In Grabowsky v. Twp. of Montclair, the Appellate Division clarified when the fund in court exception applies, which alters the general rule that litigants bear their own litigation costs regardless of who prevails. The court held that because no litigation fund was ever created and taxpayers would ultimately bear the expense of the attorney’s fee award, […]


New Jersey Supreme Court to Address “Time of Application Rule”

by Patrick J. McNamara on August 11, 2017

The Supreme Court of New Jersey recently agreed to consider Dunbar Homes, Inc. v. The Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Township of Franklin. The case involves when a submission to the planning board should be considered an “application for development” that triggers the “time of application rule.” Time of Application Rule The time of […]


Gov. Christie Vetoes Airbnb Bill to Tax Short-Term Rentals

by Michael A. Jimenez on August 10, 2017

Gov. Chris Christie recently vetoed legislation that would have made rentals via Airbnb and similar online marketplaces subject to the same state and local occupancy taxes as hotel and motel rooms.  According to the Governor, he would not support imposing additional taxes on “already overly taxed New Jersey property owners.” The proposed legislation sought to […]


On July 21, 2017, Governor Christie signed Senate Bill 3067, which establishes new protections for transgender students and requires the Commissioner of Education to develop guidelines for school districts. The legislation is intended to ensure that transgender students are protected from discrimination and have a safe learning environment. “All of our children deserve to be treated […]


Gov. Christie Approves Library Bond Funding Bill

by Monica E. de los Rios on August 4, 2017

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently approved the “New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act.” The bi-partisan legislation authorizes the issuance of $125 million in State general obligation bonds to provide grants for the construction, expansion, and equipping of New Jersey’s public libraries. For the library funding to become a reality, New Jersey voters will also […]


The Supreme Court of New Jersey recently held that the public has the right to access recordings from the mobile video recorders (MVRs) in police vehicles under the common law right of access. The court further held in North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst that unredacted Use of Force Reports must be disclosed […]


New Jersey Municipal Consolidation Bill Signed into Law

by Patrick J. McNamara on July 21, 2017

Gov. Chris Christie recently signed legislation aimed to make it easier for New Jersey communities to pursue municipal consolidation. Senate Bill 956 authorizes special emergency appropriations for the payment of certain expenses incurred to implement a municipal consolidation. Consolidations are governed by the Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act, which was enacted in 2007. However, […]


US Supreme Court Sides with Church in Grant Funding Suit

by John G. Geppert, Jr. on July 17, 2017

In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Carol S. Comer, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the State of Missouri violated the U.S. Constitution when it denied a playground resurfacing grant to the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia based solely on its status as a religious institution. Facts […]


New Jersey’s Arbitration Interest Cap Set to Expire

by Craig A. Long on July 10, 2017

Local governments should be aware that the two percent cap on interest arbitration awards is set to expire at the end of the year. The cap limits how much compensation arbitrators can award police and firefighters who have reached a contract negotiation impasse with New Jersey municipalities. Under existing law, any time after a collective negotiation […]


OPRA Requestor’s Declaratory Judgement Action Deemed Moot

by Jessica F. Gonzalez on July 7, 2017

In Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, LLC v. County of Bergen, the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of a declaratory judgment action arising from a records dispute under the state’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Because the OPRA requestor had received the documents at issue prior to filing the suit, the appeals court held that […]