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Lewis v. City of Atlantic City

Decided: April 30, 1956.

DAISY C. LEWIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF ATLANTIC CITY, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT



Civil action in lieu of prerogative writ.

Cafiero, J.s.c.

Cafiero

The question here is whether the City of Atlantic City is entitled to collect from the property owner the costs of establishing that a building which had been damaged by fire should be completely demolished pursuant to R.S. 40:48-2.3 et seq. The items were as follows:

(a) Demolition search $27.50

(b) Filing complaint 25.00

(c) Appraisal and witness fees: J. & L.

Construction Co. and Louis Dolinsky 450.00

(d) Appraisal and witness fee: B. J. Dudnick 250.00

The city was never put to any expense in connection with the demolition of the building. The expense alleged is in preparation of executing the proceeding which resulted in the order for demolition. It is conceded that the owner complied with the order and demolished the building at her own expense.

Both the statute and the ordinance under which the city issued the order for demolition permit an assessment only after the owner fails to comply with the demolition order.

The power of a city to conduct its government depends entirely upon such power as is granted to it by the Legislature. It has no independent right to create an

assessment unless legislative authority has been delegated. In Jersey City v. Martin , 126 N.J.L. 353, at page 361 ...


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