Defendant here is charged with a contempt of court consisting of having written the following letter on the 29th day of September, 1955, to the Gloucester City News , a newspaper circulating in Gloucester City, New Jersey, in which it was printed in an edition appearing on the 29th day of September, 1955:
I see in your columns that Judge Lloyd's ruling in behalf of the Tavern owner's petition makes it mandatory for Council to see that the matter is placed on the ballot for the voters to again determine whether or not such sales shall be permitted between 4:00 P.M. and midnight.
As one who was present at the hearing it is difficult to understand just why the Judge ruled as he did. At the point of recess without the Judge is given to double talk it certainly seemed that he would rule against the Tavern Association. What happened in between that time? Whatever it was it must have influenced the good Judge's decision to pass the buck and make the voters decide the issue.
Why do we pay these men such good salaries if they are not capable of deciding issues when they come before them?
Now the question really is this, not shall the taverns have these extra hours of sale alone, but shall they dominate the good men of our Council, our Mayor, our Legal adviser and Police Department. In other words, who is going to run the affairs of Gloucester City? The constituted authorities or the Tavern Association?
There is only one answer to this question if we desire a decent city. And that is for every self-respecting citizen to go to the poles on election day and vote against this referendum, and 'RULE BY THE TAVERN ASSOCIATION.'
(s) Rev. Loriot D. Bozorth"
The litigation referred to in the foregoing letter was an action in lieu of prerogative writ entitled Charles R. Bowell,
Jr. v. Mayor and Council of the City of Gloucester City and the City Clerk of the City of Gloucester City, Docket L-119-55-PW. The relief therein sought was a demand that a petition requesting a referendum upon the question of the legal hours for the sale of alcoholic beverages be received and filed by the city clerk and that the mayor and council be obliged to cause that public question to be printed upon the ballot for such a referendum to be held on the date of the next general election. On September 9, 1955 counsel for the plaintiff moved for a summary judgment before the Honorable Frank T. Lloyd, Jr., who on that date granted said motion and granted the relief sought in the complaint. Thereafter, the said Judge Lloyd having been apprized of the above letter, directed that the Rev. Loriot D. Bozorth be cited for contempt, and appointed Mitchell H. Cohen to prosecute such action.
It might be well, at the outset, to make some general observations concerning contempts of court.
A succinct statement of the history of contempts and their inclusion in the judicial system of the United States is contained in Bridges v. California , 314 U.S. 252, 285, 62 S. Ct. 190, 204, 86 L. Ed. 192 (1941), ...