Judge skewers both sides in New Jersey beach access trial

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A high-stakes trial about beach access at the New Jersey shore has bogged down after the judge in the case made clear, in often colorful terms, that she was less than impressed with arguments made by both sides.

During a hearing Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Lisa Thornton told one of the attorneys, “Don’t get your underwear in a bunch,” and said another’s responses amounted to “dancing” around the question.

The American Littoral Society, a coastal environmental group, is suing the borough of Deal. The group is trying to nullify an ordinance that would vacate the end of an oceanfront street in return for a $1 million payment from a nearby landowner who wants the property as part of a development proposal.

Surfers use the spot to reach the sand.