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Wohlgemuth Bus Co. v. Public Service Co-Ordinated Transport

Decided: October 17, 1940.

WOHLGEMUTH BUS COMPANY ET AL., PROSECUTORS,
v.
PUBLIC SERVICE CO-ORDINATED TRANSPORT ET AL., DEFENDANTS



On certiorari.

For the prosecutors, Harold Farkas.

For Meyer C. Ellenstein, mayor, &c., Joseph A. Ward.

For Public Service Co-ordinated Transport, William H. Speer.

Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Parker and Perskie.

Parker

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PARKER, J. The attack is on a "consent" given by the mayor of Newark as Director of the Department of Public Affairs of that city, which, it is admitted, is governed by a city commission under the so-called "Walsh act," now N.J.S.A. 40, chs. 70 et seq. Pursuant to that act, the Board of Commissioners by resolution vested the authority relating to streets and sewers, street regulation, transportation, and other matters not here relevant, in the Department of Public Affairs. The mayor as director of that department gave consent in writing on March 20th, 1940, to the surrender of five bus permits and the issue of five others in lieu thereof, subject to three conditions: the first limiting the rate of fare, not here in question; the second and third reading as follows:

"2. This consent is granted subject to the terms or conditions "now imposed or hereinafter to be imposed by an ordinance or regulation of the City of Newark or any law of the State of New Jersey.

"3. This consent is subject to the approval of the Board of Public Utility Commissioners of the State of New Jersey, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 195 of the laws of 1911 and the amendments thereof and supplements thereto."

It is expressly admitted in the brief for prosecutors, that the conditions of paragraph 3 above quoted have not been met. The language of the brief is as follows:

"We wish to point out that the Public Service Co-ordinated Transport has proceeded with an application to the Public Utilities Commission for approval of the aforementioned consent under the Public Utility act (R.S. 48:2-14) and that a hearing has been held thereon, but that up to the present no decision has been rendered by the Public Utilities Commission. The points raised herein have been raised before the Public Utilities Commission by the prosecutors, who operate buses over a portion of the same streets."

In this situation, we are asked to sustain the claim made for the prosecutors, that as the act called the "Kates act" (N.J.S.A. 48:4-3) requires the consent of the "board or body having control of the public streets," and as the Director of Public Affairs is neither a "board" nor a "body" (so runs the ...


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