The Court’s holding in Garrou was grounded on a profound appreciation of a citizen’s right to seek the enforcement of laws, when violations of laws have gone unaddressed by those responsible for their enforcement over an extended period of time. In those rare cases, judicial intervention is warranted because. See John Mullen and Howard Levine, Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. The Ippolito Corporation, Samuel Ippolito, Paul Ippolito, Elaine Petrillo, in her capacity as the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach, The Borough of Point Pleasant Beach, Michael Gardner, in his capacity as the Construction Officer of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach, and Maryann Ellsworth, in her capacity as the official in charge of enforcing the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach’s dune ordinances, Defendants–Respondents. Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. Decided: September 10, 2012
In Mullen v. Ippolito Corporation Plaintiffs similar to the movant here, also claimed that the municipal defendants ignored their repeated complaints. The Court found that the municipal defendants have not responded to plaintiffs’ repeated complaints seeking enforcement of the local ordinances. Applying these standards here, plaintiffs have presented sufficient evidence that their complaints to the municipal zoning and construction code officials were intended to trigger some kind of response or formal investigation. Plaintiffs identified areas of concern with respect to the motel’s business activities and requested that corrective action be taken. Over the years, plaintiffs saw these alleged unlawful activities continue unabated, to the detriment of their right to the quiet enjoyment of their home. As a practical matter, plaintiffs were able to discover these alleged expansions only after they were completed. Their complaints to the municipal defendants thereafter met with either negligent indifference or willful disregard. Here, plaintiffs’ cause of action is grounded on the municipal defendants’ failure to respond to or act upon their numerous complaints of alleged zoning violations by the Driftwood. If true, these allegations describe an amorphous history of municipal inaction, rendering plaintiffs without a realistic alternative form of administrative relief. This is especially true with respect to the complaints involving the sand dunes. In a footnote to his certification Mullen indicated that he had made similar complaints to construction code enforcement officer Gardner and zoning enforcement officer Petrillo. Our Supreme Court has recognized that cases “involving: (1) important and novel constitutional questions; (2) informal or ex parte determinations of legal questions by administrative officials; and (3) important public rather than private interests which require adjudication or clarification” have satisfied the “interest of justice” standard in Rule 4:69–6(c). Borough of Princeton v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders, 169 N.J. 135, 152 (2001).
In Skillman v. Police Commissioners on application for mandamus Before Justices DIXON, GUMMERE AND LUDLOW. For the mandamus, John M. Dickinson and Edwin Robert Walker. Contra, George W. Macpherson and John H. Backes. The opinion of the court was delivered by Dixon, J. In February, 1899, the Relator, a resident of Trenton, presented to the board of police commissioners of that city a complaint charging that one of the policemen of the city had illegally arrested him and made false accusations against him before the police magistrate, and thereupon he prayed that the policeman might be disciplined. The complaint complied in all respects with the requirements of the pertinent statute approved March 25th, 1885. (Gen. Sta., p. 1534), and of the rules of the police department, but the board refused to entertain it, on the ground that it involved a criminal offense, and therefore “as a matter of right to the policeman” the offense must first be passed on by the grand jury, before the board had authority to consider the charge. The Relator now ask for a mandamus commanding the board to hear, try and determine the complaint. Under the First and Police act f May 2d, 1885 (Gen. Stat. p. 155`), the board is “entrusted with the government, control and management of the police department,” and has “full power and right to suspend and to expel or discharge any person employed or appointed in or under the department +++provided good cause shall be shown for such suspension, expulsion or discharge after an investigation by such board. The trust thus confided, the power thus delegated, carries with it a corresponding duty to exercise the power in all proper cases. The complaint of the Relator appears to us to have stated a proper case. It charged an abuse by the police of the Official power which he possessed for the protection of persons and the upholding of law. It charged a course of conduct which, if generally pursued by police officers, would defeat the end for which their department of government is organized. If proved, good cause would be shown for the suspension or expulsion of the delinquent, within the meaning of the statute. That his conduct might likewise involve discipline him as a policeman. The object of such discipline to secure fit men for the performance of police duty, and surely a thief is none the less unfit to protect citizens against theft because he has not yet been convicted of larceny. Clearly the board had power to investigate the charge, and as they declined to exercise their jurisdiction on an erroneous opinion that they were without authority, a mandamus should be awarded. King v. Justices of Kent, 14 East 395; Regina v. Leicester, 15 Q. B. 671; Regina v. Mayor of Monmouth, L.R.,5 Q. 251; Stryker v. Skillman, 2 Gr. 189. Let a preemptory writ issue, pursuant to the rule. See Skillman v. Police Commissioners 64 N.J. L.
Locke alleged Haessig was liable because of how she responded to his complaint that her subordinate, a parole officer, was sexually harassing Locke, a parolee. Locke has provided evidence that Haessig was told of the harassment, failed to intervene or investigate, and then threatened to retaliate against Locke for complaining. The district court denied Haessig’s motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity. We affirm the denial of qualified immunity. Adam A. Locke, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Mya Haessig, Defendant-Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 10-CV-430-JPS—J.P. Stadtmueller, Judge. Argued October 31, 2014 — Decided June 5, 2015 Hamilton, Circuit Judge. See Nabozny v. Podlesny, 92 F.3d at 454–56 (reversing summary judgment on equal protection claim; school officials ignored male plaintiff’s complaints of harassment but acted on female students’ harassment complaints); see also Bohen v. City of East Chicago, 799 F.2d at 1190 (Posner, J., concurring) (“The chief of the fire department was aware of the harassment, which was frequent rather than isolated and in which at least one supervisory employee was implicated; yet he did nothing. It was as if the chief knew that his men were systematically refusing to put out fires in homes owned by blacks, yet did nothing to correct the situation.”). Short perhaps only of a confession of intentional discrimination, selective inaction can be strong evidence of discriminatory intent.
Central both to the idea of the rule of law and to our own Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection is the principle that government and each of its parts remain open on impartial terms to all who seek its assistance. “`Equal protection of the laws is not achieved through indiscriminate imposition of inequalities.'” Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, 635 (1950) (quoting Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1, 22 (1948)). Respect for this principle explains why laws singling out a certain class of citizens for disfavored legal status or general hardships are rare. A law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of equal protection of the laws in the most literal sense. “The guaranty of `equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws.'” Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942) (quoting Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 369 (1886)). – See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/517/620.html#sthash.aA8CPfzP.dpuf
A policy implemented by a city’s police department and the county’s district attorney against entertaining criminal cross-complaints was held to hear no rational relationship to a legitimate governmental interest in impartial law enforcement, and thus violated the equal protection rights of an arrestee who was named as the perpetrator in an original complaint arising out of the commission of a crime. The court found that the assumption that the original complainant was the true victim caused the police to fail to investigate further, and the prosecutor to consider evidence potentially favorable to the arrestee. The court deemed the policy to be based on irrelevant and irrational considerations.‘[a] first come-first served policy also runs contrary to the objectives of law enforcement to protect the public, since it inhibits collection of the fullest possible information from all sources relating to a potentially criminal incident. See Myer v. County of Orange, 870 F.Supp. at 557. In sum, by severely distorting the ends of justice in an attempt to resolve complaints efficiently, the cross-complaint policy serves no legitimate governmental interest. The issue, however, is not whether a DA must prosecute cross-complaints simultaneously, but whether a DA and a police department must entertain cross-complaints on the same basis as original complaints, investigate all complaints based on the circumstances of the case rather than on the order in which they were filed, and on that basis determine who, if anyone, should be prosecuted. To fail to do so, we believe, distorts the even-handed pursuit of justice and violates the Equal Protection Clause.” See Myers v. County of Orange, 15 E3d 66 (2nd Cir. 1998); cert. den., 64 CrL 216(1999).