Tuesday, November 3, 2015
STANLEY E. WILLIAMS VS. BOROUGH OF CLAYTON A-3191-14T2
STANLEY E. WILLIAMS VS. BOROUGH OF CLAYTON
We affirm the trial court's issuance of a declaratory order confirming that N.J.S.A. 40A:14-129 and -130 restrict the appointment of Police Chiefs in smaller cities (i.e., those not of the "first class" or "second class" in population and which are not civil service jurisdictions) to police officers who have served in those police departments for at least three years.
The issuance of declaratory relief in this case was appropriate because there was an actual controversy presented by the Borough's plan to include external candidates who lack such statutory eligibility in the testing and selection process for Police Chief.
We also note that the trial court's order does not require the Borough to appoint plaintiff, the sole statutorily-qualified officer who had applied for the position, as Chief. The Borough may choose to re-advertise the position or pursue other options not contrary to these statutes