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McCooey v. Megill

Decided: February 11, 1947.

JOHN H. MCCOOEY, PROSECUTOR,
v.
G. MARVIN MEGILL, RECORDER OF THE BOROUGH OF SPRING LAKE, NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Quinn, Doremus, McCue & Russell and Richard W. Stout (John J. Quinn, of counsel).

For the defendant, Gilbert H. Van Note.

Before Justices Parker, Donges and Eastwood.

Eastwood

The opinion of the court was delivered by

EASTWOOD, J. The prosecutor in certiorari seeks to have declared void and of no legal effect a complaint charging him with the violation of R.S. 2:208-8, commonly known as the Disorderly Persons Act, made against him by one Russell Hurden, chief of police of the Borough of Spring Lake, New Jersey, before the defendant, G. Marvin Megill, Recorder of the Borough of Spring Lake, New Jersey, on July 30th, 1946.

The complaint under attack is based upon the language of R.S. 2:202-8 which provides as follows:

"Any person who, being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, shall loiter in any public or quasi -public place, or in or upon any private property not his own within this state, or who, not being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, shall there indulge in and utter loud and offensive or indecent language, shall be adjudged a disorderly person."

We deem it of sufficient importance to reproduce here the exact language of the complaint. It states as follows:

"That on July 30th, 1946, John H. McCooey, being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, did loiter in the rooms and corridors of the Monmouth Hotel, Spring Lake, Monmouth County, New Jersey, a public place, and upon private property not his own, and did then and there indulge in and utter loud and offensive and indecent language; that the said John H. McCooey, by reason of the facts herein stated, was then and there a disorderly person within the meaning of R.S. 2:202-8."

Among other things the defendant contends that the instant writ is unusual and may be premature. With this contention we do not agree. In the case of Mowery v. Camden, 49 N.J.L. 106; 6 A. 438, this court held that the issuance of a writ of certiorari before decision was proper, "* * * when the design is to reverse proceedings of special tribunals in matters not legally brought within their jurisdiction, then the writ of certiorari may legally, and ordinarily should, be allowed when asked for, either before or after final decision, because each step in such proceedings is an unlawful vexation of the party prosecuted, against which this writ is his sole protection. The discretion of this court in the allowance and dismissal of the writ, and now also with regard to costs on final judgment, affords an adequate safeguard against any abuse." In our opinion the matter sub judice falls within that type of case that should be reviewed before final judgment so that the prosecutor herein should not be subjected to unlawful vexation and possible immediate and unlawful imprisonment, if convicted of the charges made against him.

We think it necessary to consider only one of the grounds advanced by the prosecutor for the ...


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