In response to an appeal in connection to a suit filed by GEORGE E. NORCROSS, CONNER STRONG & BUCKELEW, LLC, NFI, LP, THE MICHAELS ORGANIZATION, LLC, COOPER UNIVERSITY HEALTH CARE, and PARKER MCCAY, PA. against Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Superior Court Judges Moynihan and Mitterhoff issued the following ruling:
“The allegations that plaintiffs propose to include in an amended complaint are insufficient to show that the Task Force improperly investigated private entities. Plaintiffs’ proposed allegations represent findings of the Task Force’s investigation, and the fact that they do not portray plaintiffs in a positive light does not cast doubt on the lawfulness of its investigation. Because plaintiffs have failed to offer any additional allegations to suggest that the Task Force unlawfully investigated them in violation of N.J.S.A. 52:15-7, we conclude that dismissal with prejudice was appropriate.
“To the extent that we have not addressed the parties’ remaining arguments, we conclude that they lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).”
The plaintiffs contended that a judge originally erred in considering extrinsic evidence in dismissing count two but also that their allegations sufficed to survive dismissal. Alternatively, plaintiffs contend that dismissal should have been without prejudice.
“Having reviewed the record in light of the governing law, we affirm the dismissal, with prejudice, of count two of plaintiffs’ complaint.”
The appeal was connected to a case adjudged a year ago by Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobsen, who dismissed the lawsuit filed by South Jersey power broker George E. Norcross III against Gov. Phil Murphy alleging that the governor had unlawfully formed a task force to investigate the state’s multibillion-dollar tax-incentive programs.
Jacobson also denied a request by four companies with ties to Norcross to modify subpoenas served by the task force.