New Jersey Supreme Court: State Not Liable under Spill Act for Pre-1977 Discharges

New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled this week that the State cannot be held liable for pollution discharges that occurred prior to the adoption of the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act). The case involves a Superfund Site in Laurence Harbor.  The State had granted approval in the 1960s for construction of a […]

The New Jersey Supreme Court Issues Its Gap Period Decision

On January 18, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that municipalities do have an obligation to satisfy the unmet affordable housing obligations arising from 1999 through 2015, the so-called “gap period.”   In a decision that will be hailed as a victory for affordable housing advocates and developers, and a loss for municipalities, the Court […]

NJ SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO REVIEW DECISION INVALIDATING DEP’S COASTAL PUBLIC ACCESS RULE

The uncertainty involving the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) Public Access Rule promulgated in 2012 under the Coastal Zone Management Rules continues. The Supreme Court by Order dated June 17, 2016 denied the State’s Petition for Certification to challenge the Appellate Division’s Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc. and NY/NJ Baykeeper v DEP, 443 N.J. Super […]

Affordable Housing Is Now In The Hands of the Trial Courts

This morning, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an Order and unanimous Opinion on COAH’s failure to adopt third round affordable housing regulations. In a nutshell, it held that due to COAH’s inaction, “there no longer exists a legitimate basis to block access to the courts.” Although the Supreme Court dissolved the exhaustion-of-remedies requirement from […]

No Statute Of Limitations For Spill Act Contribution Claims

The general statute of limitations for claims alleging injury to real property is six years.  However, a recent decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that private claims for contribution made pursuant to the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act) are not subject to any statute of limitations.

Supreme Court Reinstates Downzoning Ordinance

Property owners who had successfully challenged a municipal open space ordinance that downzoned their property from one unit per acre to one unit per twenty acres on the purported basis of promoting “smart growth” and protection of environmentally sensitive lands achieved only a short-lived victory.  In the January 22, 2015 decision of Griepenburg v. Ocean […]

DEP Needs Court Order to Seize Control of Private Property

The Appellate Division of Superior Court rejected efforts by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to seize control of private property without first securing a court order, and limited the DEP’s authority to retroactively apply new environmental standards.

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear DEP Waiver Rule Appeal

In what is probably the final chapter in the judicial challenges to the DEP’s rule authorizing it to waive many of its rules in certain circumstances, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has denied the appellants’ petition for certification. This lets stand the Appellate Division decision upholding the rule.