In the News

NJ High Court Ruling Stresses Due Process in Enviro Actions

Law 360

April 04, 2013

A New Jersey Supreme Court decision was handed down Thursday stating that the state Department of Environmental Protection can't inspect a residential property for wetlands violations without a warrant when the owner refuses access.  According to Andrew Robins of Sills Cummis & Gross, "The Court is effectively sending a message that the Fourth Amendment still means something when it comes to DEP regulations....The message was that, even when the statute allows for regulatory searches, there needs to be protections in place to satisfy the Fourth Amendment.  The appellate division basically said that the statute authorizes this and the court took a very lengthy analysis to go through and say, no, you need procedures in place like the one the department has here, which they may not have followed."