A group that provides transitional services to adults with autism was given the green light to proceed with a lawsuit against neighbors the group says has been harassing them. Oasis Therapeutic Life Centers bought a property in Middletown for place where autistic adults who had aged out of their transitional programs could live and work.

The lawsuit, which was reinstated by an appellate court, alleges discrimination by neighbors in the wealthy area before and after the property was sold. Residents opposed to selling the property to the group went door to door to get signatures on a petition to prevent the sale and attempted to bribe both Oasis and the seller to back out before the sale closed.

After the sale, anonymous persons sent the sellers letters asking “how can you do this to us?” and “how can you live with yourself?” The lawsuit further alleges that once Oasis took over the property, the driveway was defaced by graffiti and several hundred pounds of manure were dumped on the property and a fence with no gate was erected, leaving no way for emergency vehicles to enter the property. The lawsuit against the neighbors is for discrimination and seeks punitive and compensatory damages as well as attorney fees.

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