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Supreme Court of New Jersey
February 26, 2018, Argued; August 2, 2018, Decided
A-82 September Term 2016, 079146
[*407] [**599] JUSTICE SOLOMON delivered the opinion of the Court.
] The Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), N.J.S.A. 40:55D-17(a), recognizes that development on one parcel of land can have consequences for others. The MLUL thus provides that "[a]ny interested party may appeal to the governing body any final decision of a board of adjustment approving an application for development," N.J.S.A. 40:55D-17(a), and defines "interested party" broadly to include "any person . . . whose right to use, acquire, or enjoy property is or may be affected by any action taken under [the MLUL]," N.J.S.A. 40:55D-4.
This appeal tests the limits of that definition as applied to the holder of a tax sale certificate -- a tax lienholder -- under New Jersey's Tax Sale Law (Tax Sale Law), N.J.S.A. 54:5-1 to -137. Specifically, we consider whether a tax lienholder has standing to challenge a planning board's approval of a land use [***10] application for a neighboring property.
We conclude that, ] pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-4, a tax lienholder who can show that its "right to use, acquire or enjoy property is or may be affected" if the application is granted is an interested party and therefore may have standing to challenge a planning board's approval of a land use application.
Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Division affirming the trial court's dismissal with prejudice of plaintiffs' complaint in lieu of prerogative writs pursuant to Rule 4:6-2(e), and remand for further proceedings. The record is deficient with respect to a number of factual issues, as noted throughout the opinion; to the extent that those matters are pertinent to standing or the substantive merits of this case, they should be considered and a record developed on remand.
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234 N.J. 403 *; 191 A.3d 597 **; 2018 N.J. LEXIS 992 ***; 2018 WL 3650226
CHEROKEE LCP LAND, LLC AND LINDEN 587, LLC, PLAIN TIFFS-APPELLANTS, v. CITY OF LINDEN PLANNING BOARD, GOODMAN NORTH AMERICAN PARTNERSHIP HOLDINGS, LLC, AND LINDEN PROPERTY HOLDINGS, LLC, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.
Prior History: [***1] On certification to the Superior Court, Appellate Division.
Cherokee LCP Land, LLC v. City of Linden Planning Bd., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 543 (App.Div., Mar. 2, 2017)
certificate, neighboring property, tax sale, acquire, holder, interested party, lienholder, acquisition of title, right to use, trial court, municipal, plaintiffs', rights, foreclosure, foreclosed, ownership, proceedings, redemption, liens, possessory interest, abandoned, redeem, board's action, land use, planning, notice, certificate holder, final judgment, property owner, lack standing
Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Reviewability, Standing, Business & Corporate Compliance, Real Property Law, Zoning, Administrative Procedure, Real Property Law, Liens, Nonmortgage Liens, Tax Liens, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Preliminary Considerations, Justiciability, Questions of Fact & Law, Tax Law, Real Property Taxes, Collection of Tax, Tax Deeds & Tax Sales, Deeds, Types of Deeds, Tax Deeds, Title Quality, Agency Adjudication, Formal Adjudicatory Procedure, Hearings