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Borough Loses In Court….AGAIN!


Gummer Finds

For Susko Plaintiffs

In All Three

Remaining Issues!

From a courtroom witness:

In starting off, Judge Gummer stated that the Court was adopting now its 10/23/15 opinion in its entirety. She then addressed the 3 outstanding issues relating to the defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration, the Partner Litigation and the Parking Ordinance.

First, Judge Gummer addressed the Parking Ordinance issue. She found that the parking ordinance, Ordinance No. 2015- 15, was invalid and that in enacting it, the Borough of Belmar acted arbitrarily, capriciously, improperly and without authority. She found that Belmar’s enactment of the parking ordinance violated the Public Trust Doctrine & the Beach Fee Statute. She then noted that from evidence presented in the case, Belmar has the ability to determine when parking fees are incurred and whether they are incurred during the operation of the beach – that is, during hours when beach fees are collected. The Court then ruled that within 7 days of the date of the Court’s written order (which Plaintiffs have to prepare and submit for the Court’s review and signature) Belmar is to take whatever actions necessary to stop ongoing charges being imposed by the parking ordinance. By that, the Court means the kiosks are to charge only $1, not $2. The Court further ruled that within 45 days of the Court’s written order, Belmar is to determine what fees were generated from meters during beach operation hours, and to the extent any of the fees for those hours were placed in the Parking Utility or other utility other than the Beach Utility, the Court is ordering Belmar to place those fees in the Beach Utility. The Court further ruled that Belmar is enjoined from any further enforcement of Ordinance No. 2015-15.

Second, Judge Gummer addressed the Partner Litigation. She ruled that by making the Partner Litigation settlement payment in its entirety out of the Beach Utility Fund, the Belmar defendants violated the Public Trust Doctrine and the Beach Fee Statute, and in doing so violated the Plaintiffs’ civil rights.

Third, Judge Gummer addressed the Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration of her 10/23/15 decision and Plaintiffs’ allegations of violations of the Civil Rights Act in connection with that motion, as well as with the Parking Ordinance, and the Partner Litigation. The Court found that the Belmar defendants failed to meet the standard for granting a motion for consideration, and accordingly denied the motion. Referring to her findings as set forth above regarding the Parking Ordinance and the Partner Litigation, Judge Gummer then determined that the Belmar defendants had violated Plaintiffs’ civil rights in regard to both the Parking Ordinance issue and the Partner Litigation issue, and accordingly, the Court ruled that Plaintiffs are entitled to their reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

Throughout her decision, Judge Gummer cited relevant facts – most of which she noted were not disputed by the defendants and which she referred to on at least one occasion as “overwhelming evidence”- in the record, as well as applicable statutes and/or case law to support her rulings.

Judge Gummer ordered Plaintiffs to submit their fee application by 9/16/16, with defendants to submit their opposition to the fee application on or before 9/23/16, and any response from Plaintiffs to that opposition by 9/28/16, but she allowed counsel for the parties to extend those dates as necessary if they are in agreement.


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you Matt Doherty. It’s official- time for a recall.

    Friday, September 9, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  2. A Voter 2 wrote:

    He still thinks he IS the Wizard of Oz, i mean Belmar.

    Friday, September 9, 2016 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  3. OLD MAN wrote:

    Did anybody think it would be adjudicated differently? It is difficult to believe any small town USA can be as fouled up as Belmar. More attorney fees coming. Then I guess Matt will appeal? That will cost the town more money.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink
  4. Hoffa wrote:

    Wow !!! Claire you must be so proud of your Mayor. You might have to raise your sons rent after all this is paid.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    The Harmons should have skipped around the corner singing their like the munchkins in order to get their liquor license approval from the wizard of Belmarania.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  6. Neighbor wrote:

    I am so fed up with Matt Doherty I think we should organize a town meeting, without him and discuss options to control/end his irresponsible behavior. He is driven by his personal agenda and need for financial gain. Residents and our beautiful town are not a consideration. Contact Dave if you have an interest in holding a town meeting.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  7. Hoffa wrote:


    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  8. joe goofinoff wrote:

    #6 – Sir, I must disagree (but I do sympathize) with you on this. Any such meeting will come to naught. It will just be people letting off a bit of steam to no affect. But if you must, go ahead.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  9. Terry Pierce wrote:

    Congratulations to Ken Pringle and
    Associates for another win. We are very fortunate that you care enough to take this garbage on.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  10. anonymous wrote:

    So,#4[and 7]I would say the over on the legal fees is the right bet. And #6 and 8 a recall petition or whatever our form of government permits [our form is unusual] started before the Nov election would be the only hope but what would really be poetic justice [while just a fantasy] would be bundling all the legal fees and billing them directly to the Mayor for his personal payment. After all they were and are largely incurred as a result of his misjudgments.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  11. Concerned wrote:

    #6 a nice idea, however there is potential exposure toward retaliation as a council member was seen taking pictures of protesters at the Doherty-Booker fundraiser a few weeks ago. As stated earlier -VOTE!

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  12. Gym wrote:

    Why are we still voting in the gym?

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  13. Hoffa wrote:

    A recall option would be really bad for his freeholder run

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
  14. Hoffa wrote:

    So is parking only a $1 today ?

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  15. elemental wrote:

    Councilwoman Blackburn, what think you about this parking fee decision? You wanted to soak the beach users with paying extra parking fees and use that money for the general Borough expenses, holding down property taxes, as I recall…

    Mr. Brennan, want to dispute the civil rights matters? Unconstitutionality? The band plays on. Hear the BEAT!

    Magovern and Nicolay, are you paying attention at all?

    Mayor Doherty, have a cup of coffee and clear your head.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    That’s coffee without Jamieson sir.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink
  17. elemental wrote:

    #12 No good reason, in my opinion, except maybe so that the Borough Administrator can hang around and give the elements dirty looks and intimidate anyone she presumes is suspect of anything untoward that she can phone Mr. McGill about and raise a big stink about and get the Monmouth Democrats to sue the elements, and, and, and…

    Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
  18. Tulip wrote:

    If you recall the mayor and lose the election he will still be mayor if you win you may find the council president
    the new mayor.The last recall the new mayor was already to be mayor and the
    Recall election was a loss to the old mayor she was out and he was in. But she would have lost the election anyhow because everyone was sick to death of the 12 o’clock closing. We thought we were closing the beach bars down it was the whole town with all our favorite watering holes closed. So the old mayor would have been out in the November election in any case. An asked for resignation might do it. If it doesn’t and you want him out you need money to back the attorneys. As in a big collection and fund raisers. I would wait until the new tax bills are out and the amount of increase which might be hefty could do it. Just a thought.

    Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:30 am | Permalink

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