Case: Gloucester County (New Jersey Turnpike) Police Stop Cases

96-02687 | New Jersey state trial court

Filed Date: 1996

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1996, the NAACP and several individuals filed a class action lawsuit in New Jersey state court against the New Jersey State Police alleging unlawful employment practices in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and state law. The gravamen (essence) of the plaintiffs' complaint as amended was that Black and Latino applicants for employment to the New Jersey State Police were subjected to discrimination in the recruitment, application, and hiring p…

In 1996, the NAACP and several individuals filed a class action lawsuit in New Jersey state court against the New Jersey State Police alleging unlawful employment practices in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and state law. The gravamen (essence) of the plaintiffs' complaint as amended was that Black and Latino applicants for employment to the New Jersey State Police were subjected to discrimination in the recruitment, application, and hiring practices. Such discrimination included a requirement that applicants possess a college education and the use of an entry-level written examination known as the Law Enforcement Candidate Record (LECR). Plaintiffs maintained that those requirements caused a disparate impact on the Black and Latino class members.

Shortly after filing the complaint, the plaintiffs filed a motion for admission pro hac vice of attorneys David L. Rose and Joshua N. Rose. The State Police opposed the motion on the ground that there was an appearance of impropriety with respect to David Rose's involvement because he may have gained knowledge concerning the LECR during his prior employment as Chief of the Employment Litigation Section of the United States Department of Justice. The Trial Court denied the motion for admission. The laintiffs filed a second motion for admission and proposed that Richard T. Seymour would represent the plaintiffs in the attack on the LECR and that David Rose and Joshua Rose would handle the remaining claims. The Trial Court admitted Mr. Seymour, but again denied admission to attorneys David Rose and Joshua Rose. The plaintiffs appealed.

The Appellate Court reversed, holding that David Rose's involvement with the LECR ten or more years earlier did not warrant denial of admission pro hac vice. N.A.A.C.P. v. State, Dept of Law, 711 A.2d 1355 (N.J. Super. A.D. 1998).

Thereafter, the parties arrived at a settlement of the action and Judge Neil H. Shuster entered a consent order resolving class and individual claims in February 2000. For the purposes of the settlement, the plaintiff class was defined as: "(a) All unsuccessful African-American and Hispanic applicants for entry-level jobs as State Troopers who previously applied for such positions in the 114th through 118th State Police Academy classes, or who are currently applicants for entry-level jobs as State Troopers, or who apply for entry-level jobs as State Troopers in the future; and (b) All African-American and Hispanic persons who have been prevented or discouraged from applying for entry-level jobs as State Troopers since January 1993 because of the defendant's college requirement for such positions, or who are currently prevented or discouraged from applying for such positions because of such requirement, or who will be prevented or discouraged from applying for such positions because of any educational requirement above high school."

The consent order called for the State Police to implement reforms in its employment practices. The reforms included the elimination of the college education requirement for at least three years, depending upon its compliance with targeted recruitment ratios, replacing it with the requirement that applicants have either (1) a four-year college degree or (2) an Associate's degree - or the successful (i.e. "C" average) completion of sixty college credit hours - plus at least two years of experience. The State Police also agreed to change its examination procedure and select an alternative examination that had the least adverse impact against Black or Latino candidates. In addition, the State Police agreed to pay $355,000 in damages to the named plaintiffs, as well as attorneys' fees. The order gave the defendants three years to come into compliance, with the possibility of a four-year extension. That time has now passed and the case is now almost certainly closed.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (12/29/2006)

Lauren Yu (9/4/2021)

Related Cases

U.S. v. State of New Jersey, District of New Jersey (1999)

People


Judge(s)

Cuff, Mary Catherine (New Jersey)

Kestin, Howard H. (New Jersey)

King, Michael Patrick (New Jersey)

Shuster, Neil H. (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Borgen, Lori Outzs (District of Columbia)

Gear, Bruce (Maryland)

Hayes, Dennis Courtland (Maryland)

Lustberg, Lawrence S. (New Jersey)

Rose, Joshua N. (District of Columbia)

Schneider, Elizabeth L. (New York)

Judge(s)

Cuff, Mary Catherine (New Jersey)

Kestin, Howard H. (New Jersey)

King, Michael Patrick (New Jersey)

Shuster, Neil H. (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Borgen, Lori Outzs (District of Columbia)

Gear, Bruce (Maryland)

Hayes, Dennis Courtland (Maryland)

Lustberg, Lawrence S. (New Jersey)

Rose, Joshua N. (District of Columbia)

Schneider, Elizabeth L. (New York)

Seymour, Richard Talbot (New York)

Steinhagen, Renee (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Farmer, John J. Jr. (New Jersey)

Fields, Sally Ann (New Jersey)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Revised Statistical Analysis of the Incidence of Police Stops and Arrests of Black Drivers/Travelers on the New Jersey Turnpike Between Exists or Interchanges 1 and 3 from the Years 1988 through 1991

No Court

Nov. 11, 1994 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Opinion

NAACP v. New Jersey State Police

New Jersey state appellate court

711 A.2d 1355

June 22, 1998 Order/Opinion

Consent Order Resolving Class and Individual Claims

NAACP v. New Jersey State Police

Feb. 1, 2000 Order/Opinion

News Release - New Jersey Settles NAACP Lawsuit

NAACP v. New Jersey State Police

No Court

March 1, 2000 Press Release

Resources

Title Description External URL

New Jersey Settles NAACP Lawsuit

New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety

New Jersey and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a class of unhired trooper applicants have settled a four-year-old lawsuit against the State Police by agreei… March 1, 2000 https://www.njsp.org/news/newsitem4.htm

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New Jersey

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1996

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

(a) All unsuccessful African-American and Hispanic applicants for entry-level jobs as New Jersey State Troopers; and (b) All African-American and Hispanic persons who have been prevented or discouraged from applying for entry-level jobs as New Jersey State Troopers since January 1993 because of a college requirement.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

New Jersey State Police, State

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 355,000

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Issues

General:

Racial profiling

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic