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It's complicated...the Zoning Officer in my community has…

Customer Question
It's complicated...the Zoning Officer...

It's complicated...the Zoning Officer in my community has consistently refused to enforce ordinances that the tenants next door have violated; and as such, my health and safety and the safety of my property has been endangered. I had to take the tenants to court over one particular ordinance violation; the Zoning Officer was called as a witness, and his lies to me were exposed (I had a good lawyer!), and the Judge found them guilty. . . violation;

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

New Jersey...my main question is whether the Zoning Officer's denial of my property rights is essentially a violation of my civil rights. I believe there are reasons that he has bent over backwards to protect these tenants (I can't say too much in writing, at the advice of my lawyer; but it involves the tenant's criminal record;, a plea bargain; the State Police, who are our only Police protection...I called them once when this tenant threatened to come into my yard and destroy some panels I was hosing down; it took me 4 months to get the police report and they (the police)had lied in it. I believe that he is a CI for them; and they told my local government "hands off this guy". Every attempt I made to get the ZO to enforce ordinances they were violating was followed up with a plea to both the Borough Council and the Planning Board. They perpetuated his lies to me. I want to file a complaint against the ZO with the Department of Community Affairs; I used to think he was merely incompetent. My lawyer says he is a known liar; other residents call him 'crooked'. I want the whole bunch of them investigated for unfair practices.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No, I have been writing the letter to the DCA in my head for months (this started 2 years ago). My lawyer feels that I should file a complaint. I want to know if I can suggest that my civil rights have been violated, by virtue of the fact that he has violated my property rights.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I was told you cannot sue a Zoning Officer for not doing their job. I don't want anything from this man; I want his certification revoked. Many residents in my small community have had issues with him. He is selective about who he holds accountable to permits, codes, etc...members of Borough Council seem to be exempt.

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 1 hour by:
9/17/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 11 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 14,216
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. However, NJ has something called the "tort claims act," which is what you would use to help sue the Borough and the department that the zoning officer works for (if it is different than the borough).

if their failure to enforce the laws that they are required to enforce have caused you harm, then this to me sounds like a classic case of negligence. Negligence simply means that there was a duty that the other party owed and they breached that duty in some way. What is most important is that it is proven that the defendant breached their duty of care because that is what mostly determines whether there is a cause of action. Basically, the question is, “Did the defendant’s actions fall below the standard of care for a reasonable person in a similar situation?” Better stated, "Did the agency's actions fall below the standard of care for a reasonable government in a similar situation?" If the answer to that question is yes, then there is negligence and you are entitled to damages. Damages can be difficult to calculate, but if you click here you can use a calculator help you understand.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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