Our employment attorneys represent applicants who have been removed from lists of eligibles for Civil Service positions for a variety of reasons including disqualification for failing background check, failing to maintain residency, and psychological and medical disqualification.
When applying for a Civil Service position, one requirement that may get overlooked by a potential applicant is the residency requirements for that position within a specific Civil Service jurisdiction. All open competitive examination announcements should state the residency requirements for that position and, unless otherwise specified, that these requirements must be met until the announced closing date and/or as of the date of the appointment. N.J.A.C. 4A:4-2.11(a).
N.J.A.C. 4A:4-2.11(b) defines residence as a single legal residence. Factors for determining an individual’s residence for local service have been developed through N.J.A.C. 4A:4-2.11(c) and discussed in cases such as In the Matter of Roslyn L. Lightfoot (MSB, decided January 12, 1993) and In the Matter of James W. Beadling (MSB decided October 4, 2006.) These factors include:
- The amount of time spent at the claimed residence compared with other locations;
- Whether the applicant rents or owns within the claimed residence;
- Whether the applicant’s claimed residence would remain if the residence requirement was eliminated;
- Whether relationships with the people living at the applicant’s claimed residence are closer than those living elsewhere. For example, if an applicant claims that she lives at her parent’s residence because she has separated from her spouse, it may be necessary to provide a court order or other evidence of the separation;
- Whether the residence is confirmed on the applicant’s driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, voter registration card, and other like documents; and
- If you have children living with the applicant, whether they attend the school district within the claimed residence.
Similar factors are used to establish an applicant’s principal residence is in New Jersey. Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 4A:2.11(d), the factors are:
- Where the applicant spends most of her nonworking time;
- Whether the claimed residence is the “center” of the applicant’s “domestic life;” and
- Whether the claimed residence is the applicant’s legal residence. This can be evidenced by establishing that this is the address listed on the applicant’s driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, and other similar documents.
In the event that the applicant is removed from a list for failing to maintain residency, it will be her burden to prove otherwise. N.J.A.C. 4A:2.11(c). Therefore, to be successful on appeal, an applicant will need to provide documentation that establishes that she resided in the residence she claims. Such documents include: lease agreements; driver’s license; tax returns; W-2s, Form 1099s, Form 1098-T; motor vehicle registration; car insurance card; voter registration card; and motor vehicle address change history.
It is important for an applicant to know the documents which may be subject to a list removal appeal for failing to maintain residency so that she can prepare at the time she is applying for the Civil Service position. If the applicant has recently moved to the Civil Service jurisdiction which she is applying to, she should make sure to take the necessary steps to update her address for all possible forms and documents that may list her address. Failure to do so may leave her without the evidence needed to prove your residence if it is questioned. These preventive steps are crucial to making sure that an applicant can establish your residence and, if needed, successfully appeal an appointing authority’s decision to remove an applicant.
For all list removal appeals, a notice of appeal must be filed with the Civil Service Commission within 20 days of receiving notice that the applicant has been removed from the list. Therefore, it is important to speak with an attorney regarding your rights immediately. Failure to file a notice of appeal within the 20 days will generally bar you from doing so at a later time. Our employment law attorneys can help advise you regarding filing an appeal. To set up an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys, please call (973) 890-0004 or e-mail us. We can help.