Clay v. Civil Serv. Comm'n

Decision Date27 June 1916
Citation98 A. 312
CourtNew Jersey Supreme Court

Appeal from Supreme Court.

Certiorari by Thomas A. Clay against the Civil Service Commission and J. Alexander Browne. From a judgment of the Supreme Court (96 Atl. 363) dismissing the writ, Clay appeals. Affirmed.

William I. Lewis, of Paterson, for appellant. Josiah Stryker, of Trenton, and John W. Wescott, Atty. Gen., for appellees.

GUMMERE, C. J. This is an appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court dismissing a writ of certiorari sued out by Dr. Clay for the purpose of reviewing a proceeding of the civil service commission relating to the matter of his appointment as health officer of the board of health of the city of Paterson. This proceeding was instituted at the request of Dr. Browne, who contended that he was the de jure health officer of Paterson and that Dr. Clay had wrongfully usurped that position. It consisted of an investigation of the rights of these two physicians with relation to the position and of the following conclusion spread upon the minutes of the board:

"The appointment of Dr. Clay, which in effect was a dismissal of J. Alexander Browne, M. D., who had hitherto held the position, was illegal and contrary to the provisions of the Civil Service Law. It is therefore ordered that Dr. Browne be reinstated to the position of health officer, from which he has been illegally ousted."

The judgment of the Supreme Court dismissing the writ was rested upon the conclusion that the appointment of Dr. Clay to the position of health officer was without warrant of law, that Dr. Browne was legally entitled to hold that position, and that consequently no legal injury was done to Dr. Clay by the order made by the civil service commission of which he complains.

We are entirely satisfied that the writ of certiorari was properly dismissed by the Supreme Court; but we do not base our conclusion upon the grounds given by that court for its action. Dr. Clay insists that the action of the civil service commission was an adjudication of the title to the position of health officer. The respondents insist that it was a mere expression of opinion with relation to the matter investigated by the board, and did not have and was not intended to have any mandatory force. It is not necessary to determine which of these contentions is sound; for, whether the action complained of be merely the expression of an opinion or whether it be an attempted...

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6 cases
  • State v. Longo.
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • September 12, 1947
    ...the rights of the applicant for a writ of certiorari is necessary as a foundation for the use of the writ. Clay v. Civil Service Commission, 89 N.J.L. 194, 98 A. 312; Watson v. Medical Society of New Jersey, 38 N.J.L. 377; Newark v. Fordyce, 88 N.J.L. 440, 97 A. 67; Morgan v. Burnett, 121 N......
  • State v. Wenof
    • United States
    • New Jersey County Court
    • July 17, 1968
    ...over the subject-matter or the person. Maguire v. Van Meter, 121 N.J.L. 150, 1 A.2d 445 (E. & A.1938); Clay v. Civil Service Commission, 89 N.J.L. 194, 98 A. 312 (E. & A. 1916); Miske v. Habay, 1 N.J. 368, 63 A.2d 883 (1949); Handlon v. Belleville, 4 N.J. 99, 107 (1950); 2 Am.Jur.2d, 299, §......
  • Deptford Tp. Bd. of Health v. Deptford Tp. Mayor & Council
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court
    • February 1, 1985
    ...view can be found in a case relied on here by the council, Clay v. Civil Service Commission, 88 N.J.L. 502, 96 A. 363, aff'd 89 N.J.L. 194, 98 A. 312 (E. & A.1916) which A careful reading of sections 9 and 31 of that act satisfies us that it does not contemplate the "status" of the official......
  • Garden State Racing Ass'n v. N.J. Racing Comm'n
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • July 30, 1946
    ...same rate which it plans to assess against the prosecutor. It was said for the Court of Errors and Appeals in Clay v. Civil Service Commission, 89 N.J.L. 194, 98 A. 312, 313: ‘It is sufficient for the disposition of the matter to reiterate what was said by Mr. Justice Garrison, speaking for......
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