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3 N.J.A.R. 210

Consumer Affairs, Division of v. Acme Markets, Inc., etc
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Citation: 3 N.J.A.R. 210
Decision Date: 1981
Synopsis: The Division of Consumer Affairs filed complaints against Acme Markets, Inc., the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co., Inc., Singer Supermarkets, Inc. and Village Supermarkets, Inc. charging viola- tions of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-25 in that the respondents had sold food at prices higher than those adver- tised and did not have items available for purchase during the adver- tised period. The respondents moved to take the deposition on oral examination of the Executive Director of the Division's Office of Consumer Pro- tection in order to demonstrate that procedures used by the Division to check compliance were discriminatorily applied and thus consti- tuted selective enforcement of the la. ws. In ruling on the motion, the administrative law judge noted that under the Uniform Administrative Procedure Rules of Practice, dep- ositions upon oral examination on written interrogatory are available only on motion for good cause shown, N.J.A.C. 1:1-11.3. In deciding such a motion, the judge shall consider policy governing discovery generally and shall weigh specific need for the deposition, the extent to which information sought cannot be obtained in other ways, undue hardship and matters of expense, privilege or oppressiveness. Here, the judge noted, the respondents had merely alleged in af- firmative defenses that various inspection processes were arbitrary and capricious. The respondents had failed to show any reason why the information and data sought could not be secured through less formal means of discovery such as written interrogatory and requests for admission which would have been available simply on notice. In addition, the respondents had failed to demonstrate that the Execu- tive Director was the one with personal knowledge of the events in State of New Jersey 211 question nor did they demonstrate that the Director had any direct involvement in such events. Accordingly, the administrative law judge determined that the re- spondents had failed to demonstrate the good cause necessary to order such depositions and denied the respondents' motion. Israel David Dubin, Deputy Attorney General, for Petitioner (James R. Zazzali, Attorney General of New Jersey, Attorney) Anthony J. Napodano, Esq. for Respondents
Rule(s) Cited: 1:1-11.3