Doctrine of Preemption New Jersey
The doctrine of preemption is well established in New Jersey law.
"When the Legislature has preempted a field by comprehensive regulation, a municipal ordinance attempting to regulate the same field is void if the municipal ordinance adversely affects the legislative scheme." See Plaza Joint Venture v. City of Atlantic City, 174 N.J. Super. 231, 238, 416 A.2d 71 (App.Div.1980) (citing Fair Lawn Educ. Ass'n v. Fair Lawn Bd. of Educ., 79 N.J. 574, 586, 401 A.2d 681 (1979); Summer v. Township of Teaneck, 53 N.J. 548, 554, 251 A.2d 761 (1969)).
In Plaza Joint Venture, supra, the Appellate Division noted:
A legislative intent to preempt a field will be found either where the state scheme is so pervasive or comprehensive that it effectively precludes the coexistence of municipal regulation or where the local regulation conflicts with the state statute or stands as an obstacle to state policy expressed in enactments of the Legislature. 174 N.J. Super. at 238, 416 A.2d 71 (quoting Garden State Farms, Inc. v. Bay, 77 N.J. 439, 450, 390 A.2d 1177 (1978).)
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:41A-125a, the Board of Freeholders has the authority to "adopt an administrative code organizing the administration of county government."
Despite this broad authority, the power of the Board is not unbridled.
Significantly, the Board does not have the authority to establish or regulate procedures that are preempted by state statute.