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Hammond v. Board of Aldermen

Decided: January 11, 1940.

HARRY HAMMOND, PROSECUTOR,
v.
BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF PATERSON, RESPONDENT; HARRY HAMMOND, RELATOR, V. BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF PATERSON, RESPONDENT



On certiorari and rule to show cause why mandamus should not issue.

For the prosecutor and relator, Aaron Heller.

For the respondent, Charles F. Lynch and Salvatore D. Viviano.

Before Justices Trenchard, Case and Heher.

Trenchard

The opinion of the court was delivered by

TRENCHARD, J. On May 2d, 1938, and again on August 15th, 1938, the Board of Aldermen of the city of Paterson, respondent, refused to issue a junk yard license to the prosecutor. The prosecutor was allowed a writ of certiorari to review such action and a rule to show cause why a peremptory or alternative writ of mandamus should not issue. By stipulation both causes were argued and considered together upon

the same record. The prosecutor of the writ now contends that (1) respondent's action was arbitrary and unreasonable, and (2) respondent's action was not supported by evidence, and deprived prosecutor of his constitutional rights.

We think such contentions are without merit.

The record discloses that on April 6th, 1938, the city of Paterson adopted "An ordinance to license and regulate junk yards in the city of Paterson," and such ordinance was thereafter continuously in effect. Section 1 thereof ordained "That no person or persons, firm or corporation shall engage in the business of keeping a junk yard, that is no person or persons, firm or corporation, shall keep and maintain a yard, covered or uncovered, space or place, in the city of Paterson, for the purpose of buying and selling, exchanging or storing rags, old metals, old bottles, old glassware, old tinware, old paper, old lumber, old plumbing fixtures, dismantled old automobiles or parts thereof, motor vehicle junk, or any other old material commonly called junk, without being licensed so to do by the Board of Aldermen of the City of Paterson, provided, however, this shall not prohibit the storage of old material to be used by the person or persons, firm or corporation, storing the same for manufacturing purposes."

It is not contended that the city lacked power to enact such ordinance. The legislature has the power to require a license to keep a junk yard, for the purpose of regulating the conduct of it, as the public interests may lawfully demand. State v. Kierman, 116 Conn. 458; 165 All. Rep. 601; 88 A.L.R. 962. Such was the purpose of the present ordinance. Therein it is provided (among other things) that the licensee shall at all times maintain such premises in a safe and sightly manner with due regard to the public safety of persons and property in the vicinity in which the junk yard is located. The legislature is vested with a large discretion to determine not only what the interests of the public welfare require, but also what measures are necessary to secure such interests.

We believe that the refusal of the respondent board to grant the junk yard license in the present case was a reasonable exercise of the police power and in the ...


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