Wednesday, September 9, 2015
IN THE MATTER OF THE REALLOCATION OF THE PROBATION OFFICER AND PROBATION OFFICER, BILINGUAL IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH TITLES FROM THE COMPETITIVE TO THE NON-COMPETITIVE DIVISION OF THE CAREER SERVICE A-0056-13T2
IN THE MATTER OF THE REALLOCATION OF THE PROBATION OFFICER AND PROBATION OFFICER, BILINGUAL IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH TITLES FROM THE COMPETITIVE TO THE NON-COMPETITIVE DIVISION OF THE CAREER SERVICE
The Civil Service Commission approved the request by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) for the transfer of two titles, from its competitive division to its noncompetitive division. The Probation Association of New Jersey appealed the
Commission's decision, arguing that the transfer was unconstitutional under the provisions of article VII, section 1, paragraph 2 of the New Jersey Constitution, which requires public employees to be selected on the basis of "merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination, which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive." It further argued that the AOC had not established a sufficient factual basis for the transfer under the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
The panel reversed and remanded for further consideration by the Commission. It concluded that the Commission had failed to consider the constitutional issue at all and that the AOC had failed to establish a sufficient factual justification for the transfer under the applicable statutes and regulation. The panel also instructed the Commission to consider the appropriateness of the proposed transfer for each title separately.