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Henderson v. New Jersey Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors

Decided: December 8, 1964.

ALBERT J. HENDERSON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Gaulkin, Foley and Collester. The opinion of the court was delivered by Collester, J.A.D.

Collester

This is an appeal from a determination of the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (hereinafter the "Board") denying appellant Albert J. Henderson's application for an electrical contractor's license without examination under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 45:5A-10.

The Electrical Contractors Licensing Act of 1962, N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq. , provides that on and after July 1, 1963 no person shall enter into, engage in or work in business as an electrical contractor for hire unless he has secured a business permit and either he, or "an officer, partner or employee who is or will be actively engaged in the business for which a business permit is sought," has obtained a license in accordance with the provisions of the Act. N.J.S.A. 45:5A-9(b) provides that "except as otherwise provided in section 10," no person shall be granted an electrical contractor's license unless he shall first establish his qualifications therefor and take and

pass an examination. Such applicant must have been engaged in the business of electrical construction and installation or have equivalent practical experience for a period of not less than five years, or shall otherwise establish to the satisfaction of the Board that he has the educational background and experience to qualify to take such examination. N.J.S.A. 45:5A-10 provides that any person who has been engaged in the business of electrical contracting in New Jersey for a period of at least six years prior to the effective date of the act, and whose principal business for at least two years immediately preceding his application shall have been that of an electrical contractor, shall be granted a license without examination, provided, the application is made before July 1, 1963 and satisfactory proof is presented to the Board of the applicant's fitness to engage in such business.

Appellant applied to the Board on May 17, 1963 to be licensed as an electrical contractor without examination pursuant to section 10. His application was denied. He requested and was granted a hearing. Thereafter, the Board issued its determination denying appellant's application for a license without examination on the ground that electrical contracting had not been his principal business for at least two years preceding the application. The findings of fact of the Board, in substance, were that (1) Henderson was employed full time as a police officer of North Arlington; (2) he has been engaged in the electrical contracting business for at least six years prior to the effective date of the act on a part-time basis, and (3) he had performed on the average of eight to ten electrical contracting jobs a year which jobs averaged from six hours to two days to perform. The Board found,

"That on the basis of time spent, money earned and type of business organization, the electrical contracting activity of the applicant was not his principal business for at least two years immediately preceding the making of the application."

Although denying appellant's application for an electrical contractor's license without an examination pursuant to N.J.S.A.

45:5A-10, the Board notified Henderson that he was eligible to qualify for a license as an electrical contractor by taking and passing an examination pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5A-9.

Appellant does not challenge the findings of fact of the Board. The grounds of his appeal are: (1) N.J.S.A. 45:5A-10 is unconstitutional, and (2) electrical contracting was his principal business for the two-year period, within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 45:5A-10.

I.

Appellant first contends that in the enactment of N.J.S.A. 45:5A-10 the Legislature prescribed no standards for determining whether or not electrical contracting was the applicant's "principal business," and therefore the delegation of the power to the Board to make such a determination was unconstitutional. N.J. Const. 1947, Art. IV, ยง I, par. 1. In other words, it is contended that by not minutely defining the term "principal business," ...


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