Fenichel v. City of Ocean City, NJ
Plaintiffs brought the case in September 2006 to obtain a declaratory judgment confirming that the City of Ocean City, NJ has the home rule authority to adopt an ordinance that would provide for public financing in municipal elections. Their lawsuit was prompted by the refusal of the Ocean City Council to consider the proposed public financing ordinance on the advice of the City attorney, who claimed that the proposed ordinance was beyond City’s legislative power to enact. The state trial court ruled against plaintiffs in June 2007, finding that Ocean City was preempted by the state in matters of public financing. The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed the trial court’s decision that Ocean City was preempted by state law with respect to public financing.