Maguire v. Van Meter

Decision Date16 September 1938
Docket NumberNo. 60.,60.
Citation121 N.J.L. 150,1 A.2d 445
PartiesMAGUIRE v. VAN METER, Sheriff, et al.
CourtNew Jersey Supreme Court

Appeal from Supreme Court.

Action by James A. Maguire against Joseph H. Van Meter, Sheriff of Camden County, and the County of Camden. On rule to show cause why mandamus should not issue compelling respondents to reinstate relator as a guard at the County Jail. From a judgment of dismissal by the Supreme Court of his application for mandamus, relator appeals.

Affirmed.

Meyer L. Sakin, of Camden, for appellant.

Walter S. Keown, of Camden (George D. Rothermel, of Camden, of counsel), for appellees.

BROGAN, Chief Justice.

This matter was argued before Justice Donges in the Supreme Court on rule to show cause why a mandamus should not issue. The writ was denied. The court, however, permitted a moulding of the pleadings as though the determination had been on demurrer to a return to an alternative writ. The relator appeals.

From the record before us these facts appear: The relator, James A. Maguire, was in the employ of Camden County as a guard in the County Jail. He was protected in the position he occupied by the provisions of the Civil Service Act. The Sheriff of the County, his immediate superior, suspended him on August 24, 1937, for conduct unbecoming a public officer, to wit, intoxication. He was tried on this charge and dismissed on August 28, 1937. On appeal to the State Civil Service Commission, it was ordered by that tribunal that the relator be returned to duty as of February 22, 1938. The finding and judgment of the Commission are set out in full in the state of case. In substance it is a concurrence in the determination of the departmental head that the relator was guilty of the charge upon which he was tried. The finding then goes on to say, "On the basis of the testimony offered, it is clear that the appellant should be disciplined, but it is the conclusion of the Commission that the extreme penalty of dismissal does not fit the case. A suspension and loss of pay for a considerable period would seem to be fully adequate. The Commission suggests six months as a maximum." Thereupon it was ordered that the appellant "be returned to duty, with pay, as of February 22, 1938."

The relator reported for duty on February 22, 1938, and thereafter from day to day, but the respondents declined to reinstate him. This was the posture of things when, on rule to show cause, his application for mandamus was denied, as mentioned above.

On this appeal, it is argued that since the respondents have not appealed from the judgment of the Civil Service Commission that the relator is entitled to the benefits of the decision and that the failure of the respondents to reinstate the relator is illegal and oppressive. In support of this position, it is said that the judgment of the Civil Service Commission is final; that the issue is res judicata; and, in any event, the judgment of the Civil Service Commission may not be collaterally attacked.

We think there is no merit whatever in the appellant's position. The Civil Service Commission is a statutory tribunal and possesses no jurisdiction except that which is expressly conferred by statute. It may affirm or reverse the finding of a departmental head in a case such as this but it may not modify it. Newark v....

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21 cases
  • Town of West New York v. Bock
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • 19 Noviembre 1962
    ...Commission, 14 N.J.Misc. 126, 182 A. 861 (Sup.Ct.1936), affirmed o.b. 117 N.J.L. 422, 189 A. 918 (E. & A.1937); Maguire v. Van Meter, 121 N.J.L. 150, 1 A.2d 445 (E. & A.1938); Newark v. Civil Service Commission, 131 N.J.L. 100, 34 A.2d 886 (Sup.Ct.1943). Therefore, it was said in the first ......
  • City of Newark v. Department of Civil Service
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court — Appellate Division
    • 3 Julio 1961
    ...of the express provisions of the statutes; Tanis v. Passaic County, 126 N.J.L. 303, 17 A.2d 807 (E. & A.1941); Maguire v. Van Meter, 121 N.J.L. 150, 1 A.2d 445 (E. & A.1938); City of Newark v. Civil Service Commission, It was the intendment of the Faulkner Act to confer the greatest possibl......
  • Borough of Park Ridge v. Salimone
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • 20 Febrero 1956
    ...of the express provisions of the statutes; Tanis v. Passaic County, 126 N.J.L. 303, 17 A.2d 807 (E. & A.1941); Maguire v. Van Meter, 121 N.J.L. 150, 1 A.2d 445 (E. & A.1938); City of Newark v. Civil Service Commission, The statutes, as we have pointed out, give a classified civil servant th......
  • Swede v. City of Clifton
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • 15 Octubre 1956
    ...Civil Service Commission. City of Newark v. Civil Service Commission, 115 N.J.L. 26, 177 A. 868 (Sup.Ct.1935); Maguire v. VanMeter, 121 N.J.L. 150, 1 A.2d 445 (E. & A.1938); Nagy v. Ford Motor Co., 6 N.J. 341, 78 A.2d 709 (1950). A discretion may be judicial or it may be nonjudicial or legi......
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