Standing, Attorneys’ Fees, Disability, and Search and Seizure: The Latest Cases for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has granted review in four more cases.  In Cherokee LCP Land, LLC v. City of Linden Planning Bd., the question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Do plaintiffs have a sufficient interest in the property adjacent to the property to be developed (the development property), such that they have standing to challenge the municipal planning board’s site plan approval for the development property?”

An award of attorneys’ fees is at the heart of Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc.   The question presented there is “Under the circumstances, which included the Appellate Division’s reversal and remand for a jury trial on plaintiff’s claim for violation of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 to -14, did the Appellate Division err in its disposition of the trial court’s award of fees to defendant?”  In a published opinion, 448 N.J. Super. 486 (App. Div. 2017), discussed here, the Appellate Division reversed a fee award to defendant and rejected defendant’s cross-appeal of the trial court’s denial of summary judgment.  As discussed here, defendant moved for reconsideration regarding the cross-appeal.  The Appellate Division denied that motion in another published opinion, reported at 449 N.J. Super. 193 (App. Div. 2017).

In Martinez v. Board of Trustees, Police & Firemen’s Retirement System, the question presented is “Is a hostage situation resulting in the fatal shooting of the suspect an undesigned and unexpected traumatic event for a police hostage negotiator, so as to satisfy the traumatic-event standard for the award of accidental disability retirement benefits?”  An Administrative Law Judge found that plaintiff was entitled to the benefits, but the Board rejected that decision and denied the benefits.  The Appellate Division reversed the Board’s ruling.  Now the Supreme Court will take up the case.

The final appeal, State v. Gathers, is before the Court on leave to appeal.  The question presented there is “Can the State compel defendant to provide a buccal swab for DNA testing where defendant previously provided his DNA to the State in connection with a prior conviction?”  The Law Division granted the State’s motion to compel defendant to provide the buccal swab, but the Appellate Division [in a pub opinion??] reversed, finding that to be an unreasonable search.