University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gloucester County (New Jersey Turnpike) Police Stop Cases PN-NJ-0001
Docket / Court MER-L-002687-96 ( State Court )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Policing
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
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) ... read more >
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.

Dan Dalton - 12/29/2006
Lauren Yu - 09/04/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Hire
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Racial profiling
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action State law
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) New Jersey State Police
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.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Denied
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filed 1996
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing PN-NJ-0002 : U.S. v. State of New Jersey (D.N.J.)
Additional Resources
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  New Jersey Settles NAACP Lawsuit
State Police New Jersey
Date: Mar. 1, 2000
By: New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
not recorded
11/11/1994
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
PN-NJ-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
State Court of Appeals
06/22/1998
Opinion (711 A.2d 1355)
PN-NJ-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Google Scholar
State Trial Court
02/01/2000
Consent Order Resolving Class and Individual Claims
PN-NJ-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
not recorded
03/01/2000
News Release - New Jersey Settles NAACP Lawsuit
PN-NJ-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
show all people docs
Judges Cuff, Mary Catherine (State Trial Court) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0004
Kestin, Howard H. (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0004
King, Michael Patrick (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0004
Shuster, Neil H. (State Trial Court) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Borgen, Lori Outzs (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Gear, Bruce (Maryland) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Hayes, Dennis Courtland (Maryland) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Lustberg, Lawrence S. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Rose, David L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Rose, Joshua N. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Seymour, Richard Talbot (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Steinhagen, Renee (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003 | PN-NJ-0001-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Farmer, John J. Jr. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0001 | PN-NJ-0001-0003
Fields, Sally Ann (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PN-NJ-0001-0004

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