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Metropolitan Motors v. State

Decided: February 17, 1956.

METROPOLITAN MOTORS, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES AND FREDERICK J. GASSERT, JR., DIRECTOR, RESPONDENTS



Clapp, Jayne and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Francis, J.A.D.

Francis

This appeal was instituted under R.R. 4:88-8 to review the refusal of the Director of Motor Vehicles to grant the appellant a motor vehicle dealer's license.

On June 14, 1955 appellant Metropolitan Motors, a New Jersey corporation, filed an application for such a license with the Division of Motor Vehicles under N.J.S.A. 39:10-19. The required fee was tendered and it is not suggested that the papers were not in proper form.

The statute provides:

"No person shall engage in the business of buying, selling or dealing in motor vehicles in this state, unless he is authorized to do so under the provisions of this chapter. The commissioner may, upon application in such form as he prescribes, license any proper person as such dealer. No person who has been convicted of a crime, arising out of fraud or misrepresentation in the sale or financing of a motor vehicle, shall be eligible to receive a license * * *." (Emphasis supplied)

Appellant's application lists Mary Milkowski as president and Joseph Ruoto, Sr., as secretary-treasurer of the corporation. The following question contained therein:

"7a. Do you knowingly intend to employ a person who has been convicted of crime arising out of fraud or misrepresentation in the sale or financing of a motor vehicle, or of any other crime, or who previously licensed as a dealer in this State was subject to action that resulted in revocation of the license?"

was answered in the negative. Also included in the completed form is an agreement that "any misrepresentation herein shall be sufficient cause for rejection * * *."

On July 1 the Director notified appellant that the license was being denied "at this time,"

"* * * because of an investigation now being conducted in Essex County on a certain individual who is the brother of Mary Milkowski -- President of the firm, and son of Joseph Ruoto, Sr. -- who is Secretary-Treasurer of the firm * * *."

When this appeal was taken, the Director applied for and was granted leave to add an appendix to his brief in the form of affidavits setting forth the basis for refusing to issue the license.

According to the affidavits, an investigation revealed that the premises where the applicant's business is to be conducted had been the place of operation of Joseph Ruoto, Jr., brother of appellant's president and son of its secretary-treasurer. The records of the Division showed that Joseph Ruoto had held a motor vehicle dealer's license which was revoked on or about June 21, 1955. The revocation occurred when he failed to appear at a hearing to answer charges of violating N.J.S.A. 39:10-12 ...


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