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Murphy v. Board of Commissioners

Decided: March 7, 1938.

VINCENT J. MURPHY, RELATOR,
v.
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF NEWARK, RESPONDENT



On rule to show cause why writ of mandamus should not issue.

For the relator, Thomas L. Parsonnet, Andrew F. Zazalli, Bertram A. Garrigan and Sidney Finkel.

For the respondent, James F. X. O'Brien, Simon Englander and Thomas M. Kane.

Before Justices Case and Donges.

Donges

The opinion of the court was delivered by

DONGES, J. This rule to show cause seeks to have the board of commissioners of the city of Newark directed to assign and distribute to one or more of the departments of government of said city six subordinate agencies of government, namely, the board of assessment and revision of taxes, the board of assessment for local improvements, the department of central purchase, the law department, the city clerk, and the board of adjustment.

The organization meeting of said board of commissioners

was held on May 18th, 1937. At that meeting, appointments were made to the several agencies mentioned, but the duties thereof were not assigned to or distributed into any of the departments of city government.

This rule to show cause was allowed on July 6th, 1937. Subsequently, and on August 11th, 1937, a resolution was adopted by the board of commissioners providing that all of the executive, administrative, judicial and legislative authority and duties relating to the six agencies herein involved be "fixed and distributed into the Department of Public Affairs, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Works, Department of Revenue and Finance, and Department of Parks and Public Property, except in so far as the same may be inconsistent with any laws of the State of New Jersey pertaining to the same," and the directors of the respective departments of public affairs, public works, public safety, revenue and finance and parks and public property, shall have supervision and direction over the aforesaid agencies, "except in so far as the same may be inconsistent with any laws of the State of New Jersey pertaining to the same."

By this resolution, it would appear to be the purpose to keep these agencies within and under the control of the board of commissioners as a whole.

Chapter 221 of the laws of 1930, Pamph. L., p. 996, provides: "The executive, administrative, judicial and legislative powers, authority and duties in such municipality shall be distributed into and among five departments," designating the departments as above * * *. "The board of commissioners shall determine the powers and duties to be performed by each department and shall assign such powers and duties to such department as they in their judgment deem appropriate, and they shall prescribe the powers and duties of all officers and employes and they may assign particular officers and employes to one or more departments and may require any officer or ...


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