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Town of Belleville v. Department of Civil Service

Decided: January 20, 1978.

TOWN OF BELLEVILLE, APPELLANT,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENT



Allcorn, Morgan and Horn.

Per Curiam

[155 NJSuper Page 518] This is an appeal from a final determination of the Civil Service Commission which held that one Bernard O'Connor, who had the highest rating on an examination for the position of building inspector for the Town of Belleville, was qualified for that position. Appellant, acting through its Commissioner of the Department of Public Works, contended that O'Connor was not qualified for the position because he did not meet the requirements set forth in the Civil Service announcement. Both O'Connor and appellant were permitted to argue the issue through submission of written facts to the Commission. Appellant

requested a hearing, but respondent denied the request and after considering the material submitted found that O'Connor was qualified for the position. The sole issue on appeal is whether appellant was entitled to a full, trial-type hearing.

While appellant contends that it is entitled to a hearing, it cites no case, statute, regulation or other authority in support of its position. It is respondent's position that at most appellant was entitled to consideration on the written record. As authority, respondent cites N.J.S.A. 11:23-2, which provides, in pertinent part, that:

The chief examiner and secretary may refuse to examine an applicant, or after examination to certify an eligible who;

a. Lacks any of the established preliminary requirements for examination or position or employment for which he applies * * *.

With respect to appeals, this statute states that

Respondent contends that since a candidate has no right to a hearing when he is not certified, then certainly the appointing authority has no right to a formal hearing when an applicant is certified. Respondent particularly points out that this portion of the statute has been amended, and prior to amendment it required the Commission to grant a hearing to an applicant who had not been certified.

We agree. Prior to 1966 N.J.S.A. 11:23-2 provided, in pertinent part, that:

When the commission refuses to examine an applicant or after examination to certify an eligible, it shall, upon request of such person, grant a hearing upon the cause of such refusal.

That the statute has been amended to allow only submission of facts indicates the Legislature's clear intent to not require

hearings when the issue consists of the qualifications of a candidate for a ...


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