Newton father at odds with town over basketball hoop

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A Sussex County father says that he was forced to take down his children’s basketball hoop despite being previously told by town officials that it was OK to have.

Ryan Boyle says that he received a verbal OK from Newton town officials six years ago to put up the hoop along the curb in front of his home so that his children and their friends could play ball on the dead-end street.

Boyle says that as much as 10 children at a time would be playing – and they played constantly. He says that this was the case until a letter from the town code enforcement officer arrived. The letter said that Boyle would have to take the hoop down.

After two failed attempts to plead his case in municipal court, Boyle says that he took the hoop down. But he says that he is still baffled and angry and would like to see the law changed or at least change how it is enforced.

“I've heard of them giving ordinance violations for chipping paint. If it was something like that, I would comply with it right away, not an issue,” Boyle says. “But this is something that my kids, other kids, they enjoy. They're active, they're not inside playing video games.”

Newton Town Manager Thomas Russo Jr. tells News 12 New Jersey that the town ordinance clearly prohibits basketball hoops and hockey nets on town streets. This includes temporary nets.

“I can’t pick and choose which laws to enforce,” Russo said.

Russo did say that he might be willing to try to work something out with Boyle, but made no promises.

Boyle is due back in court next month.

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