On rule to show cause why a writ of mandamus or writ of certiorari should not issue.
For the relators, Merritt Lane.
For the respondents, Harry Tenenbaum (william George, of counsel).
Before Justices Heher and Perskie.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
PERSKIE, J. In re Emil Hefter. He was appointed a member of the police department on January 15th, 1927, and served continuously until his services were terminated on November 14th, 1934, except that on September 6th, 1932, he and seven others were suspended, and he did not return for duty until June 6th, 1933.
In re Martin Long. He was appointed a member of the police department on December 2d, 1922; is an exempt fireman and worked continuously from the date of his appointment (save for a period of six months, penalty incurred by him, beginning in May, 1932, when he was suspended for insubordination) up to the date of the termination of his services, herein complained of, on September 7th, 1934. The suspension for insubordination was the outgrowth of the demotion of all officers to the rank of patrolman, in May, 1932, when relator refused, on advice of counsel, to perform the services of a patrolman. The general reduction in rank, as aforesaid, was sustained by this court. Cobb v. Wildwood, 11 N.J. Mis. R. 176; see, also, Ibid. 171.
In re Stanley Roberts. He was first appointed a member of the police department on September 15th, 1929; is a veteran and served until he was suspended from his employment, on September 6th, 1932, "by reason of economy." He was reinstated in June, 1933, and continued until his present employment was terminated on September 3d, 1934.
In re James Hamilton. He was appointed a member of the police department in December, 1922, and put on as a regular in 1923, and continued to serve in that capacity until October 12th, 1934, except that on December 9th, 1932, his services were suspended until the 8th or 9th of January, 1933. He is also an exempt fireman.
Hefter and Roberts were, and Long and Hamilton were
not, among those laid off on September 6th, 1932. (It is stipulated that prior to and at the time such action (termination of relators' services) was taken, the relators were duly appointed policemen of the city of Wildwood.)
The plea of respondents is one of confession and avoidance. The attempted justification thereof is that the action complained of was taken in good faith and in the interest of economy. Have the relators proved lack of good faith or mala fides on the part of the respondents in the premises? We think that they have ...