Monday, March 17, 2014

NJ Supreme Court Stays App. Div Housing Order

The New Jersey Supreme Court granted a reprieve to Council on Affordable Housing. It stayed an Appellate Division order that the recalcitrant agency comply with last year's Supreme Court order.   COAH is a state entity "in but not of" the executive branch charged with accomplishing the "Mt. Laurel" mandate - to allow the construction of affordable housing in every municipality.  Chris Christie first tried to destroy COAH, then adapt to his ends - to be an obstacle to the objectives contained in its name.

Bruce Greenberg observes that Justice Barry Albin's dissent is correct but it is perfectly reasonable that the court step back from practically taking command of an administrative agency. - GWC

- Appellate Law NJ Blog:

By Bruce Greenberg

Today witnessed the latest event in the ongoing saga regarding third round rules for low and moderate-income housing to be adopted by the Council on Affordable Housing (“COAH”).  As discussed here, on March 7, the Appellate Division issued an Order directing COAH to meet and adopt third round rules on an expedited basis.  The panel did so even though COAH had previously filed a motion before the Supreme Court on February 26, the then-existing deadline set by the Court for adoption of the third round rules, seeking to extend until May COAH’s time to formally propose and thereafter publish in the June 2, 2014 New Jersey Register a set of third round rules.  The panel rejected COAH’s argument that COAH’s pending motion in the Supreme Court deprived the Appellate Division of jurisdiction to enforce its own prior Order. 
When the Appellate Division would not stay its March 7 ruling, COAH moved before the Supreme Court, which granted a stay of that March 7 Appellate Division decision.  That stay Order is discussed here.  The Court did not then rule, however, on COAH’s motion to extend its time to propose third round rules.
Today, the Court entered an Order that granted COAH”s extension request, vacated the Appellate Division’s March 7 Order, and retained jurisdiction so that any future applications to enforce the judgment of the Supreme Court last year regarding the adoption of third round rules are to be filed only with that Court.

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