Martin, Application of

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
Writing for the CourtPASHMAN
Citation447 A.2d 1290,90 N.J. 295
PartiesIn the Matter of the Application of Maria MARTIN, Martha Stretton, Aldona Middlesworth and Joseph Pallone, for Relief.
Decision Date30 June 1982

Page 295

90 N.J. 295
447 A.2d 1290
In the Matter of the Application of Maria MARTIN, Martha
Stretton, Aldona Middlesworth and Joseph Pallone,
for Relief.
Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Argued Jan. 11, 1982.
Decided June 30, 1982.

[447 A.2d 1293]

Page 303

Arlene Gilbert Groch, Somers Point, for appellants Maria Martin, et al. (Arlene Gilbert Groch, on brief and attorney; Sonia G. Wagner, David G. Sciarra, Atlantic City, and Jack E. Granzow, Cape May, on the briefs).

[447 A.2d 1294] Thomas N. Auriemma, Trenton, Sr. Asst. Counsel, for intervenor-respondent Casino Control Com'n (R. Benjamin Cohen, Gen. Counsel, Newark, atty.; Robert J. Genatt, Sr. Asst. Counsel, Lawrenceville, of counsel).

Guy S. Michael, Deputy Director, Trenton, for respondent Dept. of Law & Public Safety, Div. of Gaming Enforcement (James R. Zazzali, Atty. Gen., attorney; Raymond J. Marquez, Deputy Atty. Gen., on the brief).

The opinion of the Court was delivered by

PASHMAN, J.

This case involves a classic confrontation between the power of the State to protect the public through regulation of a highly sensitive industry and the right of individuals thus regulated to be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion into their private lives. Appellants are applicants for licenses to become non-supervisory casino employees. They challenge certain provisions of the Casino Control Act, N.J.S.A. 5:12-1 to -152, as well as certain questions that applicants are required to answer in order to apply for a casino employee license. They assert that various constitutional and statutory rights have been invaded by the comprehensive licensing scheme, including the rights of privacy, freedom of association, freedom from unreasonable

Page 304

searches and seizures and the privilege against self-incrimination.

While we uphold the constitutionality of the statute and the regulations promulgated under it, we note that the power of the State to condition casino employment on disclosure of personal information is not without constitutional limit. We therefore take this opportunity to establish guidelines for the Casino Control Commission (Commission) and the Division of Gaming Enforcement (Division) in exercising their statutory power. The goal is an accommodation between the legislative purpose of protection of the public through strict regulation of casino gambling and the legitimate interests of individuals in freedom from unnecessary incursions into their private lives.

I
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Casino Control Act prohibits persons from working as casino employees in Atlantic City unless they have first obtained a valid casino employee license. N.J.S.A. 5:12-90(a). On April 14, 1978, Martha Stretton submitted an application form to the Casino Control Commission to obtain such a license. She sought employment as a dealer in a casino hotel in Atlantic City. On April 21, 1978, Maria Martin similarly submitted an application form for a casino employee license to work as a casino dealer.

Both Stretton and Martin refused to answer a number of questions on the application form then used by the Commission pursuant to N.J.S.A. 5:12-70(a) and N.J.A.C. 19:41-7.14. 1 In addition, both Martin and Stretton refused to sign a consent to searches, inspections and seizures. They also sought to limit the scope of the release authorization that empowered various institutions to release to the Division or the Commission confidential

Page 305

information concerning the applicants. Finally, they objected to a waiver of liability that purported to relinquish any rights against the State for disclosures of confidential information acquired by the State in the course of the investigation of the applicant other than wilfully unlawful disclosures. With their forms they submitted a list of reasons why they did not respond to the questions.

Joseph Lordi, the Chairman of the Commission, advised Martin and Stretton that he could not accept their applications for filing since they were incomplete. N.J.A.C. [447 A.2d 1295] 19:41-8.2 and -8.3. He advised them of their right to a hearing if they contested the decision. On May 3, 1978, Martin and Stretton requested an administrative hearing. 2

On May 25, 1978, the Commission and the Division were served with a complaint, 3 which sought a temporary restraint against the Commission from requiring the applicants to complete the form in order to receive licenses and a declaratory judgment that certain statutory provisions regarding licensing were unconstitutional. Plaintiffs Martin and Stretton were joined by additional plaintiffs Joseph Pallone and Aldona Middlesworth. 4 Middlesworth alleged that she had decided not to apply for a license upon learning of the form she would have to fill out. Pallone alleged that, as the spouse of an applicant, he was subject to unconsented searches and disclosures of personal information. The complaint alleged that the statute and application form violated the constitutional rights of freedom of association, privacy, due process, freedom from unreasonable

Page 306

searches and seizures, and the privilege against self-incrimination.

On May 27, 1978, the Appellate Division denied emergent relief. The parties then agreed to dismiss the action and pursue the matter in a hearing before the Commission. On June 9, 1978, the additional plaintiffs in the dismissed court case requested that the Commission include them as parties in the administrative proceedings.

After a pre-hearing conference on June 15, 1978, an order was issued on June 16 by the hearing examiner outlining the issues to be addressed at the hearing. The order further stated that the hearing examiner would treat the challenges to the questions as petitions requesting the Commission to amend or repeal a regulation. N.J.S.A. 5:12-69(c). The order indicated that the experience of the Division had led it to conclude that certain questions on the existing form were not essential and others could be modified. After the pre-hearing order, the hearing examiner granted a request by appellants to enlarge the list of challenged items to 27 out of the 55 questions on the form.

On July 28, 1978, applicant Stretton decided to complete the form. After doing so, she was investigated by the Division, licensed by the Commission and hired by Resorts International. Martin has never completed the application form.

The hearing was held between July 31 and August 8, 1979, before Hearing Examiner R. Benjamin Cohen. 5 On June 16, 1980, the hearing examiner filed a 200-page Report and Recommendation with the Commission. The examiner found that Martin had standing as an "interested person" under N.J.S.A.

Page 307

5:12-69(c) to seek repeal or amendment of the application form. 6 The examiner further held that the challenged questions did not violate the constitutional rights of freedom of association, privacy, freedom from unreasonable searches and [447 A.2d 1296] seizures, or the privilege against self-incrimination. Nonetheless, the examiner did recommend that parts of the forms be revised to eliminate or narrow the scope of certain questions.

On August 7, 1980, the report was adopted by the Casino Control Commission at a public hearing. A final order to that effect was issued by the Commission on August 14, 1980. The order stated that the petition to amend the form was denied except to the extent of the hearing officer's recommendations. The order further stated that the Commission and the Division would review the application forms to determine whether other changes could be made without impairing the investigative process.

On December 22, 1981, pursuant to the Commission order mandating the use of forms that minimized invasion of applicants' interests, the Commission authorized for publication a new Personal History Disclosure Form, PHDF-2A. Published in accord with the procedures for adoption of a new regulation under the Administrative Procedure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 to -15, the new form omits most of the questions challenged by appellants. It was adopted for use by the Commission on June 1, 1982. Although most of the questions challenged by appellants have thus been eliminated from use by the Commission, appellants continue to argue that various provisions of the Casino Control Act violate several of their constitutional and statutory rights.

On September 29, 1980, appellants filed a notice of appeal with the Appellate Division. The Commission intervened in the

Page 308

appeal. We granted direct certification on July 7, 1981. R. 2:12-1.
II
STANDING

As a preliminary matter, we must determine whether any of the appellants has standing to challenge the constitutionality of the challenged provisions of the Casino Control Act. To challenge the constitutionality of a statute, plaintiffs must demonstrate either that they have been injured by enforcement of the statute or that the statute substantially deters their constitutionally protected activity, N. J. State Chamber of Commerce v. N. J. Elec. Law Enforce. Comm'n, 82 N.J. 57, 66-67, 411 A.2d 168 (1980). The challenger must have suffered a "cognizable measure of harm to protectable interests," id. at 67, 411 A.2d 168; see also Home Builders League of South Jersey, Inc. v. Berlin Tp., 81 N.J. 127, 134-35, 405 A.2d 381 (1979).

Martin was denied a license because she refused to complete the application form. She asserts that this denial is the result of her refusal to surrender protected constitutional rights by responding to questions which impermissibly infringe on those rights. We are satisfied that license denial constitutes a "sufficient stake and real adverseness" with respect to the subject matter of the litigation, Crescent Park Tenants Ass'n v. Realty Equities Corp., 58 N.J. 98, 107, 275 A.2d 433 (1971); see also Salorio v. Glaser, 82 N.J. 482, 490-91, 414 A.2d 943, cert. den. 449 U.S. 874, 101 S.Ct. 215, 66 L.Ed.2d 94, app. dism. 449 U.S. 804, 101 S.Ct. 49, 66 L.Ed.2d 7 (1980)....

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49 practice notes
  • State In Interest of T.L.O.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • August 8, 1983
    ...Amendment] is to safeguard the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials." In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 312, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982) (Pashman, J.) (quoting Marshall v. Barlow's, Inc., 436 U.S. 307, 312, 98 S.Ct. 1816, 1820, 56 L.Ed.2d 305, 311 (197......
  • Grand Jury Proceedings of Guarino, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • October 15, 1986
    ...Hartley, 103 N.J. 252, 286, 511 A.2d 80, 98 (1986) (citing State v. Fary, 19 N.J. 431, 435, 117 A.2d 499 (1955)). See also In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 331, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982); In re Ippolito, 75 N.J. 435, 440, 383 A.2d 117 (1978); State v. Vinegra, 73 N.J. 484, 488-89 (1977); State v. Zdan......
  • Rochinsky v. State, Dept. of Transp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • May 23, 1988
    ...with measures to protect confidentiality, was strong enough to justify intrusion into privacy of physician's patients); In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982) (State interest reflected in Casino Control Act, N.J.S.A. 5:12-1 to -152, justified intrusion into privacy of prospective c......
  • State v. Hempele
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • July 17, 1990
    ...is to investigate compliance with the regulations, a warrant based on probable cause might not be necessary. See, e.g., In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 314 n. 9, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982) ("reasonable" warrantless searches of casino licensees are permissible if they are "conducted in a manner that fu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
49 cases
  • State In Interest of T.L.O.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • August 8, 1983
    ...Amendment] is to safeguard the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials." In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 312, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982) (Pashman, J.) (quoting Marshall v. Barlow's, Inc., 436 U.S. 307, 312, 98 S.Ct. 1816, 1820, 56 L.Ed.2d 305, 311 (197......
  • Grand Jury Proceedings of Guarino, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • October 15, 1986
    ...Hartley, 103 N.J. 252, 286, 511 A.2d 80, 98 (1986) (citing State v. Fary, 19 N.J. 431, 435, 117 A.2d 499 (1955)). See also In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 331, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982); In re Ippolito, 75 N.J. 435, 440, 383 A.2d 117 (1978); State v. Vinegra, 73 N.J. 484, 488-89 (1977); State v. Zdan......
  • Rochinsky v. State, Dept. of Transp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • May 23, 1988
    ...with measures to protect confidentiality, was strong enough to justify intrusion into privacy of physician's patients); In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982) (State interest reflected in Casino Control Act, N.J.S.A. 5:12-1 to -152, justified intrusion into privacy of prospective c......
  • State v. Hempele
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • July 17, 1990
    ...is to investigate compliance with the regulations, a warrant based on probable cause might not be necessary. See, e.g., In re Martin, 90 N.J. 295, 314 n. 9, 447 A.2d 1290 (1982) ("reasonable" warrantless searches of casino licensees are permissible if they are "conducted in a manner that fu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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