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Consumers'' Research Inc. v. Evans

Decided: February 13, 1942.

CONSUMERS' RESEARCH, INC., PROSECUTOR,
v.
ALICE B. EVANS AND BOARD REVIEW (NEW JERSEY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION COMMISSION), RESPONDENTS



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Waugh, Torppey & Consodine (William A. Consodine, of counsel).

For the respondents, Clarence F. McGovern.

Before Justices Bodine, Perskie and Porter.

Porter

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PORTER, J. This writ of certiorari brings before us for review the determination of the Board of Review of the Unemployment Compensation Commission holding that an employee of Consumers' Research, Inc., prosecutor, Alice B. Evans, is eligible for benefits under N.J.S.A. 43:21, et seq.

The sole question presented is whether or not prosecutor comes within the provisions of the statute, N.J.S.A. 43:21-19 (i-7) exempting an employer engaged exclusively for scientific or educational purposes and whose net earnings do not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. The statute reads as follows:

"The term 'employment' shall not include: * * * (G) Services performed in the employ of a corporation, community

chest fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, hospital, benevolent, philanthropic, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual."

The Consumers' Research, Inc., is incorporated under the laws of this state not for pecuniary profit. It holds itself out as being organized to provide a clearing house where information of importance to consumers may be assembled, edited and promulgated; and "to develop an art and science of consumption by use of which ultimate consumers may defend themselves against the invasions and aggressions of misleading advertising and high pressure salesmanship." It purchases in the open market articles of general use by consumers such as household utensils, toilet articles, food, drugs, wearing apparel, radios, vacuum cleaners, & c., and subjects them to scientific and economic tests and research as to their nature, adaptability, serviceableness, quality, & c. The result of this research is made known to its patrons or subscribers who pay an annual fee for this service. The prosecutor has about 60,000 subscribers to its service. The prosecutor recruits its subscribers through the circulation by mail of a prospectus and it publishes bulletins annually and nine monthly during the year. It also published a monthly magazine known as "Consumers Digest" but which was later published by a separate corporation controlled, however, by prosecutor and having interlocking directors and its offices at the same location. This publication did not confine itself to scientific subjects or to the work of the prosecutors but in addition printed articles of more general interest to the public. We are informed that since the hearings in this matter it has ceased publication.

The actual membership in the prosecutor corporation is limited to five members. Its founder and now full time director together with a staff of assistants and office help, in all about twenty, are paid stated salaries for their services. The director has made contributions to the ...


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