The Supreme Court Grants Review in Five More Cases

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted certification in five more cases.  One of those is a land use matter.  The other four run the gamut from administrative law to criminal law to constitutional law to arbitration.

Montclair State University v. County of Passaic and City of Clifton is the land use case.  The Appellate Division’s published decision, reported at 451 N.J. Super. 523 (App. Div. 2017), was discussed here.  The question presented to the Supreme Court, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “What is the extent of a local government’s authority over a state university’s plans to construct an on-site roadway that intersects with a county road?”

The arbitration appeal is Kernahan v. Home Warranty Administrator of Florida, Inc.  The question presented there is “Was the arbitration clause in this home appliance service agreement unenforceable under Atalese v. U.S. Legal Servs. Grp., L.P., 219 N.J. 430 (2014), for failure to provide the purchaser with adequate notice that she was relinquishing her right to bring a consumer fraud claim in court?”  The Appellate Division ruled that the arbitration clause was unenforceable under Atalese.

The Court will face a constitutional question in New Jersey Div. of Child Protection & Permanency v. R.L.M., where the question presented is “Does a parent have a constitutional right to self-representation in proceedings to terminate parental rights?”  In a published opinion, reported at 450 N.J. Super. 131 (App. Div. 2017), the Appellate Division ruled that there is no such constitutional right, and that the defendant father’s request to represent himself was also properly denied because it was “equivocal and untimely.”

In re Expungement of the Arrest/Charge Records of T.B. presents this question: “In order for Drug Court graduates to have their criminal records expunged, are they required to make a showing that expungement is consistent with the public interest under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(c)(3)?”  The Appellate Division ruled, in an opinion reported at 451 N.J. Super. 391 (App. Div. 2017), that such a showing is required.

Last, but certainly not least, is an administrative law appeal in In re State & School Employees Health Benefits Commissions’ Implementation of In the Matter of Philip Yucht.  That appeal relates to the aftermath of the decision in Yucht that invalidated a “tiered” system for payments for out of network behavioral services provided to members of state health benefit plans.  The Commissions adopted a procedure to implement Yucht retroactively.  The Supreme Court will now address this question: “Did the Commissions’ implementation of the holding in In re Yucht, No. A-6298-10 (App. Div. Sept. 3, 2013), concerning the payment of additional benefits for certain prior claims, provide adequate notice to potentially affected members?”  The Appellate Division’s decision was that the Commissions did not act arbitrarily, capriciously, or unreasonably.