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Neighbors Battle Tourette’s Victim

July 20, 1999

CHICAGO (AP) _ Neighbors of a man with Tourette’s syndrome want him forced out of his condominium because his foot-stomping, hooting and barking are keeping them awake.

On Monday, they agreed to stop trying to oust 53-year-old Jeffrey Marthon until a federal lawsuit is permanently resolved.

Marthon, an attorney, is suing the condominium association, saying federal laws protecting the disabled should keep him from being forced out. Monday’s agreement followed a warning from U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur, who agreed with Marthon that he is protected by law.

``My reading is that Congress has put its thumb on the plaintiff’s (Marthon’s) side of the balance scales,″ Shadur said.

Marthon has been troubled by Tourette’s syndrome all his life. The neurological disorder causes abrupt, involuntary body movements and sounds.

Marthon and his wife, Maureen Kilty, lived peacefully at the Maple Grove condominiums in suburban Downers Grove for a dozen years.

He said the problems did not begin until last September when condominium association President Paula Beranek moved into a unit just below his third-floor apartment.

Neighbors began complaining and someone tacked a sign to his door asking: ``Have you no decency?″ The condominium association then threatened to fine Marthon for making noise.

The association sued last month to force the sale of Marthon’s condo. He responded by asking Shadur for an order barring the association from harassing or evicting him.

Association attorney Michael Kim suggested the two sides draw up an agreement that will stay in effect until the dispute is either settled or goes to trial.

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