On information on a writ in the nature of quo warranto.
For the relator, Seymour & Seymour.
For the defendant, William George.
Before Case, Chief Justice, and Justice Burling.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
BURLING, J. The relator, Lee L. Andrews, Jr., is a citizen of the United States, a taxpayer and a resident of the Township of Springfield in the County of Union and State of New Jersey. He was granted leave to file an information in the nature of quo warranto. The objective of the relator in the prosecution of the case is to cause the ouster of the defendant from the office of first class patrolman for said township. Plea was filed denying usurpation. Reply was made thereto. Upon a stipulation of facts, the decision rests with us.
On October 18th, 1944, defendant submitted his resignation as a member of the police department to take other employment. The resignation was accepted at a regular meeting of the Township Committee held October 18th, 1944.
On February 9th, 1947, while still privately employed defendant requested in writing his "reinstatement" upon the police force. The request was brought to the attention of the Township Committee and at a regular meeting of the Township Committee held on February 26th, 1947, on resolution defendant was "reinstated to the police department effective March 1st, 1947, as a first class patrolman." At the time of his "reinstatement" he was forty-six years of age.
There is a statute defining the qualifications of a policeman in the laws of 1945, chapter 219, page 274, article I, found in R.S. 40:47-4 (R.S.A. Pocket Part). The pertinent part thereof reads as follows:
"No person shall be appointed a member of the police force of any municipality who is less than twenty one or more than thirty years of age."
It is the contention of the relator that the defendant was re-appointed in violation of this law and he should therefore be ousted. It is so.
Although it is asserted that the defendant's re-engagement on February 26th, 1947, was for the benefit of the police service of said township and ...