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State of New Jersey v. Collingswood Hobby Shop, Inc.

A-0625-01T5 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2002) (Unpublished)

VIOLATIONS— Although the BOCA Code may have been drafted for other purposes, a municipality may incorporate it by reference into its enforcement ordinances.

After repeated warnings, a building owner was cited for a leaking roof, stained ceiling tiles that were in disrepair, a bowed ceiling and a carpet that was in disrepair. The owner was found guilty of violating a municipal ordinance. On appeal, it argued that, “[b]y its very nature, the Building Officials and Code Administrators (“BOCA”) Code is not adaptable as an enforcement mechanism because its origins deal more with protection, education and welfare of the general populace in regard to ownership/maintenance of the buildings and their environment.” The Appellate Division did not agree. It pointed out that while the BOCA Code may have been drafted for those particular purposes, it was properly incorporated into the municipal ordinance and therefore its incorporation was clearly intended for enforcement purposes. The municipal ordinance clearly indicated that the municipality “intended to enforce the Code and punish violators.”

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