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Keyes Electrical Service v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Cumberland

Decided: June 25, 1951.

KEYES ELECTRICAL SERVICE, A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS OF THE COUNTY OF CUMBERLAND AND WILLIAM E. SNELL, DEFENDANTS



On motion to continue restraint and on motion to strike complaint.

Woods, J.s.c.

Woods

The cause before us is in lieu of the prerogative writ superseded by Rule 3:81-1.

Counsel for the plaintiff moved for a continuance of restraint pending the determination of the proceedings. The court allowed the continuance.

The cause arises out of the action taken by the board of chosen freeholders (March 15, 1951) in the form of a resolution adopted to advertise for bids on electrical work to be performed in the construction of an addition to the Cumberland County Hospital in accordance with plans and specifications prepared by Walter L. Custer, architect. On April 5, 1951, bids were received and opened on all the work to be performed. The court is concerned with the electrical work bids only. On that date the board received the following bids to their proposals:

MEL DOWNS ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION CO.

Bridgeton, New Jersey Bid: $4,777

COMPTON ELECTRICAL CO.

Audubon, New Jersey Bid: $3,604

ELIHU D. DELL'ARINGA

Vineland, New Jersey Bid: $3,365

WILLIAM E. SNELL ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION

Vineland, New Jersey Bid: $3,840

KEYES ELECTRICAL SERVICE, INC.

Bridgeton, New Jersey Bid: $3,500

The board of chosen freeholders advertised in conformity with R.S. 40:25-2 which reads as follows:

"Contracts; bids for expenditures over $1,000; advertisement and award

No officer, board, commission, committee, department or other branch of any county government shall enter into any contract for the doing of any work or the furnishing of any materials, supplies or labor, or the hiring of teams or vehicles, where the sum to be expended together with any other sums expended or to be expended for the same immediate purpose and all matters relating thereto exceeds in the aggregate the sum of one thousand dollars, without first publicly advertising for bids therefor. All such contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. Any person authorizing, consenting to, making or procuring to be made any contract or agreement in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or making or procuring to be made any payment for or on account of any contract or agreement made or entered into in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

Plaintiff, Keyes Electrical Service, does not attack the proposal advertisement procedure, nor the validity of the advertisement as to specifications.

On April 12, 1951, the board of chosen freeholders, agreeable to the statute reservation and bid proposal, elected to reject all electrical bids and immediately, or shortly thereafter, authorized re-advertising for, receiving and opening of bids for electrical work, labor and materials in connection with the construction, alterations and additions to the Cumberland County ...


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