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Port Reading Builders Inc. v. Kronenberg

Decided: January 19, 1961.

PORT READING BUILDERS, INC., A NEW JERSEY CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
AUGUST KRONENBERG AND HELEN KRONENBERG, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



Goldmann, Foley and Mintz. The opinion of the court was delivered by Mintz, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).

Mintz

Defendants appeal from a judgment for possession entered in favor of plaintiff in the Middlesex County District Court. Defendants operate a tavern on plaintiff's premises under a lease. Plaintiff sought to terminate the lease and obtain possession by virtue of R.S. 33:1-54, alleging that the defendants-lessees pleaded non vult to a breach of Rules 6 and 7 of State Regulation No. 20 promulgated by the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. These rules prohibit lotteries or pools on licensed premises.

R.S. 33:1-54 provides:

"Any violation of this chapter upon any leased premises by any lessee or sublessee, or by any other person with the knowledge and consent of the lessee, or sublessee, shall, at the option of lessor, immediate or remote, upon five days' written notice to such lessee or sublessee of the exercise of such option and the cause therefor, cause the term of the lease forthwith, at the expiration of such five days, to cease and come to an end, and the right to possession of the leased premises shall thereupon revert to the lessor, together with

such further rights in the lessor as may be reserved to him by the terms of said lease or by law, or by both, noncompliance with this chapter and the exercise of lessor's option being a limitation upon the term of the lease. The lessor may enforce his right of possession hereunder by summary proceedings as for term ended, as prescribed by article 5 of chapter 58 of the title Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice (ยง 2:58-16 et seq.). This section shall not affect any lease made and entered into prior to the sixth day of December, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-three."

The case is submitted to us on an "Agreed Statement in Lieu of Record" pursuant to R.R. 1:6-2. The only questions raised on this appeal are the following:

"1. Does the breach of a Rule or Regulation promulgated by the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control give the landlord the legal right to bring a summary proceeding for possession and obtain said possession of the leased tavern?

2. Is a breach of a Rule or Regulation the same as a violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Chapter ?

3. Does a mere violation of a Rule promulgated by the Director confer jurisdiction upon the County District Court to hear a summary proceeding for possession?"

Essentially, the single issue is whether or not the violation of a rule and regulation of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control constitutes "any violation of this chapter" within the purview of R.S. 33:1-54 so as to entitle the lessor to a judgment for possession in summary proceedings.

N.J.S.A. 33:1-39 empowers the Director of the Division to make such general rules and regulations "as may be necessary for the proper regulation and control of the manufacture, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages and the enforcement of this chapter * * *." Hence, it is urged that the rules and regulations are effectively incorporated in the chapter, and have the effect of law. State v. Atlantic City Electric Co. , 23 N.J. 259 (1957). This can be conceded but it sheds no light on the problem before us. That the regulations are effective and ...


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