Town of Gilsum & AIDS Group Home Reach Settlement
A group home for people with HIV and Hepatitis C has settled its legal battle with the Town Of Gilsum. Under the terms of the settlement, AIDS Services of the Monadnock Regionwill be able to continue operating the Cleve Jones Wellness House.
The town had denied the facility a property tax exemption after receiving the necessary application several days late.
But documents requested by lawyers showed that other non-profits in the small community were granted an exemption despite their late filings.
"This is a classic case of a violation of the equal protection of the laws," says Ben Klein, a lawyer with GLAD, who filed suit on behalf of AIDS Services. "They treated one organization, the AIDS Service organization, differently than other similar service organizations."
This is the second legal battle between the town and the group home. After AIDS Services purchased the property in 2005, Gilsum put forth tight conditions for receiving a zoning variance that were eventually modified through a court settlement.