Sefelino v. County College of Morris

From November 2022 to February 2024
County College of Morris (Public college or university)
Randolph, NJ

Identity of Speakers

  • Kombe Sefelino

    County College of Morris student

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Rally or protest
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Right wing
  • Incident Responses:
    Student sanctioned
  • Incident Status:
    Held unconstitutional
  • Was Speech Code incident


A County College of Morris student filed a federal lawsuit against the public school claiming he was suspended when he expressed his “Christian beliefs” against homosexuality and preached passages from the Bible to other students as he paced the Randolph campus.

Morris County resident Kombe Sefelino could not attend classes or be on campus for 11 days after school administrators said he made statements regarded as “hate speech” against the LGBTQ+ community that violated the school’s code of conduct and the state’s Law Against Discrimination, according to the suit, filed on March 21 in U.S. District Court in Newark.

Sefelino was initially warned by the school’s compliance officer to halt his preaching after students complained, but he was suspended after he refused, stating in his complaint that the college was violating his right to free speech under the protections of the First Amendment.

The follower of the Christian religion often voices his beliefs on street corners and sidewalks in and around Morris County and on the school’s campus. He reads passages from the Bible and urges passersby to “repent their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ” in what his attorneys say is done “in an act of love.”

“The right of free speech includes the right to speak and demonstrate against homosexuality,” writes Walter Zimolong, a Pennsylvania-based attorney. “It also includes the right to engage in speech that offends homosexuals and woke college administrators.”

Sefelino, who is seeking unspecified monetary damages, also asks the court to declare that the college violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution by disciplining him and requests that the college expunge the written warning and suspension from his records.

Kathleen Brunet, the director of marketing and public relations at County College of Morris, said the college is not able to comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit was filed when Sefelino was escorted off the campus March 21 by the school’s Department of Public Safety for “preaching against transgenderism and gender-nonconforming behavior.” Attorney R. Scott Fahrney, who represents the college and whose name first appeared in court filings late Thursday, said in a letter to the court that Sefelino was allowed to return to the school on Thursday after he met with the college’s dean of students.

In February, 2024, the Court issued a stipulated final order finding that the College violated Sefalino’s rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.