Legal Victory Against Duplicitive Municipal Inspections: Trial Court Finds the City of Orange Twp.'s Inspection Ordinance Void and Unenforceable

A Judge of the New Jersey Superior Court, considering a challenge filed by a property owners group of the City of Orange, ruled Friday, March 2, 2012 that the municipality's annual inspection ordinance, which was enacted in December 2010, and required annual inspections of rental properties, was void and unenforceable. The ruling by the Honorable James Rothschild was in an action brought by the City of Orange Property Owners Association, which was represented in the case by Charles X. Gormally, Esq., of Brach Eichler L.L.C. The decision is a clear victory for apartment owners and residents in the municipality who were required to pay $100 every year for an annual inspection, when the State of New Jersey already inspects apartments on a periodic basis. The Court additionally has ordered the parties to engage in expedited discovery to make a determination as to whether a $100 fee is appropriate, though the fee would be limited to Certificate of Occupancy inspections conducted at unit turnover.