Ex Post Facto Constitutional Issues, Workers Compensation Jurisdiction, and Municipal Land Use Are Added to the Supreme Court’s Docket

The Supreme Court has granted certification to review three more appeals.  The first of those actually consists of four cases that have been consolidated under the lead case, State v. Hester.  The question presented in that case, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Do the Ex Post Facto Clauses of the United States and New Jersey Constitutions preclude defendants from being charged, under a 2014 amendment to the applicable statute, with third-degree violations of their special sentences of community supervision for life (CSL)?”  In a published opinion, reported at 449  N.J. Super. 314 (App. Div. 2017), the Appellate Division affirmed a decision of the Law Division that the Ex Post Facto clauses required dismissal of indictments against the defendants.  The State sought review by the Supreme Court, and that request was granted, with the Court ordering the appeal to be accelerated.

Williams v. Raymours Furniture Co., Inc. presents the following question: “Does the Division of Workers’ Compensation have jurisdiction to hear this claim petition filed by a New Jersey resident who worked exclusively in New York and was injured there?”  The Division concluded that it lacked jurisdiction and dismissed the claim petition, but the petitioner appealed, and the Appellate Division reversed in an opinion reported at 449 N.J. Super. 559 (App. Div. 2017).

The third appeal that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider is Dunbar Homes, Inc. v. Franklin Tp. Bd. of Adj.  The question presented there is “When is a submission to the planning board considered an ‘application for development’ that triggers the ‘time of application rule,’ which states that the regulations in effect on the date of submission of an application for development governs the review of that application?”  This is a recurring issue in land use matters.  Once again, there was a published opinion of the Appellate Division, which can be found at 448 N.J. Super. 583 (App. Div. 2017).  That opinion was discussed here and, as predicted, the Court has decided to review it.  The Appellate Division found, on the facts there, that the submission did not constitute an “application for development.”  We will see whether the Supreme Court agrees.