New Jersey

Date: September 23, 2013 Last Edit: January 19, 2016

62-64 Main Street v. City of Hackensack – Property Rights
New Jersey Supreme Court – petition for review

Several years ago the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that local officials must have evidence of blight before they can exercise the power of eminent domain for redevelopment purposes.  Previously it was common practice for municipalities to simply declare a parcel blighted without substantiating the classification.  In a case involving Hackensack, NJ, an appeals court upheld the higher standard.  The town is now asking the Court to overturn the lower court decision, arguing that its own definition of blight should be sufficient.

Condon v. Advance Thermal Hydronics – Legal Reform

New Jersey Supreme Court

The case concerns whether defendants at trial can try to allocate fault to settled defendants in the case, or whether the plaintiff may receive nearly a full recovery from settled defendants and then receive an additional, complete recovery from any judgment defendant.  Under the other side’s approach, a plaintiff would essentially receive a double recovery in the tort system. 

 

Status: PENDING. Amicus brief filed 11/24/15.

Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham – Regulatory
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

NFIB joined with other industry groups in an amicus brief defending Wyndham Worldwide from an Federal Trade Commission  (FTC) enforcement action. FTC contends that Wyndham committed an unfair business practice because the company suffered a data security breach. The amicus brief argued that FTC lacked the authority to bring enforcement actions against a business that has suffered a data security breach because there are no regulations governing data security policies, nor does federal law allow FTC to create such regulatory policies. Nonetheless, the federal district court for the district of New Jersey denied the company’s motion to dismiss.
   

Now NFIB has joined with other industry groups in asking the court to certify the case for an immediate appeal to the Second Circuit. The brief argues that the case raises an important issue of first impression, which should warrant immediate appellate review.


Hargrove v. Sleepy’s LLC
New Jersey Supreme Court

In this case three independent business owners entered into separate contracts to have their respective companies provide services to Sleepy’s. Under the service agreement they were to deliver mattresses. After performing the contract for several years these business owners now claim that they somehow became Sleepy’s employees. Now the New Jersey Supreme Court will decide whether they became employees or not. NFIB Legal Center argued that they could not have been Sleepy’s employees because they were independent business owners.

*New Jersey Business & Industry Assoc. v. City of Trenton
Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer County – 2/27/15

NFIB joined with other industry groups that challenged Trenton’s newly passed paid sick leave ordinance. The complaint argues, among other claims, that New Jersey’s law violates the state constitution.

US Legal Services v. Atalese – Freedom of Contract
United States Supreme Court – Petition for certiorari  (From New Jersey Supreme Court)

The Federal Arbitration Act was enacted with the explicit purpose of ensuring that arbitration agreements will be respected in courts, so as to reduce litigation costs for businesses. Unfortunately some states have continually sought to invalidate arbitration agreements under judicially crafted rules. In this case, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that an arbitration agreement was invalid because it did not clearly state that the consumer would be waiving his/her right to a jury trial; however, the terms of the agreement were perfectly clear in stating that the parties were agreeing to “binding arbitration.” Accordingly, NFIB Legal Center joined with Cato Institute in arguing that the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision undermines the national policy of enforcing arbitration agreements by their terms. And of greater concern, the brief argued that New Jersey’s rule has nationwide implications because any company doing business with a New Jersey customer must employ special language in future arbitration agreements.

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If you have a case that impacts small business, please contact us at:  1-800-552-NFIB as we are actively looking for opportunities to weigh in on important issues in this state. NFIB Small Business Legal Center is involved in many cases that impact this state and others; to see our complete list of Supreme Court cases click on Washington, DC on the interactive map.

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