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State v. Patrignani

Decided: January 20, 1961.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
v.
SALVATORE PATRIGNANI, FRANCIS FINEMAN AND JACK FINEMAN, DEFENDANTS



On Appeal from Municipal court.

Cafiero, J.s.c.

Cafiero

This is an appeal from a judgment entered in the Municipal Court of the City of Millville, wherein the defendants were convicted of the violation of paragraph 7:5-1 of Ordinance No. 216 adopted July 28, 1922. This paragraph provides:

"Doing business on Sunday forbidden; exceptions: It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to disturb the peace, quiet and good order in the City of Millville on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, by vending or exposing for sale any commodities, groceries, fruits, vegetables, clothing, shoes, ice cream, soda water or other soft drinks, articles, goods, wares or merchandise whatsoever; or by keeping open or by conducting or carrying on any manufacturing establishment, shoe cleaning or shoe shining or hat cleaning parlor, or any other mercantile shop, or establishment or place of business of any nature whatsoever."

Defendants maintain and control a coin-operated, self-service, automatic laundromat which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without the presence of attendants or owners. It is their contention that the ordinance is not applicable to them for the following reasons:

1. The decision of the Supreme Court in Two Guys From Harrison, Inc. v. Furman , 32 N.J. 199 (1960), renders

the Millville ordinance void as being in conflict with state policy as declared by L. 1959, c. 119, N.J.S. 2 A:171-5.8 et seq.

2. If the ordinance is not void, it does not apply to defendants' business because:

(a) The service rendered is a necessity and exempt from any Sunday-closing regulation.

(b) The business is not specifically prohibited by the ordinance and cannot be included in the general clause "or establishment or place of business of any nature whatsoever," particularly since coin-operated laundries were not in existence in 1922 when the ordinance was adopted, and are outside the class of specifically banned businesses listed in the ordinance.

(c) The service being fully automatic and unattended, the business does not come within the purview of the Millville ordinance.

It is undisputed that the source of power of a municipality to regulate Sunday activity is found in R.S. 40:48-2 enabling municipalities to enact ordinances for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, and that the object of all Sunday legislation is "to insure a day of quiet, rest and relaxation in the community ...


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