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State v. Parking Authority

Decided: January 26, 1954.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE PARKING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF TRENTON AND MARY G. ROEBLING, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS CHAIRMAN OF SAID AUTHORITY, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



Jayne, Francis and Proctor. The opinion of the court was delivered by Proctor, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).

Proctor

This appeal involves the status of the employees of the Parking Authority of the City of Trenton in reference to the provisions of the Civil Service laws of the State.

The action was brought by the Department of Civil Service to obtain a judgment declaring the above-mentioned employees to be within the protection of Title 11 of the Revised Statutes (Civil Service).

The trial division entered a judgment in favor of the defendants (27 N.J. Super. 284 (Law Div. 1953)). Plaintiff appeals.

The facts are not in dispute. In 1911 the city by referendum adopted Title 11 of the Revised Statutes. In December 1948 the parking authority was established by an ordinance of the city pursuant to the enabling statute, L. 1948, c. 198 (N.J.S.A. 40:11 A -1 et seq.), the parking authority

Law. All of the operating expenses of the authority, including the payment of compensation to its employees, are met from the proceeds of the fees charged to the public for parking vehicles. Revenue derived by the authority from its operations is retained by it and is not turned over to the city. The members of the authority are appointed by the board of commissioners of the city, and at various times the city has made gifts of land to the authority.

Appellant contends that the authority so established is a branch or department of the City of Trenton and its employees are employees of the city and are within the protection of the provisions of the Civil Service Act applicable to the city.

The Parking Authority Law, supra , was enacted to promote the public safety and convenience in relieving congestion of traffic in the streets of municipalities. A history of the parking problem in municipalities and the creation of authorities to deal with the problem is set forth in DeLorenzo v. City of Hackensack , 9 N.J. 379 (1952); see also 15 N.J. Super. 341 (Law Div. 1951).

The Parking Authority Law authorizes the governing body of a municipality to establish a local parking authority. The authority so established is "a body corporate and politic" with perpetual succession. It may sue and be sued and make contracts, including agreements with the municipality; it may sell, buy or lease property; it may fix rates and collect charges for the parking privileges it provides; it may borrow money secured by mortgages on its property or pledges of its income; it may make by-laws and regulations to carry its power into effect. It must file an annual audit of its accounts with the Director of the Division of Local Government.

In recognition of the close relationship between the parking authority and the municipality, the Legislature provided that an authority may come into being only by the action of the governing body of the municipality, which is authorized to appoint the five commissioners of the authority. The act authorizes the municipality to cooperate with the authority

by making loans and grants to it and in other ways assisting it in the accomplishment of the object for which it is established. However, the authority acts in its own name; it cannot bind the city by its actions. It transmits no money to the municipality, but retains all revenue derived from the services of its employees and the use of its assets; from such ...


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