For the prosecutor, Bozza & Bozza (Frank B. Bozza and Samuel D. Bozza).
For the respondent, Charles A. Malloy and Herman D. Ringle.
Before Justices Bodine, Perskie and Wachenfeld.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
BODINE, J. The writ in this case was allowed to test the legality of a finding by the Unemployment Commission of the State of New Jersey that: the services performed by referees, timekeepers, announcers, boxers and wrestlers are employment as defined by the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law.
The prosecutor of the writ is a corporation of the State of New Jersey licensed since 1938 by the State Athletic Commissioner
to engage in promoting public boxing and wrestling matches in this state. It conducts two exhibitions each week -- on Monday, boxing, and on Friday, wrestling. In the winter the exhibitions are held at Laurel Garden and in the summertime in Meadowbrook Bowl. Both premises are situate in the City of Newark and are rented by the prosecutor.
Boxing and wrestling in this state are regulated by R.S. 5:2-1, et seq. The State Athletic Commissioner is appointed by the Governor and must be confirmed by the Senate and holds office for a term of five years and is paid a salary.
Under R.S. 5:2-4, the Commissioner may appoint and remove a chief inspector and such referees, inspectors and other officials as are necessary to effectively administer the act. Under 5:2-5, the Commissioner has the sole direction of boxing and wrestling and may and has made rules and regulations relating thereto. Other provisions of the statute relate to licensing, those who may hold boxing and wrestling and sparring exhibitions upon the posting of a bond and upon performing other acts specified in the act.
R.S. 5:2-11 provides as follows: "No boxing, wrestling or sparring exhibition or performance shall be held by any person unless such person shall have, at least two weeks before the holding of the same, notified the commissioner, in such form, with such detailed information and at such place as the commissioner may prescribe, of the proposed holding of the same, and shall, in addition to having a license as provided by section 5:2-8 of this title, have obtained from the commissioner at least ten days prior to the date of the proposed exhibition or performance, a permit in writing to hold the same."
Boxing and wrestling appear to be a most thoroughly regulated enterprise. The most the prosecutor does is to arrange for the exhibitions, furnish the facilities of the arena -- even here all arrangements are fixed by rule ...