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Hills Dev. Co. v. Township of Bernards

Supreme Court of New Jersey
103 N.J. 1 (N.J. 1986)


Facts

In 1986, New Jersey passed the Fair Housing Act in response to the state supreme court’s decision in Southern Burlington County NAACP v. Township of Mount Laurel, 456 A.2d 390 (N.J. 1983). The Act created the Council on Affordable Housing, which is empowered to determine the need for lower-income housing in different regions of the state and promulgate guidelines for municipalities in each region to determine their fair share of the housing. The Council then determines whether any given municipality has satisfied its obligation to have lower-income housing, and has various means available to induce municipalities to comply. The Council’s determinations can be overturned by a court only if there is clear and convincing evidence that a municipality has not constructed its fair share of housing. Municipalities that do not comply with the Council’s determinations in a timely manner are subject to judicial enforcement of their obligation under Mount Laurel to provide lower-income housing. The constitutionality of the Act was then challenged in court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Wilentz, C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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