“Giant Inflatable Rat Ordinance” Found to be Valid – State v. DeAngelo

Today’s decision from the Appellate Division in State v. DeAngelo involves an attack on the constitutionality of a municipal ordinance. The ordinance in question was used to prosecute a union representative for displaying a 10 foot blow-up rat at the scene of a labor dispute demonstration. In municipal court, the State successfully prosecuted the defendant under a local sign ordinance. In affirming the municipal court conviction, the Appellate Division considered a wide array of attacks on the ordinance, including 1st Amendment considerations, selective enforcement, federal preemption and vagueness. The opinion provides valuable insight into the range of possible challenges to the validity of municipal ordinances under New Jersey law.

Due to a dissent in this case by Judge Sabatino, the defendant will have an appeal as of right to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Download a copy of State v. DeAngelo.

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