Recent Decisions of the New Jersey Appellate Courts
from 2017-07-14 to 2017-07-28

Supreme Court Decisions


Appellate Division PUBLISHED Decisions


Docket No.: a0713-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: MAIN STREET AT WOOLWICH, LLC v. AMMONS SUPERMARKET INC.
Status: published
Summary:
J.A.D. (retired and assigned on recall). Plaintiffs, Main Street at Woolwich, LLC (Main Street), Woolwich Commons, LLC (Commons), and Woolwich Crossings, LLC (Crossings), successfully defended against litigation brought by defendants Ammons Supermarket, Inc. and Benjamin Ammons (Ammons defendants) challenging the approval of a general development plan (GDP) submitted by plaintiffs to build a shopping complex in Woolwich Township (Woolwich Shopping Complex or Complex). Plaintiffs then filed a three-count complaint against the Ammons defendants, their attorney, R.S. Gasiorowski, and his firm, Gasiorowski & Holobinko (collectively Gasiorowski), alleging malicious abuse of process (count one), tortious interference with a prospective contract (count two), and civil conspiracy (count three). Plaintiffs claimed defendants filed "sham litigation," intended solely to prevent competition with their supermarket. The motion judge found defendants' litigation challenging the GDP was protected by the Noerr-Pennington doctrine1 and was not objectively baseless. The judge dismissed plaintiffs' complaint pursuant to Rule 4:6-2(e) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

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Docket No.: a2781-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: NORMA S. EHRLICH v. JEFFREY J. SOROKIN M.D.
Status: published
Summary:
J.A.D. Plaintiff Norma S. Ehrlich appeals from a January 28, 2016 Law Division order dismissing her complaint against defendant Jeffrey J. Sorokin, M.D., based on a no-cause jury verdict in her medical negligence action. This suit arose after plaintiff suffered complications from a colonoscopy and polypectomy procedure defendant performed in 2011. On appeal, plaintiff raises three claims of trial error, asserting the judge (1) admitted irrelevant evidence regarding informed consent, (2) delivered inadequate jury instructions on the standard of care, and (3) admitted net opinion testimony. Following our review of the record and applicable law, we agree the admission of informed consent evidence constituted harmful error. R. 2:10-2. We therefore vacate the order of dismissal and remand for a new trial consistent with this opinion. I.

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Docket No.: a1463-15
Decided: 2017-07-19
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. POST INTEGRATIONS, INC
Status: published
Summary:
J.A.D. In this qui tam action, we are asked to determine whether a claim against a corporation arising from its alleged failure to pay certain statutory obligations owed to the State relates to taxes that are expressly excluded from the purview of the New Jersey False Claims Act (NJFCA or the Act), N.J.S.A. 2A:32C-1 to -18. For the reasons stated herein, we hold that such obligations are taxes and, therefore, the Law Division properly dismissed plaintiff's complaint. Plaintiff, Leonard M. Campagna, the relator, appeals from the Law Division's November 6, 2015 order allowing the Attorney General to appear in support of defendants' motion to dismiss and from the order of the same date dismissing his complaint. The complaint alleged that defendants, Post Integrations, Inc., Ebocom, Inc., and Mary Gerdts, were out-of-state credit card processors who served New Jersey based hotels, and that they violated the NJFCA by making false statements in order to avoid paying New Jersey "assessments, fees, license costs and other charges." In response to plaintiff's complaint, the Attorney General filed a notice of his decision not to intervene in the action and defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted, R. 4:6-2(e), and for failing to plead a fraud claim with particularity, R. 4:5-8(a). The State sought leave to file a statement of interest and to participate in oral argument in further support of defendants' motion. Judge Michelle Hollar-Gregory allowed the State to participate, over plaintiff's objection, even though Attorney General had declined to intervene in the action.

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Docket No.: a2059-13
Decided: 2017-07-19
Caption: DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY v. P.S.
Status: published
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendants P.S. (Patricia) and her husband, C.L. (Chad), appeal from two decisions made by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (the Division) regarding A.P. (Adam) and D.P. (David), Patricia's two sons with her former husband, J.P. (John). The first decision, appealed under Docket No. A-2059-13, announced in letters to defendants dated December 19, 2013 and March 14, 2014, was that child abuse allegations made against them in September 2013 were "not established." The second decision challenged, appealed under Docket No. A-4589-14, was made on May 6, 2015, when the Division decided not to provide services to the family following the completion of a child welfare check. We scheduled the two appeals back-to-back and now decide both in this opinion. I.

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Docket No.: a2789-14
Decided: 2017-07-19
Caption: NATHAN GIBSON v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES POLICE AND FIREMEN'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Status: published
Summary:
PER CURIAM Nathan Gibson appeals from the January 13, 2015 final decision of the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (Board), which denied his application for accidental disability retirement benefits, N.J.S.A 43:16A-7. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3058-15
Decided: 2017-07-19
Caption: KARL HALLIGAN v. JOHN O'CONNOR
Status: published
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendants John O'Connor and Barry Hodkinson appeal from a February 26, 2016 Chancery Division order finding them in contempt for failing to comply with an earlier order of the trial court, and imposing a $250 sanction on each of them. Defendants also appeal from the court's March 18, 2016 order requiring them to pay a total of $1580 in counsel fees and costs to plaintiff Karl Halligan's attorney in connection with his motion seeking the contempt adjudication. Finally, defendants appeal from the trial court's June 21, 2016 order finding them in contempt for failing to pay the sanctions and counsel fees assessed in the previous two orders in a timely fashion, and directing each defendant to pay another $250 sanction to the court and $411.25 in counsel fees and costs to plaintiff. On appeal, defendants contend that the trial court abused its discretion in making these rulings because there was insufficient evidence in the record to support the contempt adjudications. Having reviewed the record in light of defendants' arguments and the applicable law, we agree with defendants' contentions and reverse all three orders.

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Docket No.: a3675-15
Decided: 2017-07-19
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF WILLIAM R HENDRICKSON, JR
Status: published
Summary:
P.J.A.D. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) appeals from a December 21, 2015 administrative law judge's (ALJ) decision reducing the Bureau of Fire Code Enforcement's2 (Bureau) disciplinary action terminating William Hendrickson, a fire safety inspector, to a six-month suspension. Because the Civil Service Commission (CSC or Commission) did not have a full roster of three members constituting a quorum, N.J.S.A. 11A:2-3, it could not adopt or reject the ALJ's decision until months after the mandatory forty-five-day time frame elapsed. See N.J.S.A. 52:14B-10(c). Thus the ALJ's initial decision was "deemed-adopted" as the Commission's final decision.3 Ibid. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that when the lack of a quorum attributable to vacancies caused the agency inaction, the current version of the deemed-adopted statute does not require traditional deferential appellate review of the ALJ's decision. Applying the standard of review applicable to bench trials, we vacate the six-month suspension and reinstate the DCA's decision ending Hendrickson's employment.

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Docket No.: a3684-15
Decided: 2017-07-19
Caption: NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY v. A.K.H.
Status: published
Summary:
PER CURIAM These consolidated appeals are from an April 26, 2016 final judgment of guardianship terminating A.B.G.'s and A.K.H.'s parental rights. Although we conclude the statutory requirements for terminating parental rights, N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1(a)(1)-(4), were proven by clear and convincing evidence, we are constrained to remand for compliance with the notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, 25 U.S.C.A. §§ 1901-1963 (ICWA).

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Docket No.: a5576-14
Decided: 2017-07-19
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF ANNA FABICS
Status: published
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this probate matter, Ellen Heine, as executrix of the Estate of Joseph Fabics, appeals from several Chancery Division orders and a final judgment involving the Estate of Anna Fabics (the Estate). For the following reasons, we affirm all orders and the final judgment.

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Appellate Division UNPUBLISHED Decisions


Docket No.: a2400-15
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. ASIM Q. JULES
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Asim Jules appeals from his conviction for third-degree possession of alprazolam (Xanax), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1). The judgment of conviction was based on defendant's guilty plea, following his indictment for fourth-degree obstruction, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, and third-degree possession of alprazolam. The judge sentenced defendant to two years of probation and a six-month suspension of his license, along with fines and penalties. Defendant's appeal focuses solely on the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained from a strip search, which police conducted at their headquarters after his arrest. Having reviewed the suppression record and the applicable law, we are compelled to reverse.

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Docket No.: a2589-15
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MICHAEL HELLER
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Michael Heller appeals his February 11, 2016 conviction for simple assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a)(1), after a trial de novo in the Law Division. See R. 3:23. We affirm. The original charges were downgraded and remanded to the municipal court. Section (a)(1) of the statute states that an assault occurs when a person "[a]ttempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another." N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a)(1). Defendant was convicted after trial. In rendering his decision, the municipal court judge first reviewed the testimony of the State's witnesses and of defendant. He said:

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Docket No.: a3040-15
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: LEISTRITZ ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION v. IPCG LLC
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM The parties have advised us that this matter has been amicably settled between them and stipulated to the dismissal of this appeal. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed with prejudice and without costs. Dismissed.

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Docket No.: a3220-14
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. LOUIS WATLEY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Louis Watley appeals from the January 30, 2015 order denying his second petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. Defendant argues that his privately retained PCR appellate attorney was prejudicially ineffective because he did not argue the appeal before us, although retained to do so. The PCR judge, Judge Robert J. Mega, found counsel was ineffective, but the failure to argue was not prejudicial. We affirm. Defendant was convicted in 2000 of the 1997 kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault of an eighteen-year-old woman who was an employee at his accounting office. The assault occurred on a bed in defendant's home while the victim was menstruating. Blood and DNA evidence were found on the bed sheets. He was sentenced to an aggregate term of eighteen years imprisonment.1

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Docket No.: a3236-15
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: SUBURBAN DISPOSAL, INC. v. CITY OF CAMDEN
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM There is only one issue in this competitive bidding dispute brought by plaintiff Gilberto Perez1 under the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 to -51: whether Waste Management of New Jersey, Inc.'s (WMNJ) reliance on its parent's consolidated financial statement satisfied Question No. 13 of the City of Camden's bid specification, which required submission of "the financial statement or balance sheet of the bidder." Because we agree with Judge Silverman Katz that WMNJ's response to Question No. 13 fully conformed to the specification, we affirm, substantially for the reasons expressed in the judge's April 7, 2016 written decision.

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Docket No.: a3351-14
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. HOWARD S. THOMAS
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following the denial of his motion to suppress evidence seized in a warrantless search of his bag, defendant Howard Thomas entered a negotiated plea of guilty to second-degree certain persons not to have weapons, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(b)(1), and was sentenced to a five-year prison term with a mandatory five-year period of parole ineligibility. Pursuant to Rule 3:5-7(d), defendant appeals from the October 20, 2014 order denying his motion to suppress the handgun. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a3720-14
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: LAVERN SANDERS v. DIVISION OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this employment matter, plaintiff Lavern Sanders appeals from the March 6, 2015 Law Division order, which granted summary judgment to defendants Division of Children and Family Services (DCF) and Jonathan Reid, and dismissed her complaint with prejudice. We affirm in part, and reverse in part. I.

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Docket No.: a3820-14
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. W.J.S.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Tried to a jury, defendant was convicted of all three counts of the indictment: (1) second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2c(4); (2) fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3b; and (3) third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a. Count 2 was merged with Count 1, on which defendant was sentenced to seven-years' imprisonment; on Count 3, defendant was sentenced to a concurrent four-year term.

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Docket No.: a4154-15
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MARCQUESE W. PAISLEY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Marcquese Paisley appeals from his judgment of conviction, based on his guilty plea to second-degree kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b), and third-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d). Defendant's appeal focuses on the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea; he asserts the plea record failed to establish a factual basis supporting his kidnapping conviction. Defendant also challenges the length of his sentence. Having reviewed these arguments in light of the record and the applicable law, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a4463-15
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. CHRISTOPH L. FRAZER
Status: unpublished
Summary:

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Docket No.: a5598-12
Decided: 2017-07-26
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MARCUS ST. CLAIRE WHITE
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM We have consolidated these appeals to issue a single opinion. Following a joint trial, the jury found defendant Robby Willis guilty of first-degree kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b)(1); first-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1(a)(1); first-degree carjacking, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2(a)(4); three counts of first-degree felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3); second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b); second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a); and third-degree terroristic threats, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3(a). The jury found co-defendant Marcus St. Claire White guilty of robbery, carjacking, two counts of felony murder, and unlawful possession of a handgun, but acquitted him of the other counts in the indictment.

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Docket No.: a0624-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. B.J.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant appeals his convictions and aggregate sixty-year custodial sentence following a jury trial for attempted murder, endangering the welfare of a child, terroristic threats, aggravated assault and weapons charges. Based on our review of the record in light of the applicable law, we affirm defendant's convictions and sentence, vacate the court's order requiring restitution, and remand for a restitution hearing. I.

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Docket No.: a0875-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: WAYNE MCCAW v. VERNON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff, a former custodian employed by defendant Vernon Township Board of Education (Board), appeals from the trial court's order granting summary judgment to defendants and dismissing his complaint alleging violations of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:6A-255 to -50, his civil rights, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -42. Based on our review of the record under the applicable law, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.

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Docket No.: a0879-14
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: BARBARA ORIENTALE v. DARRIN L. JENNINGS
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiffs appeal from an order that awarded them additur in lieu of a new trial, challenging the amount of the award. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a1274-14
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY v. C.M.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this Title Nine action, defendant C.M. (father) appeals from the January 10, 2014 order finding he abused and neglected his son, A.M. (Adam), ten-years of age at the time of the subject incident, in violation of N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b).1 Although Adam's mother, A.T. (mother), is named as a defendant, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (the Division) did not allege she abused or neglected the child. The father is also the father of M.M. (Molly or baby). Molly's mother is the father's current wife, K.W. (stepmother). Specifically, as set forth in the order, following a fact-finding hearing, the Family Part found the father "systematically isolated the minor child, [Adam], out of an irrational and medically unsupported fear that [Adam] would spread germs to his baby sister, [Molly]." The father contends the court's conclusions are not supported by the evidence. We agree, and reverse the finding he abused and neglected Adam.

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Docket No.: a1671-14
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: BMW FINANCIAL SERVICES NA, LLC v. DONALD PLOETNER
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendants Donald and Madeline Ploetner1 appeal from a final judgment of foreclosure and interlocutory orders that: dismissed their counterclaim against their lender, plaintiff, BMW Financial Services NA, LLC (BMW Financial); dismissed their third-party complaint against BMW of North America, LLC (BMW NA), which franchised a BMW dealership to a corporation the Ploetners controlled; and granted summary judgment. The trial court held that the Ploetners' affirmative claims were derivative of claims that belonged to their two bankrupt business entities — Towne, Inc. (Towne), which operated a BMW automobile dealership in Oyster Bay, New York, and DMD Towne, LLC (DMD), which owned the dealership's realty. Towne and DMD released their claims against BMW Financial and BMW NA (the BMW entities) pursuant to a 2010 Bankruptcy Court order and release agreements between the bankruptcy trustee and the BMW entities (Trustee Releases). The Ploetners and their businesses also released claims against BMW Financial under an earlier Forbearance Agreement. Consequently, the court held that the Ploetners' affirmative claims were barred. As they raised no other personal defenses or claims in response to the foreclosure action, the court granted BMW Financial summary judgment and, ultimately, a final judgment of foreclosure.

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Docket No.: a3139-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. THOMAS T. JONES
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following the denial of his motion for reconsideration of an order denying his motion to suppress evidence found in the trunk of his vehicle, defendant Thomas T. Jones pled guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, N.J.S.A. 2:39-5(b). The trial court imposed a seven-year term of imprisonment with a three-and-one-half year period of parole ineligibility pursuant to the Graves Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c). We remand for further proceedings. The following facts are pertinent to our review. After stopping defendant's vehicle, Police Officer Matthew Ambrosi of the Mendham Township Police Department (MTPD) detected the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle's interior. As a result, Ambrosi asked defendant for consent to search the vehicle. After defendant read and signed a consent to search form, Ambrosi searched the interior of the vehicle and found marijuana shake1 in the center console area and on the floorboard. Ambrosi then "popped the trunk" lever and went to the rear of the vehicle to search the trunk. As he approached the rear of the vehicle, defendant put his hands on top of the trunk lid, shut it, and said there was nothing in the trunk and he wanted to stop the search. Ambrosi stopped the search and called for a K-9 unit to respond to the scene.

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Docket No.: a3824-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. XZAVIER D. HAYES
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Xzavier Hayes appeals his March 9, 2016 judgment of conviction. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a4587-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: V.J.C. v. M.V.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant M.V. appeals from a final restraining order (FRO) entered on April 14, 2016, in favor of plaintiff V.J.C. pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35. Because the trial judge mistakenly exercised his discretion in denying defendant's request for a short adjournment of the April 14 hearing until his attorney could arrive at the courthouse, we reverse and remand for a new hearing on plaintiff's complaint. We derive the following facts from the record and the written amplification of the trial judge's findings of fact and conclusions of law submitted under Rule 2:5-1(b). At the time plaintiff filed her complaint for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against defendant on March 15, 2016, the parties were renting separate bedrooms1 in the same apartment from a landlord. Plaintiff and her husband, W.T., lived in one of the bedrooms, plaintiff's girlfriend lived in another bedroom, and defendant moved into a third bedroom in the apartment about three weeks prior to March 15.

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Docket No.: a5079-15
Decided: 2017-07-25
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. SOLIMAN YOUSSEF
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Soliman Youssef appeals from a June 24, 2016 order of the Law Division that, following a trial de novo on defendant's appeal from the Metuchen Municipal Court, found defendant guilty of violating Section 22-346 of the South Brunswick Township Municipal Code, which requires all owners of rental units to obtain a certificate of compliance from the Township prior to renting the units to tenants. The trial judge imposed a $1000 fine, together with $33 in court costs. We affirm. By way of background, our Supreme Court has long held that it is constitutionally permissible for municipalities, like the Township in this case, to enact and enforce local housing codes governing rental property in order to protect and preserve the public health, safety, and welfare of the community. Dome Realty, Inc. v. Paterson, 83 N.J. 212, 226-27 (1980). In addition, N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12m provides clear legislative authority for such local ordinances. This statute states:

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Docket No.: a1149-15
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: IN RE APPLICATION FOR PERMIT TO CARRY A HANDGUN OF JAMES L. MCFADDEN
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM James L. McFadden, a licensed security officer, appeals a Law Division judge's October 20, 2015 order denying his application for a permit to carry a firearm in conjunction with his employment with Triple Canopy, a security firm. We affirm. McFadden's application was approved by the chief of the Hillside Police Department. The Law Division judge's denial was accompanied by a written statement of reasons. He said that the law "reject[s] the notion that employees of private security firms have a 'preferred right' to a permit to carry because of their work-related status." The judge also said that N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4(d) provides that an applicant for a permit to carry a handgun must demonstrate a justifiable need. In making the determination, a court must decide if the applicant is subject to a substantial threat of serious bodily harm, or if carrying a handgun is necessary to reduce the threat of unjustifiable serious bodily harm to any person. Since the "bare statements" in McFadden's application said, in general terms, only that he was "subject to a substantial threat of serious bodily harm," the judge found that the information did not meet the standard for the issuance of a permit to carry.

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Docket No.: a1722-15
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: BARBARA GARY v. GEORGE WENTHE
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Barbara Gary appeals from the denial of her motion for a new trial and challenges the jury verdict, which concluded she had no cause of action against defendant George Wenthe. We affirm. These facts were presented at trial. While driving home from work on November 5, 2010, defendant hit plaintiff's Dodge Caravan in the rear. Plaintiff was wearing her seat belt and the air bag did not deploy. Plaintiff's two children were in the vehicle and one was taken for emergency medical care. While at the hospital, plaintiff experienced lower back pain. She was x-rayed and released. The next day, her neck was stiff and she experienced pain on her left side. Plaintiff commenced six months of chiropractic care. Next, she began trigger point injections to her lower back and shoulders. When relief was not forthcoming, she was administered epidural injections and underwent an MRI. Other treatments were administered to ease the spasms in her back and numbness in her legs. In April 2011, she began treatment with Dr. Cary Glastein, a spinal surgeon. Plaintiff was informed about the risks and benefits of surgery, but chose to continue with non-surgical treatment.

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Docket No.: a1904-14
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: ALISA FORMAN v. MARK FORMAN
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM The parties entered into a marital settlement agreement (MSA) that provided for limited duration alimony and included waivers of the right to seek modification or termination but did not state what consequence, if any, the wife's remarriage would have on the husband's alimony obligation. Defendant Mark Forman appeals from an order that, in part, denied his cross-motion to terminate alimony. For the reasons that follow, we reverse. I.

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Docket No.: a2984-15
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: J.A.S. GRANITE & TILE, L.L.C v. GRAND STONE & TILE, INC.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Innovative Tile & Stone, Inc. (Innovative) and its two owners, defendants Miguel Beltra (Beltra Sr.) and his son Miguel Beltra (Beltra Jr.) (collectively defendants), appeal from the February 9, 2016 order of the Chancery Division denying their motion for summary judgment against plaintiff J.A.S. Granite & Tile, L.L.C. We affirm. The evidence submitted by the parties in support of, and in opposition to, defendants' summary judgment motion is in sharp conflict, with both sides presenting diametrically opposed factual positions on the genesis and conduct of the financial transactions that are at the heart of this matter. We view this evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the non-moving party. Polzo v. Cty. of Essex, 209 N.J. 51, 56 n.1 (2012) (citing Brill v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 142 N.J. 520, 540 (1995)).

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Docket No.: a3498-15
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MARCELLUS D. BARNES
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Marcellus D. Barnes appeals from an order entered by the Law Division on January 7, 2016, which denied his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3586-14
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MUMEEN A. STARKS
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant appeals from a December 2, 2014 order, denying his first petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). Having reviewed the record in light of the applicable legal principles, we affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a3909-14
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: CARL LAWSON v. K2 SPORTS U.S.A.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiffs Carl and Gloria Lawson brought this products liability case against defendant Bell Sports USA (Bell),1 the manufacturer and distributor of a bicycle helmet and, following an adverse jury verdict, now appeal from the resulting judgment. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a4389-15
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF THE LICENSE OF CHERYL ACKERMAN, M.D.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Cheryl Ackerman, M.D., appeals from the denial by the State Board of Medical Examiners (Board) of her petition to amend a consent order. We affirm. Dr. Ackerman is a board-certified dermatologist and internist, who was licensed to practice medicine in New Jersey in 1994. In January 2011, she was referred to the Board's Professional Assistance Program (PAP), following a number of patient complaints. In October 2011, while represented by counsel, Dr. Ackerman entered into a Private Letter Agreement (PLA) with the Board in which she agreed to participate in the PAP.

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Docket No.: a5274-15
Decided: 2017-07-24
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. LUIS A. PEREZ
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Luis A. Perez appeals from an order entered by the Law Division on June 20, 2016, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a2260-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 JOHN P. MCGOVERN v. CIT
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendants City of Orange Township (City) and Dwayne Warren (Warren) appeal from an order entered by the Law Division on January 7, 2016, which determined that the City terminated plaintiff John P. McGovern in violation of the New Jersey Conscientious Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 to -14; ordered plaintiff's reinstatement to his position; awarded plaintiff damages, back pay, attorney's fees and costs; and required the City to make pension contributions on plaintiff's behalf from the date of his termination to the date of his reinstatement. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a3025-14
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant appeals from the January 28, 2015 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3305-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Joshua Gibson pled guilty to third-degree aggravated assault and received one year of probation. He appeals his February 1, 2016 judgment of conviction, challenging the trial court's order denying his appeal from the prosecutor's rejection of his application for pre-trial intervention (PTI). We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3654-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 JERSEY DENNIS WHITE Adminis
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendants Doris and James Astacio1 permitted Doris's sister and brother-in-law, Diana and Jason Adams, to host a party at their home. Dafiq Rasheed, an adult guest, drowned in their pool. Dafiq's father, plaintiff Dennis White, brought this negligence action against defendants, alleging a survivorship claim on behalf of Dafiq and a wrongful death claim on behalf of Dafiq's estate. Plaintiff appeals from an order granting summary judgment to defendants. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3724-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Juquan Walker appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. Tried before a jury, defendant was found guilty of drug offenses, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b), and possession of a firearm while in the course of committing certain drug offenses, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1. In a second trial, the same jury found defendant guilty of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted person, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(b), the sole charge contained in a second indictment.1

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Docket No.: a3741-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 FREEDOM MORTGAGE CORPORATIO
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this residential mortgage foreclosure action, a writ of execution was entered on May 23, 2013, and the residence was sold to plaintiff Freedom Mortgage at a Sheriff's sale on December 11, 2013. On April 7, 2016, the Chancery Division denied defendant Dwayne Smith's motion to vacate the final judgment of foreclosure and to dismiss the complaint. In a statement of reasons issued with the order, Judge Joseph P. Perfilio explained the motion was treated as one for reconsideration under Rule 4:49-2 because of previous orders denying similar relief. He found that the motion was untimely because defendant had not filed it within twenty days after service of the prior orders. As to the merits, the judge determined defendant's contentions were without factual and legal merit. The judge noted defendant failed to establish that the prior decisions were palpably incorrect or based on an irrational manner.

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Docket No.: a4357-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 Y.G.P.1 v. A.H.R
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Y.G.P. is the biological mother of R.H.G., an eleven-year-old girl who was born in Mexico. Defendant A.H.R. is the child's biological father. Plaintiff filed this action in the Family Part to permit the court to make "the predicate findings necessary for a non-citizen child to apply for 'special immigrant juvenile' (SIJ) status under the Immigration Act of 1990, as amended by the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), Pub. L. No. 110–457, 122 Stat. 5044." H.S.P. v. J.K., 223 N.J. 196, 199–200 (2015). As the Supreme Court explained in H.S.P., "SIJ status is a form of immigration relief permitting alien children to obtain lawful permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship." Id. at 200.

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Docket No.: a4420-14
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: JENNIFER JORDAN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE NORTH HUNTERDON-VOORHEES REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff, Jennifer Jordan, appeals from the May 20, 2015 decision of the Commissioner of Education (Commissioner) adopting the recommendation of an administrative law judge (ALJ), finding that plaintiff's petition challenging the denial of her tenure is procedurally time-barred as it was filed after the ninety-day statute of limitations period set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:3-1.3(i). We affirm.

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Docket No.: a4475-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: DRT INVESTMENTS, LLC v. MOSHE KLEIN
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM This appeal arises from a residential landlord/tenant dispute. Defendant Moshe Klein, the tenant, appeals from a June 9, 2016 order denying his application to vacate a judgment of possession that was entered on September 29, 2015. The warrant of removal has been stayed pending appeal. For the reasons that follow, we reverse.

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Docket No.: a4701-15
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: VINCENT MARK RICCORDELLA v. BOARD OF REVIEW, 
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellant Vincent Riccordella appeals from a May 23, 2016 final decision of the Board of Review (Board), dismissing as untimely his appeal of an Appeal Tribunal decision that he denies receiving. We reverse and remand to the Board with direction to decide the merits of appellant's claim.

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Docket No.: a5271-14
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: DANNY GLENN v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM For the period from May 1, 1985 until October 12, 2006, petitioner Danny Glenn was employed as a Public Works Inspector for the Township of Irvington (Irvington) and was a member of the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS). Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:15A-38, an employee who has completed ten years of service but separates from employment before reaching retirement age may receive retirement benefits, provided the employee's separation is "not by removal for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency." Petitioner's application for deferred retirement was denied on that ground and he now appeals from that decision. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a5561-14
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. ERIC JAMES
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In A-5561-14, defendant Eric James appeals from the order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. In A-2449-15, defendant Reginald Felton appeals from the order denying his PCR petition without an evidentiary hearing. We have consolidated the appeals to issue a single opinion.

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Docket No.: a5664-14
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: YOAV KRILL v. IDT CORPORATION, INC
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant IDT Corporation, Inc.1 appeals a jury's verdict after a three-day trial awarding $1.5 million in damages to plaintiff Yoav Krill on his breach of contract complaint. For the reasons that follow, we affirm. At the close of Krill's case, IDT unsuccessfully moved for a directed verdict. In denying the motion, the judge observed that "the ultimate determination of the facts is going to rest with findings of credibility . . . within the purview of the jury alone." The jury verdict sheet, tracking the complaint, presented the issues in readily understandable terms, to which the jury responded definitively:

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Docket No.: a5682-14
Decided: 2017-07-21
Caption: SCOTT JONES v. SOUTH JERSEY INDUSTRIES, INC
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Scott Jones appeals a jury's March 27, 2015 verdict in favor of defendant South Jersey Industries, Inc., doing business as South Jersey Gas Company. He contends that the jury instructions, and the manner in which deliberations were scheduled, were fatally flawed and warrant reversal. We disagree, and thus affirm. The underlying action arises from defendant's termination of plaintiff, a long-term employee, and sought damages under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to 49. The retrial1 extended over the course of six days. Including jury selection, the matter was scheduled over nearly two months from beginning to end.

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Docket No.: a0246-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN THE MATTER OF TAQIYYAH D
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Taqiyyah Davidson appeals from the July 30, 2015 final agency decision of the Civil Service Commission (Commission) terminating her employment as an Essex County Juvenile Detention Officer for violating the policies against fraternization with a juvenile inmate and failing to admit multiple visits with that juvenile when confronted. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a0358-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 RAYMOND EKAMBI v. BEATR
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this personal injury action, plaintiff Raymond Ekambi appeals from the Law Division's orders vacating default judgment against defendants Beatrice J. Walls and Darryl C. Walls, and dismissing plaintiff's complaint on summary judgment. Having carefully reviewed the arguments raised in light of the record and applicable law, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a2297-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 ANTONIO RUSSO v. PPN T
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Antonio Russo appeals from the January 11, 2016 Law Division order, which granted summary judgment to defendant PPN Title Agency, LLC (PPN) and denied his cross-motion for summary judgment. PPN cross-appeals from the September 8, 2015 order, which denied its motion to dismiss for failure to serve an affidavit of merit in compliance with the Affidavit of Merit (AOM) statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-27. Because we conclude that summary judgment was properly granted to PPN, we do not address PPN's cross-appeal.

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Docket No.: a2470-16
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 RAYMOND C. ELLINGTON, SUNID
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM

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Docket No.: a2500-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Duke Nyangweso was convicted in municipal court for careless driving, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97. He appealed and after a trial de novo in the Law Division, he was again convicted on January 15, 2016. For the reasons that follow, we reverse.

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Docket No.: a2563-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 JERSEY OF CHILD PROTECTION
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following a fact-finding hearing, the judge determined the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (Division) established L.L. neglected her three sons by failing to exercise a minimum degree of care in supervising them. N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b), -8.44, -8.46(b).1 L.L. appeals and argues the Division failed to establish imminent danger or substantial risk of injury to her sons' physical, mental or emotional condition. For the reasons that follow, we reverse.2

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Docket No.: a3391-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 A-03391-15T1 v. SONDRA
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Ming Zhang appeals from the January 8, 2016 order granting defendant's unopposed motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff also appeals from the March 4 and April 15, 2016 orders denying his motions for reconsideration. Because of our concern that the motion be heard with input from both sides, we reverse and remand to give plaintiff an opportunity to respond to the summary judgment motion. Plaintiff's pro se complaint alleges that he loaned defendant $65,000 to pay off her student loans and paid $9416 for diamond earrings and $990 for an iPad, all provided to defendant in contemplation of marriage. After receiving these favors, defendant left their apartment to live at an unknown location and plaintiff now seeks the return of the money and items.

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Docket No.: a3436-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant appeals from the order of the Criminal Part denying her post-conviction relief (PCR) petition. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3672-14
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN RE: PRELIMINARY CONTRACT
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellant The Center For Family Support NJ, Inc. (the Center) appeals from the March 6, 2015 decision of respondent Division of Developmental Disabilities (the Division) requiring the Center to repay the Division $883,631 in funds it allegedly misspent under two contracts appellant entered into with the Division for the two-year period between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011. On appeal, the Center contends that the Division is prohibited from recovering these funds because the Division should have promulgated the contract terms that the Center violated as administrative regulations under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 to -15. Having reviewed the record in light of the Center's arguments and the applicable law, we affirm. We derive the following facts from the record presented on appeal. The Division "[p]rovides services for eligible developmentally disabled persons by identifying appropriate programs to meet their needs" and by contracting with those programs to provide services to these individuals. N.J.S.A. 30:6D-27(a). Pursuant to this statutory authority, the Division has contracted with the Center since 1997 to provide services to Division clients.

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Docket No.: a4084-13
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN RE PETITION FOR AUTHORIZ
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellants Township of River Vale (River Vale) and Borough of Hillsdale (Hillsdale)1 appeal from the March 27, 2014 final agency decision of respondent Board of Review of the Department of Education (Board) to grant the petition of respondent Borough of Woodcliff Lake (Woodcliff Lake) to pursue a referendum to withdraw from the Pascack Valley Regional School District (the Regional). We affirm.

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Docket No.: a4170-15
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PE
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant S.G. is the biological mother of S.H.G., a boy born in April 2012. The boy's biological father is dead. Defendant appeals from the Judgment of Guardianship entered by the Family Part on May 13, 2016, terminating her parental rights to her son. The guardianship judgment permits S.H.G. to be adopted by his maternal grandmother and her husband. Defendant is also the biological mother of S.H., a girl born in October 2005. S.H has a different biological father from S.H.G. This guardianship petition originally sought to terminate defendant's parental rights over S.H., but these plans changed to reunification with the child's biological father. Thus, S.H. is not a part of this appeal.

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Docket No.: a4835-14
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: MARY BEDEN v. LANCE BEDEN
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant, Lance Beden appeals1 from portions of a matrimonial post-judgment enforcement order entered June 4, 2015, denying defendant's cross-motion to modify his alimony obligation to plaintiff, Mary Beden.2 For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a5716-14
Decided: 2017-07-20
Caption: WORLD WHEAT FOUNDATION, INC v. PLANNING BOARD OF THE TOWNSHIP OF SADDLE BROOK
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this prerogative writ matter, plaintiff World Wheat Foundation, Inc. appeals from the July 8, 2015 Law Division order of judgment, which affirmed the denial of plaintiff's application to defendant Planning Board of the Township of Saddle Brook (Board) for site plan approval and a parking variance to permit plaintiff's property to be used as a vocational school. For the following reasons, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a0347-16
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant appeals the sentence imposed by the court following his entry of guilty pleas to second-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1(a)(2), and second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b). More particularly, defendant challenges the court's denial of his request for the award of jail credits for time he spent while released from pretrial custody in the Home Electronic Detention System (HEDS) program administered by the Atlantic County Justice Facility (ACJF).1 We affirm. Defendant was arrested in April 2014 for crimes arising from a bank robbery. He was in custody in the ACJF from April 11, 2014, to April 17, 2015, and again on May 4, 2015. On May 4, 2015, he was released from custody and placed in the HEDS program.

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Docket No.: a0865-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 JERSEY STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM A jury convicted defendant Tony Hullum of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1). The court sentenced him to a term of three years in prison. On appeal, defendant argues:

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Docket No.: a1368-14
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 JERSEY STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In response to an interlocutory appeal filed by the State, we previously affirmed the trial court's order barring the State from "retry[ing] defendant [Quaheem Johnson] on felony murder and murder." State v. Johnson, 436 N.J. Super. 406, 409-10 (App. Div. 2014). We concluded that the improper termination statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:1-9(d), barred defendant's retrial on those charges because the trial court terminated the trial by accepting guilty verdicts on lesser-included offenses when the jury was deadlocked on the greater charged offenses. We remanded for sentencing and the entry of a judgment of conviction. Id. at 426. The trial court sentenced defendant to an aggregate term of thirty years, subject to an eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant now appeals from his conviction, arguing:

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Docket No.: a1485-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Tried by a jury, defendant Jaime H. Fernandez was convicted of third-degree resisting arrest, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(3)(a), and acquitted of third-degree aggravated assault on a law enforcement official, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a). On May 21, 2015, he was sentenced to two years' probation, 180 days of county jail time, and appropriate fines, penalties, and assessments. He appeals and we affirm. At the trial, two Mount Olive Township police officers testified on behalf of the State. Sergeant Anthony Annecchiarico testified that he drove to defendant's residence to serve him with a temporary restraining order issued under the Domestic Violence Act. See N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35. The order required defendant to turn over the parties' seven-year-old son to his former wife. Patrolman Anthony Hering accompanied Annecchiarico.

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Docket No.: a1812-14
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant R.D. pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated sexual assault of his daughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(2)(a); second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a); and third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a). He admitted committing the offenses between December 2009 and December 2010, when his daughter was thirteen to fourteen years old.

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Docket No.: a2347-14
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Moises Perales appeals his conviction for third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, a BB gun, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b). He pled guilty to the offense following the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. On appeal, defendant contends:

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Docket No.: a2430-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 A-0 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant M.R.P. appeals the November 12, 2015 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm for the reasons stated by Judge Stuart A. Minkowitz in his detailed written decision. We add some brief comments. We denied defendant's direct appeal in State v. M.R.P., No. A-2982-11 (App. Div. Sept. 5, 2014). His petition for certification to the Supreme Court was also denied. State v. M.R.P., 220 N.J. 575 (2015). Defendant was convicted by a jury of multiple counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a); second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:142(b); second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a); and third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a). The two victims were his nieces, B.P. and A.P. Defendant was sentenced on December 16, 2011, to an aggregate term of forty years imprisonment, subject to the No Early Release Act's eighty-five percent parole ineligibility. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.

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Docket No.: a2663-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following a bench trial, defendant was found guilty of simple assault, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a)(1), a disorderly persons offense. The court sentenced defendant to forty-five days in the county jail. Defendant appeals from the judgment of conviction dated January 22, 2016. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a3173-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Yujie Gao appeals from the October 29, 2015 Law Division order, which denied his appeal of the rejection of his application for admission into the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3328-13
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Michael T. Palmer appeals from the December 17, 2013 Law Division order, which denied his petition for post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3593-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant appeals an order denying his post-conviction relief (PCR) petition without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3633-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 JERSEY STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Michael Lyga appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR), without an evidentiary hearing, because the petition was time-barred. He contends that his trial counsel failed to advise him of the conditions of parole supervision for life (PSL), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4, and the consequences of violating them, and that he filed his petition as soon as he determined the "true nature" of PSL. For the reasons that follow, we affirm. Defendant waived indictment and pled guilty to second-degree child luring, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6, and obstruction, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1(b). On October 16, 2008, the sentencing court imposed an aggregate sentence of five years subject to Megan's Law conditions, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -11, and PSL. The facts underlying defendant's convictions need not be recounted here for our purposes.

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Docket No.: a4222-15
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 JERSEY STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Anthony J. DiCarlo, Jr. pled guilty to "operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% blood alcohol concentration or more . . . ." N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a). Defendant's attorney advised the municipal court judge that his client was entering the plea with the understanding that summonses issued on the same occasion would be dismissed. Those summonses were for reckless driving, N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, based on his driving sixty-five miles per hour in a construction zone, and a violation summons of N.J.S.A. 39:4-88(b), based on his making an unsafe lane change.

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Docket No.: a4299-14
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Shawn Nowicki appeals his conviction for second-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), oxycodone, with the intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1). He pled guilty to the offense following the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. Having considered the record and applicable law, we affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a5054-14
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. KENNETH PAGLIAROLI
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Kenneth Pagliaroli appeals from the May 15, 2015 denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) after an evidentiary hearing. We now affirm. Defendant was sentenced on June 16, 2006, to an aggregate fifty-year sentence after a month-long jury trial. The convictions and corresponding sentences were broken down as follows: firstdegree conspiracy to commit armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 2C:15-1(a)(1), twenty years subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, and (count three); first-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 2C:11-4(a)(1), thirty years subject to NERA (count three); accomplice to first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6(b)(3) and 2C:15-1(a)(1), twenty years subject to NERA (count four); accomplice to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6(b)(3) and 2C:11-4(a)(1), thirty years subject to NERA (count five); and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a), ten years with a parole ineligibility period of five years (count seven).

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Docket No.: a5173-14
Decided: 2017-07-18
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. SAMUEL K. DAVIS
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Samuel K. Davis appeals from his May 22, 2015 judgment of conviction after a jury convicted him of the first-degree crime of aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a)(1), of an elderly woman in her home. He was acquitted of murder and weapons charges in connection with the crime. Because the jury question as to whether mere presence at the scene was sufficient was not answered properly, we reverse and remand for a new trial. Defendant was indicted for first-degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and (2); third-degree possession of a golf club for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d); second-degree assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1); third-degree possession of a knife for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d); fourth-degree unlawful possession of a golf club, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d); and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a knife, N.J.S.A. 2c:39-5(d).

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Docket No.: a0805-15
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 MARIA PULICE and FRANK PULI
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM

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Docket No.: a0807-15
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN THE MATTER OF CINDY NORC
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Cindy Norcross appeals from a September 2, 2015 final decision of the Civil Service Commission (Commission), adopting the initial decision of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) upholding a Winslow Township, Department of Public Safety, lay-off plan eliminating her position of Public Safety Telecomunicator. Having reviewed the record, we affirm, substantially for the reasons stated in the Initial Decision, as adopted by the Commission. We add these comments.

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Docket No.: a1687-15
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN THE MATTER OF JOHN HUGAT
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM John Hugate appeals from a final administrative determination of the Civil Service Commission (Commission) that found that the Department of Transportation (DOT) had properly suspended and then terminated Hugate's employment because he threatened his supervisor and threatened to shoot a co-worker. We affirm. Hugate was employed as an automotive mechanic for the DOT from 2004 to 2013. In 2013, Hugate felt that his supervisors and co-workers were harassing him. A supervisor and some of Hugate's co-workers, in contrast, believed that Hugate was not performing his job duties and was engaging in threatening conduct.

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Docket No.: a1958-15
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 Damaris v. Anthony
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Anthony Cristiano appeals from a December 11, 2015 order that, among other things, denied his motion to compel his former wife, plaintiff Damaris Urdaz Cristiano, to pay child support based on the costs of the parties' eldest son attending private high school. The order also denied defendant's request to designate him as the parent with primary residential custody and denied his request for attorney's fees. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a2471-15
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTI
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM On February 23, 2016, we granted the Municipal Group, a consortium of approximately 270 municipalities combined with thirty-five other individual municipalities (collectively the Municipal Group), leave to intervene in the pending declaratory judgment action filed by Monroe Township. The action was brought in order to clarify Monroe Township's affordable housing obligations. We also granted the Municipal Group leave to appeal a Law Division judge's discovery order compelling disclosure of a preliminary draft report prepared by an expert whose health prevented its completion, and forestalled any likelihood that he would testify. Lastly, we issued a stay of the disclosure order. We now dissolve the stay, affirm the Law Division's disclosure order, and remand the matter for continuation of the declaratory judgment action. The disputed events occurred after the Supreme Court's March 10, 2015 decision authorizing municipalities to file declaratory judgment actions, on notice to the Fair Share Housing Council (FSHC), and other "interested parties," seeking a declaration that "its housing element and implementing ordinances [were] constitutionally sufficient." In re Adoption of N.J.A.C. 5:96 & 5:97, 221 N.J. 1, 25 (2015) (Mount Laurel IV). To that end, special masters were appointed to assist trial courts in determining municipal obligations.

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Docket No.: a3150-14
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 ESMAY PARCHMENT v. CITY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM The primary issue in this appeal is whether principles of estoppel require a municipality to indemnify two of its police officers for judgments against them for violating a citizen's civil rights. The municipality abided by its obligations under its collective negotiations agreement and N.J.S.A. 40A:4-155 to provide a means of defense for the officers, but did not expressly disclaim liability for indemnification. We conclude no duty to indemnify arises. We therefore affirm the trial court's January 28, 2015 order granting summary judgment to defendant City of East Orange, and dismissing the declaratory judgment action of plaintiff Esmay Parchment, who obtained a judgment against the City's officers and sought indemnification of the officers from the City. I.

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Docket No.: a3251-14
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 SHARON KELLY O'BRIEN v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM This appeal returns to us after a remand. O'Brien v. Telcordia Techs., Inc., 420 N.J. Super. 256 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 210 N.J. 479 (2011). The case began in 2003 when Sharon O'Brien sued her former employer, Telcordia Technologies, Inc., alleging it discriminated against her based on her age when it laid her off. We reversed the trial court's initial grant of summary judgment in defendant's favor on narrow grounds: namely, that it failed to adequately consider a certification containing hearsay statements by company officers discussing an explicitly discriminatory force adjustment policy.

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Docket No.: a3379-14
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: COURTOF MARIA I. ALVAREZ v. JOHN A TORTORA
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following a hearing, a Family Part court found the parties in this matrimonial matter were not married, and entered an order on February 10, 2015, dismissing plaintiff Maria I. Alvarez's complaint for divorce and defendant John A. Tortora's counterclaim for a declaration the marriage was null and void. Plaintiff appeals from that order. We reverse the provision in the order dismissing the complaint, and remand for further proceedings.

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Docket No.: a3721-15
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PE
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant N.H., Sr. is the biological father of N.H., Jr., (Neil),1 a child under the age of eighteen. He appeals from the order of the Family Part finding he abused and neglected Neil within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21c(4)(b). After conducting a fact-finding hearing, the court concluded defendant "created or allowed to be created a substantial physical injury to [Neil] by other than accidental means and caused protracted loss or disfigurement[.]" Defendant argues the Family Part's findings were not supported by sufficient competent evidence in the record. We disagree and affirm. On November 21, 2013, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (Division) received a referral from a staff member at Neil's after-school program that defendant had physically assaulted his son three days earlier because the boy was wearing makeup. Neil was fifteen years old at the time. After investigating the matter, the Division filed a verified complaint and order to show cause (OTSC) on November 25, 2013, alleging that on November 18, 2013, defendant had assaulted Neil by "punching him hard in his mouth with a closed fist." The force of the blow was so severe that it left the child momentarily unconscious and knocked loose one of his front teeth. Neil told the Division investigator2 that his father attacked him because he was wearing makeup as an expression of his sexual orientation. Neil also told the investigator that his father called him homophobic slurs and "use[d] to beat me a lot."

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Docket No.: a3896-14
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Karen Born was charged with two disorderly persons offenses: false reports to law enforcement, N.J.S.A. 2C:28-4b; and resisting arrest, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(1). She was also charged with eight motor vehicle offenses, including reckless driving, N.J.S.A. 39:4-96; careless driving, N.J.S.A. 39:4-96; two charges of driving while suspended, N.J.S.A. 39:3-40; failure to exhibit a driver's license, N.J.S.A. 39:3-29a; driving without a license, N.J.S.A. 39:3-10a; delaying traffic, N.J.S.A. 39:4-56; and failure to wear a seat belt, N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2f.

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Docket No.: a4172-14
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 RONALD DESIMONE v. ABBE
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff, Ronald DeSimone, appeals from December 15, 2014 and April 10, 2015 Family Part orders modifying his parenting time and modifying portions of the parties' settlement agreement concerning payment of their children's college expenses. Plaintiff also raises an issue he did not raise before the trial court, namely, a "cap" should be placed on his responsibility for the children's college expenses.

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Docket No.: a5203-14
Decided: 2017-07-17
Caption: MELISSA KOLLAR v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE TOWN OF HARRISON, HUDSON COUNTY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM

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Docket No.: a0819-15
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM A jury convicted defendant Daiquan Cruel of second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1). He was sentenced to eight years in prison subject to eighty-five percent parole ineligibility as prescribed by the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant appeals his conviction arguing that there was insufficient evidence to identify him as the assailant and that the jury instructions were inadequate. We affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a1726-15
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN THE MATTER OF GIOVANI CO
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Petitioner, Giovani Colon, appeals from a September 3, 2015 final administrative action from the Civil Service Commission (Commission) and a December 17, 2015, denial of reconsideration of a Department of Correction (DOC) disciplinary action against petitioner removing him from his position for using excessive force against an inmate. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a1815-15
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 KEVIN JACKSON v. GARY M
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Kevin Jackson, an inmate in the custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC), appeals from an order dated December 4, 2015, granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of respondents and dismissing Jackson's complaint with prejudice.

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Docket No.: a2751-15
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM The Estate of Robert Rich (appellant) appeals from a February 18, 2016 Chancery Division order admitting to probate the proffered will (Proposed Will) of Alice M. Malsberger (Alice). We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3984-15
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 STATE OF NEW JERSEY v.
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Sandra Nolley appeals from an April 7, 2016 Law Division order denying her municipal appeal and convicting her de novo of obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, a disorderly persons offense.

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Docket No.: a4196-14
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: Thisopinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is only binding on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3 A-0 LISA HUNT, as guardian
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiffs Lisa Hunt and Russell Hunt brought this medical malpractice action on behalf of themselves and their minor child Hailey Rosina Hunt (collectively, plaintiffs), alleging that defendants were negligent during Lisa's labor and the delivery of Hailey, causing extensive, permanent neurological injuries to Hailey. Plaintiffs appeal from the dismissal of their complaint against Virtua West Jersey Hospital Voorhees (Virtua Hospital) and Virtua Health, Inc. (collectively, Virtua); and Linda Faragasso, R.N., Barbara Jones, R.N., and Christine Pease, R.N. (collectively, Nurses).2 For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a4422-15
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: CRANIO ASSOCIATES v. STATE FARM INDEMNITY COMPANY
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff, Cranio Associates, a medical provider, appeals from the Law Division's June 3, 2016 order dismissing its complaint for frivolous litigation sanctions, R. 1:4-8, against defendant, State Farm Indemnity Company, in its capacity as the personal injury protection (PIP) carrier for plaintiff's patient. Plaintiff claimed it was underpaid by defendant for medical treatment that plaintiff provided to defendant's insured and therefore pursued a PIP arbitration for additional payments. The dispute resolution professional (DRP) who considered the matter determined that because the limits of the patient's PIP coverage under defendant's policy had been exhausted, he could not consider a claim for additional sums. According to plaintiff, it was entitled to sanctions because defendant waited until the day before the scheduled arbitration to advise plaintiff and the DRP that the limits of the insured's PIP coverage had been exhausted. Plaintiff sought sanctions from the DRP, who rejected the claim because he was without authority to consider it, and then from the court, by filing its complaint in the Law Division. Judge Charles E. Powers dismissed plaintiff's complaint, finding no legal basis to award sanctions under Rule 1:4-8. On appeal, plaintiff asserts defendant's "knowing defense of a PIP arbitration" while the "policy was exhausted" qualifies as "a frivolous defense, for the purpose of harassment or delay," entitling plaintiff to recover sanctions under Rule 1:4-8. Moreover, because defendant did not contest plaintiff's claim other than by asserting the exhaustion of its policy's limits, plaintiff was a successful claimant thereby entitled to an award of fees and other relief. We disagree and affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Powers in the comprehensive rider attached to his June 3, 2016 order.

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Docket No.: a4443-14
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: AHS HOSPITAL CORPORATION v. MAINARDI MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LP
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff AHS Hospital Corporation (AHS) appeals from the dismissal of a complaint it filed in Morris County to seek indemnification and defense costs incurred in an action filed, settled and dismissed in Essex County. For the reasons that follow, we affirm. I.

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Docket No.: a4888-15
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: MLC REMODELING v. LOADED BURGERS & BBQ
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Loaded NJ, LLC, improperly designated as Burgers & BBQ, appeals from a June 16, 2016 Special Civil Part order denying its motion to vacate a default judgment, entered in favor of plaintiff MLC Remodeling.1 Judgment for plaintiff was entered on March 4, 2016, after defendant failed to timely respond to plaintiff's complaint seeking payment alleging breach of contract. Through counsel, defendant offered to settle the differences between the parties, but took no steps to extend the time to file an answer or file an appearance to contest the action. On appeal, defendant argues the trial judge abused his discretion when denying its motion to vacate the default judgment, see R. 4:50-1, and seeks an order allowing the parties to litigate the controversy. We are unpersuaded and affirm.

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Docket No.: a4915-14
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: BOROUGH OF WEST WILDWOOD v. HERBERT C. FREDERICK
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Borough of West Wildwood (municipality) appeals from a June 10, 2015 General Equity Part order denying its and granting defendants Herbert C. Frederick's and Paul J. Baldini's, Esq., motions for summary judgment.1 We affirm.

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Docket No.: a5201-14
Decided: 2017-07-14
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MICHAEL C. BATTISTA
Status: unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following the denial of his motion to suppress his arrest warrant, defendant Michael C. Battista pled guilty to second-degree possession of psilocin with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and -5(b)(4). In accordance with the plea agreement, defendant was sentenced in the third-degree range to three years in prison, but that sentence was stayed pending this appeal. Defendant now appeals the February 10, 2015 order denying his motion to suppress the arrest warrant. We affirm. I.

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