Judge chastises City for misusing subpoena power.

“Haste not only makes waste, but can trample citizens’ rights. In their apparent need to move quickly to investigate the purported misuse of a City-owned vehicle, two members of the [Estell Manor] governing body — with no prior notice or approval from the other members of City Council – convened a meeting and directed the issuance of subpoenas, compelling citizens, under penalty of arrest, to appear at a hearing and provide testimony under oath.

“Such actions display ignorance not only of the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:48-25, but also of the need for the respectful and restrained use of subpoenas by government. Issuing a subpoena is serious business; no citizen should be compelled to leave their home and give of their time to answer questions of a government investigation.”

Nelson C. Johnson, J.S.C.
Johnson v. City of Estell Manor, Docket No. ATL-L-7617-12

By John Paff

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to paff@pobox.com