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In re Hearing on an Order to Show Cause Why Private Detective License

Decided: March 4, 1957.

IN THE MATTER OF THE HEARING ON AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THE PRIVATE DETECTIVE LICENSE, NO. 671, ISSUED TO NICHOLAS P. BERARDI SHOULD NOT BE REVOKED FOR CAUSE. NICHOLAS P. BERARDI, APPELLANT,
v.
JOSEPH D. RUTTER, RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Superior Court, Appellate Division.

For affirmance -- Chief Justice Vanderbilt, and Justices Heher, Oliphant, Burling, Jacobs and Weintraub. For reversal -- Justice Wachenfeld. The opinion of the court was delivered by Oliphant, J.

Oliphant

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court, Appellate Division, which affirmed an order of the Superintendent of the State Police revoking the license of the appellant, as a private detective, pursuant to the authority of N.J.S.A. 45:19-12. This appeal is taken under R.R. 1:2-1(a); Art. VI, Sec. V, par. 1(a), Constitution of 1947.

A private detective license was issued to the appellant in January 1953, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:19-8 et seq. (L. 1939, c. 369, as amended and supplemented). In 1955

an information was returned to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey charging the appellant with violation of Title 26 U.S.C.A. 3616(a), which statute makes it a misdemeanor to deliver "* * * to the collector * * * any false or fraudulent * * * return * * * with intent to * * * evade the * * * assessment intended to be made * * *."

The information specifically charged the appellant "claimed exemption for his mother, Elizabeth, and his son, Robert, as dependents, when in fact, as he then and there well knew, he was not legally entitled to claim said people as dependents." The appellant pleaded nolo contendere to this information and a judgment of conviction was entered on the plea. The imposition of the sentence was suspended; he was fined $500 and placed on probation for five years.

N.J.S.A. 45:19-12, inter alia, provides "the license so granted by the superintendent shall be valid for a period of five years but shall be revocable by the superintendent after hearing for cause." The Superintendent of the State Police instituted a proceeding to revoke the appellant's license by issuing an order to show cause why the appellant's license "should not be revoked for cause." This was served together with the "Charges" which contained the single specification that he pleaded nolo contendere to the information charging he delivered a false return to the Collector of Internal Revenue and that upon the plea of nolo contendere the aforesaid sentence was imposed.

Counsel for the appellant stipulated at the hearing that "the sole question here was whether or not this plea and conviction and sentence is sufficient cause under the statutes warranting the superintendent to take whatever disciplinary action in his discretion he might deem necessary under the circumstances," and the defendant and his counsel further stipulated "that it would not be necessary to produce any witnesses except the defendant."

On the hearing the formal proofs of the plea and conviction and sentence were offered together with a transcript of the proceedings before the Federal District Court judge on the

reception of the plea. The defendant took the stand and testified as to the reasons that motivated him in entering the plea and his version of his tax difficulty that ...


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