Back February, an attorney filed suit against the Borough of Leonia over their scheme to close down roads to non-residents in an effort to avoid congestion during morning and evening rush hours.
It appears that last week, the NJ Attorney General has now also thrown his hat into the case, by filing a complaint for a declaratory judgment and for an action in lieu of prerogative writs. The complaint appears in full below.
The State seeks “an order declaring that Leonia’s recently adopted traffic ordinances… are legally invalid as a matter of law and permanently enjoining Leonia from enforcing the ordinances.”
The State says that such actions require State approval and that the Borough was wrong to attempt this without seeking permission.
“The Legislature has not established authority under Title 39, or elsewhere, for a municipality to limit access to certain streets depending on whether a person is classified as a resident or is a person seeking to conduct business within a municipality.” (complaint at 12)
The Legislature has not established authority in Title 39, or elsewhere, for a municipality to establish “no through” streets.” (complaint at 13)
The State also references an attorney general opinion from 1955 that specifically stated:
“There is no inherent power vested in a municipality by which it may legally restrict the right of the public to the free use of streets and roads. Any right of the municipality to pass ordinances and resolutions regarding the flow of traffic over its streets and highways can arise only by legislative grant; and there has been none.”