Image by Ari Hahn via Flickr
|The dome of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack is visible behind the old county jail.|
Superior Court Judge Harry G. Carroll has denied North Jersey Media Group's request for a preliminary injunction to stop a competing newspaper from printing legal notices.
The Record of Woodland Park and the Ridgewood News, two NJMG publications, filed suit on Aug. 10 against The Press Journal, which is owned by the Bergen Newspaper Group, alleging their competitor wasn't legally qualified to publish "Official Advertisements" in Bergen County.
NJMG claimed The Record could be viewed as "a less complete source of information, thus causing it to lose readers, an irreparable harm that would never be compensable by monetary damages."
(Pashman Stein, the Hackensack law firm representing NJMG, appears to have coined a new word: "compensable," or at least one I am not familiar with. Why not just say "compensated"? This is what the spoiled Borg sibs get in return for their $400 an hour. I guess Jennifer A. Borg, Esq., couldn't tear herself away from Zabar's and file this suit herself.)
Of course, one could argue The Record already has become "a less complete source of information" -- because of far less local news, and food and education coverage and far more wire service content.
The judge's decision noted The Press Journal charges as little as 34 cents for each line of such legal notices, which represents 22% of its revenue. It has been printing them since 1957. The Record, on the other hand, has a larger circulation and charges 72 cents per line.
The Press Journal argued:
Budget-strapped municipalities will thus face higher costs
and hence the public interest disfavors such an injunction, which defendant
contends would constitute nothing more than a prior restraint on its right to publish legal notices.
Click on the following link for the judge's complete written decision:
Written decision in NJMG v. Bergen Newspaper Group