CASE SUMMARY: Ryan et. al. v. Town of Dover et. al.

Case Name: Ryan et. al. v. Town of Dover et. al.
Docket Number: MRS-L-000089-19
County / Vicinage: Morris / Vicinage 10 (Morris/Sussex)
Filing Date: January 11, 2019
Judge:  Stuart A. Minkowtiz, A.J.S.C.
Status: Pending

The lawsuit raises a combination of issues including some open government transparency issues regarding the timely publication of ordinances to be considered for adoption by a public body and the OPMA.  The case was filed by eight residents against the Town of Dover and Dover Mayor James P. Dodd.  The Plaintiffs are represented by Scott L. Carlson, Esq. of Morristown.

Issue I:  The suit alleges that the passage of Ordinance #15-2018, which repealed and replaced provisions of Dover Code Section 2 (Administration of Government) is improper because by its content it changes the form of government.  (Dover operates under the Town form of government N.J.S.A. 40A-62-1 et. seq.)

Issue 2: The suit alleges that the ordinance was not properly noticed in accordance with the law prior to being adopted on November 27, 2018.  The ordinance was introduced on first reading on November 8, 2018 and the second and final hearing and adoption of the ordinance was held on November 27, 2018 N.J.S.A. 40:49-2, which sets forth the procedure for the adoption of ordinances, states that the publication of the ordinance must occur at least once and that the first publication shall be at least 1 week prior to the time fixed for further consideration for final passage.  The ordinance was not published until November 22, 2018.

Issue 3: Alleges that the meetings of November 8, 2018 and November 27, 2018 were illegal as the annual meeting schedule was not properly noticed and published in two newspapers.

Case Documents:
Filed Complaint and Exhibits