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Board of Commissioners v. Civil Service Commission

Decided: September 3, 1948.

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HOBOKEN, APPELLANT,
v.
THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF NEW JERSEY AND OTMAR J. PELLET, RESPONDENTS



On appeal from the Supreme Court, whose opinion is reported in 137 N.J.L. 72.

For the appellant, Dominick R. Rinaldi, Anthony J. Armore and Thomas J. Brogan.

For the Civil Service Commission, Walter D. Van Riper and John W. Griggs.

For Otmar J. Pellet, Edward A. Markley.

Bodine

The opinion of the court was delivered by

BODINE, J. The appeal is from a judgment of the Supreme Court which dismissed a writ of certiorari obtained by the appellant. The opinion of the Supreme Court is reported in 137 N.J.L. 72.

The writ of certiorari in that case brought up for review an order of the Civil Service Commission of New Jersey rendered September 9th, 1947, which provides: "IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the action of the Board of Commissioners, the Director of the Department of Revenue and Finance, or the City Attorney of the City of Hoboken, or of any of them in removing or dismissing from or discontinuing the services of Otmar J. Pellet as Assistant Corporation Attorney or Assistant City Attorney, effective on or about May 23d, 1947, be and the same is hereby set aside and the said

Board of Commissioners, the Director of the Department of Revenue and Finance and the City Attorney or any or all of them be and they are hereby directed to restore the said Otmar J. Pellet to the pay and title given or undertaken to be given to Charles J. DeFazio, Jr., effective as of the date of his removal or discontinuance from such service."

The position of assistant corporation attorney was first established by an ordinance passed by the City of Hoboken on April 10th, 1907. This ordinance sets forth the duties of the assistant corporation attorney. At an election held in that city on February 9th, 1915, the voters adopted the Commission Form of Government Act, which became effective February 16th, 1915.

At the organization meeting, by resolution it established a law department to consist of a corporation attorney, an assistant corporation attorney, and such other assistants as might thereafter be named. This resolution was adopted prior to the enactment of the Home Rule Act of 1917, which requires municipal offices and positions to be created by ordinance. Prior to the enactment of this legislation such positions could be created by either ordinance or resolution. Burlington v. Dennison, 42 N.J.L. 165; Levy v. North Bergen Township, 10 N.J. Mis. R. 850; 161 A. 45.

On May 21st, 1935, following a municipal election, the Board by resolution appointed Otmar J. Pellet, assistant corporation attorney, at the annual salary of $3,000, which was later increased.

By an ordinance of June 1st, 1943, a law department was established under the jurisdiction of the Director of Revenue and Finance to consist of a corporation attorney, an assistant corporation attorney, a clerk and such assistants and other employees as the director might deem necessary. The ordinance repealed only such prior ordinances as were ...


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