The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of the citizen’s committee regarding their right to petition under the Faulkner Act. The committee was represented in Redd v. Bowman by Anthony Valenti, Esq. Shareholder, Posternock Apell, PC.
Justice Anne Patterson, writing for the court, said the defendant committee of petitioners (Bowman) properly submitted an initiative petition for the adoption of the proposed ordinance under the Faulkner Act, affirming the Appellate Division’s ruling that the proposed ordinance did not constitute an improper divestment of the municipal governing body’s legislative power.* Unfortunately, due to the implementation of the County Police force and the elapsed time, the NJ Supreme Court also ruled that the proposed ordinance as written could not move forward and a new petition would need to be initiated if the committee chose to move forward.
According to litigator, Anthony Valenti, Esq. “The initiative and referendum rights in Faulkner Act municipalities, such as Camden, provide the electorate important rights to participate, through petition and ultimate voting at the ballot box, in the legislative process (law making), both where the governing body has chosen not to legislate or has legislated in a manner with which the electorate disagrees.
It was a pleasure to have represented a group of citizens who sought to preserve and exercise those rights. While the decision came too late to effect the ordinance as originally sought by these citizens, I believe the decision solidified these important rights and has eliminated many of the obstacles these or other citizens throughout the state might have otherwise faced with respect to future petitions of this nature.”
We congratulate Anthony on this win. Please contact him at [email protected] to learn more or discuss your litigation matters. Click here to view the article in The New Jersey Law Journal. Free registration required.
* Quoted from Challengers to Camden Police Reorganization Must Start Over, New Jersey Law Journal Zack Needles, August 11, 2015