The New Jersey Administrative Procedure Act is found in Title 52, chapter 14B of New Jersey Statutes. According to N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-3, each agency should state the general course and method of operation, so that the public may obtain information. Also, each agency should adopt rules of practice and should make available final orders, decisions and opinions for public inspection.
N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-4 requires an agency to give at least thirty days’ notice regarding adoption, amendment or repeal of any rule. The notice should be filed with the Office of Administrative Law, for publication in the New Jersey Register. Agency should also afford all interested persons reasonable opportunity to submit data, views or arguments, orally or in writing. Similarly, an agency should conduct a public hearing on the proposed rule. The section further provides that an interested person may petition an agency to adopt a new rule, or amend or repeal any existing rule.
If an agency finds that an immediate danger to public health, safety, or welfare requires adoption of a rule upon fewer than 30 days’ notice and states in writing its reasons for that finding, it may proceed without prior notice or hearing or upon any abbreviated notice, to adopt an emergency rule. However, such rule is not effective for more than 120 days.
According to N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-4.1, rules proposed by state agency should be submitted by the Office of Administrative Law to the Senate and General Assembly within two business days of its receipt by the office. Further, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly should immediately refer the proposed rule to the appropriate committee in each House.
As per N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-5, each agency should file with the Director and Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Office of Administrative Law, a certified copy of each rule adopted by the agency. According to N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-7, the Director should compile index, and publish the New Jersey Administrative Code, containing all effective rules adopted by each agency. The Director should also publish the New Jersey Register, containing the text of all rules filed during the preceding month and all notices submitted to the Director.
N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-8 requires an agency to issue a declaratory ruling with respect to the applicability to any person, property or state of facts of any statute or rule enforced or administered by the agency.
According to N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-9, in a contested case, the agency should afford to all parties, opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice in writing. N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-10 provides that in contested cases, the parties are not bound by rules of evidence whether statutory, common law, or adopted formally by the Rules of Court. Further, all relevant evidence is admissible in contested cases. However, the administrative law judge may in his discretion exclude any evidence. Any party in a contested case may present his case or defense by oral and documentary evidence, submit rebuttal evidence and conduct cross-examination. Further, final decision or order adverse to a party in a contested case should be in writing or stated in the record.
N.J. Stat. § 52:14B-12, provides that whenever under statute or agency rule there is a mode of administrative review within an agency, such review should be carried out. The New Jersey Administrative Procedure Act provides for judicial review. However, any judicial review should be from the final action of the agency.