Below are summaries of last week’s precedential appellate decisions from the Pennsylvania and New Jersey state courts, as well as the Third Circuit. Click on a case name, and you will be redirected to the entire opinion.
PSIP JVI Krumsville Rd., LLC v. Bd. of Supervisors of Greenwich Twp. (Administrative Law, Land Use)
Greenwich Township Supervisors appealed to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court from the lower court’s order granting the appeal of a land developer. The Commonwealth Court ruled that a conveyance to a condemnor for a public purpose is exempt from a municipality’s subdivision approval.
Pa. Builders Assoc. v. Dep’t Labor & Indus. (Administrative Law, Declaratory Judgment)
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that Section 304(a)(3) of the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, which states that the Department of Labor & Industry shall promulgate regulations, is unconstitutional because it violates Article II, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
In re Jaindl Land Co. (Administrative Law, Zoning)
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that the trial court erred by applying a 2020 ordinance, rather than the ordinance in effect at the time the plan was submitted, to a preliminary land development application. The Court found that the “pending ordinance doctrine” was not applicable.
Davis v. Pennsylvania State Employees Ret. Sys. (Administrative Law, RTKL)
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that the State Employees Retirement System presented sufficient evidence to establish that their records regarding certain investment decisions are exempt from a request under the Right-To-Know Law. The Court based its decision on 71 Pa.C.S. § 5902(e)(2).
Lake Naomi Club, Inc. v. Rosado (Administrative Law, Restrictive Covenants)
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that a private, planned community could not adopt a restrictive covenant prohibiting lifetime registered sex offenders from residing there.
Dennehy v. E. Windsor Reg’l Bd. of Educ. (Civil Law, Negligence)
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a field hockey player need only prove negligence to sustain her claim involving an injury she suffered during a high school field hockey practice. The Court ruled that the higher standard of recklessness announced in Crawn v. Campo and Schick v. Ferolito do not apply.
New Jersey Dep’t of Child Prot. & Permanency (Family Law, Termination of Parental Rights)
The New Jersey Appellate Division dealt with involuntary termination of parental rights and the “best interests of the child” test. It held that the evidence of a child’s relationship with his foster parents should not inform prong two of the test but is relevant in the totality of the circumstances.
Meyers v. State Health Benefits Comm’n (Administrative Law, Insurance Law)
The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the State Health Benefits Commission’s (SHBC) decision, which ordered health care insurance premiums to be deducted from the appellant’s monthly retirement payment under the State Health Benefits Program. The Court ruled that the SHBC’s decision was not arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, or procedurally deficient.
Alam v. Ameribuit Contractors (Workers’ Comp., Conflict of Interest)
The New Jersey Appellate Division reversed the workers’ compensation judge’s order disqualifying counsel based on a perceived conflict between Ameribuilt’s workers’ compensation carrier and Mr. Alam. The Court determined that there was no conflict, and thus there was no basis for the disqualification.
Liquid Labs LLC v. Food and Drug Admin. (Administrative Law)
The Third Circuit affirmed the FDA’s denial of a request to market products used in e-cigarettes. The Court ruled that the FDA reviewed the application in conformity with its statutory authorities as well as publicly issued guidance and did not violate the Administrative Procedure Act.