Saturday, May 17, 2014

Judge chastises City for misusing subpoena power.

"Haste not only makes waste, but can trample citizens' rights. In their apparent need to move quickly to investigate the purported misuse of a City-owned vehicle, two members of the [Estell Manor] governing body — with no prior notice or approval from the other members of City Council - convened a meeting and directed the issuance of subpoenas, compelling citizens, under penalty of arrest, to appear at a hearing and provide testimony under oath.

"Such actions display ignorance not only of the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:48-25, but also of the need for the respectful and restrained use of subpoenas by government. Issuing a subpoena is serious business; no citizen should be compelled to leave their home and give of their time to answer questions of a government investigation."
Nelson C. Johnson, J.S.C.
Johnson v. City of Estell Manor, Docket No. ATL-L-7617-12