Montreal, Quebec – A long-standing feud between Canadian Orthodox Jew Michael Rosenberg and his non-Jewish neighbor, Pierre Lacerte, has found its way into a Montreal courtroom. According to a report by Montreal CTV (http://bit.ly/Y7j294), the Lacerte-Rosenberg battle is indicative of the ongoing tensions between the Hasidic community in Outremont and its neighbors.
Lacerte, a writer, has a history of fighting with Outremont’s Hasidic community. For the better part of a decade, Lacerte has obsessed about his Outremont neighbor, Rosenberg, who is a wealthy real estate tycoon. Lacerte has even gone so far as to document Rosenberg and his perceived legal infractions in photographs uploaded to a blog.
In response, Rosenberg filed a $375,000 defamation suit against Lacerte. Rosenberg’s attorney, Julius Grey, said the case is about “defamation, breach of privacy – while the other side is claiming abuse of procedures.”
Rosenberg previously tried to obtain a restraining order against Lacerte, but was unsuccessful. He now alleges Lacerte’s blog photos have adversely affected his business, but was unable to provide evidence to support that claim. Rosenberg has also called Lacerte anti-Semitic, a charge Lacerte denies.
On Monday morning, Lacerte posted a caricature of Rosenberg as Godzilla on his blog. He later taunted Rosenberg’s supporters at the courthouse.
The trial is scheduled to continue for the remainder of this week.