to be a form of fire creation, which is prohibited during the Sabbath by Jewish law.

The couple suggested a compromise, which would have seen them pay for an override switch that would disable the sensors when required.

But this was rejected by the management company, who said it would set an “unacceptable precedent” and could not be defended to all the other lessees.

Following these unsuccessful negotiations, both sides sought legal advice and court action has begun, although this is still at a very early stage and as yet there is no date for a hearing. The management company is accused of breaching the terms of the lease, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2006.

In a statement to Embassy Court residents, the management company state: “The directors believe that almost all lessees at Embassy Court support the actions taken by the management company to reduce communal lighting electricity costs, and to reduce repair and maintenance costs by preventing heat damage to light fittings and prolonging their life.

“The directors further believe that almost all lessees support the installation of movement sensor lighting controls in the hallways and have no personal problems with their installation.”

The couple taking the action has also circulated information to other residents outlining the facts as they see them.

They said they found the rejection of their compromise proposal “very upsetting” and added: “Faced with a situation where we could never again have full use of our flat, we were left with no alternative but to seek legal advice.

“We consulted solicitors and a caseworker at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and were advised that we had a strong claim.”

They have reiterated their willingness to drop the legal action if an override switch was installed and the management company paid their legal costs and compensation.

{Daily Echo/ Newscenter}


  1. We had the same problem in our condo building here in Brookline, MA. The condo association, run of course by “traditional” but not completely frum Jews, made life difficult and insisted on installing these sensors. After consulting with several attorneys we were told that our legal position was not great and it would be preferable to work out a compromise. We were very upset at the situation and spoke with a well known Rav. He paskined that if one of the sensors near our stairwell was always on, then it did not matter if the other sensors went off, because they it did not help us to see as the other light was on constantly. We had to pay nearly $1000 for the electricians to do this, and went through a lot of Tzaar, but LeKovod Shabbos, it was worth it.

  2. You are right, Gersh but…former England(now a Londonistan dump of white menuvolim) is as close to be Malchuso De’Aro K’Malchuso De’Rokia.
    They could cut a slack for Yiddn…