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Recent Decisions of the New Jersey Appellate Courts
from 2024-07-09 to 2024-07-23

Supreme Court Decisions


Docket No.: a_7_23
Decided: 2024-07-10
Caption: Candace A. Moschella v. Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Summary:
The AOM plaintiff submitted complied with N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-27. First, an AOM does not need to specify that the affiant reviewed medical records. Second, a doctor to whom the affidavit attributed negligence is the agent of a named defendant and is identified in the AOM as one of the John or Jane Doe defendants included in the complaint. The Court stresses the importance of the Ferreira conference in professional negligence actions./p

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Docket No.: a_4_23
Decided: 2024-07-09
Caption: William Pace v. Hamilton Cove
Summary:
Class action waivers in consumer contracts are not per se contrary to public policy, but they may be unenforceable if found to be unconscionable or to violate other tenets of state contract law. In this case, because plaintiffs clearly and unambiguously waived their right to maintain a class action and the lease contract is not unconscionable as a matter of law, it is enforceable./p

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Appellate Division PUBLISHED Decisions


Docket No.: a0661-23a0745-23
Decided: 2024-07-17
Caption: MARK CERKEZ, ET AL. VS. GLOUCESTER CITY, NEW JERSEY, ET AL.
Status: Published
Summary:
The central issue in these back-to-back appeals, which have been consolidated for the purpose of issuing a single opinion, is whether municipalities have an implied contractual (seller-consumer) relationship with residents to whom they distribute metered potable water.u0026nbsp; The answer to that question determines whether plaintiffs may sue defendants under a breach-of-contract theory on the grounds that the water supplied to them contains a high level of contaminants.u0026nbsp;/pPlaintiffs rely on older cases holding there was a contractual relationship between residents and their towns with respect to water service. u0026nbsp;Defendants rely on more recent cases recognizing a different type of relationship between municipal water distributors and residentsu2014one that is not based on principles of contract law./pThe court concludes that under the current governance framework for public water systems, potable water is a public resource owned by the people and held in trust for them.u0026nbsp; Under that paradigm, defendant municipalities distribute water to their residents for a governmental purpose.u0026nbsp; They are not tantamount to private companies that sell water for profit.u0026nbsp; The fact they charge residents for the costs incurred for providing this governmental service u2014which varies based on the amount of water a resident receivesu2014does not automatically create a contractual relationship.u0026nbsp; u0026nbsp;u0026nbsp;/pThe court also concludes that for all practical purposes, the theory of liability in plaintiffsu0027 complaints, while carefully drafted to employ the terminology of contract law, is indistinguishable from a warranty of fitness cause of action explicitly precluded under a provision of the Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:9-2(b). u0026nbsp;Stated another way, using the label of a contract dispute to describe the cause of action does not change its essential character or transform the relationship between municipal water distributors and residents into a contractual one.u0026nbsp; The court thus concludes there is no foundation upon which contractual damages may be claimed against defendant municipalities./p

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Appellate Division UNPUBLISHED Decisions


Docket No.: a1660-22
Decided: 2024-07-17
Caption: HALEY H. NEEMAN VS. WESTOVER COMPANIES, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:

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Docket No.: a1938-22
Decided: 2024-07-17
Caption: NC COMMUNITY CENTER ASSOCIATES VS. BMAAWAD ENTERPRISES, LLC, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendants Bmaawad Enterprises, LLC BE, LLC, Bassam Maawad, and Lynda Shallan appeal from three orders of the Law Division: 1 an October 21, 2022 order dismissing defendants' affirmative defenses with prejudice and finding BE, LLC in breach of a commercial lease; 2 an October 21, 2022 order denying Shallan's cross-motion for summary judgment on claims arising from her role as guarantor of the lease; and 3 a February 7, 2023 order confirming an arbitration award against Maawad and Shallan. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a2479-22
Decided: 2024-07-17
Caption: ROXANA GAVIRIA VS. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF ELIZABETH
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Roxana Gaviria appeals from the March 9, 2023, Law Division order dismissing with prejudice her complaint against her employer, defendant Elizabeth Board of Education Board, pursuant to Rule 4:6-2e, and denying her motion to amend the complaint. The complaint asserted violations of the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act CEPA, N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 to -14, and the New Jersey Civil Rights Act NJCRA, N.J.S.A. 10:6-1 to -2. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3068-22
Decided: 2024-07-17
Caption: DISCOVER BANK VS. SADIA TAHIR
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Sadia Tahir appeals from an April 27, 2023 Law Division order granting plaintiff Discover Bank's motion to turnover 9,985.92 seized from defendant's account at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank Chase Bank. The funds were levied following a judgment against defendant. Defendant contends she and her husband own the Chase Bank account as tenants by the entirety. Thus, because she is solely responsible for the underlying judgment, defendant argues the trial court had no authority to order the turnover of funds from the jointly -owned account. After carefully reviewing the record in light of the governing legal principles and arguments of the parties, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a3561-22
Decided: 2024-07-17
Caption: VELOCITY INVESTMENTS LLC ASSIGNEE OF WEBBANK VS. MORDECHAI GROSS
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this debt collection case, defendant Mordechai Gross appeals from a June 9, 2023 Law Division order denying his motion to vacate a May 13, 2023 final judgment entered in favor of plaintiff Velocity Investments LLC Assignee of Webbank. Because defendant defaulted on the underlying loan within the meaning of the parties' stipulation of settlement, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a1509-23
Decided: 2024-07-16
Caption: LARISSA KUNIN VS. SERGEY KUNIN
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM On leave granted, defendant Sergey Kunin appeals from a Family Part order that bars him from paying his "counsel or professional fees" in this matrimonial case without first providing five days' notice to the court, plaintiff Larissa Kunin, and the court-appointed fiscal agent. Perceiving no abuse of discretion, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a1676-22
Decided: 2024-07-16
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. BRIAN R. AUXER
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM A jury convicted defendant Brian Auxer of second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b1, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison with periods of parole ineligibility and parole supervision as prescribed by the No Early Release Act NERA, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant appeals from his conviction. He also contends that his prior counsel provided ineffective assistance. Having reviewed all his arguments in light of the record and law, we reject them and affirm his conviction.

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Docket No.: a2308-21
Decided: 2024-07-16
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF NICOLE-KIRSTIE LLC VS. NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this appeal, plaintiff Nicole-Kirstie, LLC Nicole-Kirstie requests we reverse a purported final agency decision of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection NJDEP, related to the scope of its environmental investigatory and remedial responsibilities at the former Dorchester Shipyard, an industrial site located along the Maurice River. The matter returns after we dismissed Nicole-Kirstie's previous appeal without prejudice, concluding the challenged email from NJDEP was not a final agency action pursuant to Rule 2:2-3a2 and directing NJDEP to issue a further decision adopting or rejecting the position set forth therein. See In re Nicole-Kirstie, LLC v. N.J. Dep't. of Env'tl. Prot., No. A-2695-20 App. Div. Sept. 29, 2021. Because we conclude NJDEP's subsequent decision lacks the necessary factual findings to permit thorough appellate review, we remand for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

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Docket No.: a2714-22
Decided: 2024-07-16
Caption: TONY F. POLITE VS. AIRSHAD KAHN
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this personal injury action, plaintiff Tony Polite appeals from the May 5, 2023 order denying reconsideration of the August 12, 2022 order granting defendant Airshad Kahn's motion for summary judgment and dismissing his complaint with prejudice. Because plaintiff failed to establish causation, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a3619-22
Decided: 2024-07-16
Caption: STEPHANIE TILLMAN VS. NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellant Stephanie Tillman, an inmate at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women EMCF, challenges the sanctions imposed against her under a June 5, 2023 final administrative decision issued by respondent New Jersey Department of Corrections DOC. We affirm in part, and remand in part, for the DOC to amplify the record and provide an explanation for the sanctions imposed.

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Docket No.: a3629-21
Decided: 2024-07-16
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. MIGUEL SUAREZ
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Miguel Suarez appeals the Law Division's April 6, 2022 order dismissing his second petition for post-conviction relief PCR without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a0152-22
Decided: 2024-07-15
Caption: 922 RVD, LLC, ET AL. VS. BC INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM This appeal arises from a dispute between plaintiffs 922 RVD, LLC 922 RVD; Innovative Cosmetic Concepts, LLC ICC; and Color Street, LLC Color Street, and defendant BC International Group, Inc. BCI, regarding the alleged breach of a lease of a commercial property in Totowa. When defendant did not vacate the property at the termination of the lease, plaintiffs filed a four- count complaint alleging breach of the lease count one, breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing count two, fraudulent misrepresentation count three, and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage count four. Defendant filed a counterclaim seeking the return of its security deposit and attorneys' fees.

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Docket No.: a0208-21
Decided: 2024-07-15
Caption: ADAM DIPAOLO VS. BOARD OF EDUCATION, ETC.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
VERNOIA, P.J.A.D. Plaintiff Adam DiPaolo appeals from a Chancery Division order confirming an arbitrator's award upholding a tenure charge brought against him by defendant Board of Education of the City of Newark Board and dismissing his complaint seeking vacatur of the award. Plaintiff claims the arbitration award was procured through undue means and the court was therefore required to vacate the award under N.J.S.A. 2A:24-8a. Unpersuaded by plaintiff's arguments, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a1691-22
Decided: 2024-07-15
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. SHAKEIL PRICE
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Shakeil Price appeals from a November 10, 2022 Law Division order, entered following our remand, which denied his post-conviction relief PCR petition following an evidentiary hearing. We reversed the court's earlier order denying defendant's petition because the PCR judge failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing regarding defendant's claim his counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to communicate a plea offer and whether he was appropriately counseled with respect to any such offer. Satisfied the court correctly denied defendant's petition, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a2706-22
Decided: 2024-07-15
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF THE APPEAL OF THE DENIAL OF LOUIS J. LUCZU APPLICATION, ETC.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Louis J. Luczu appeals from the trial court's order dated April 11, 2023, affirming the denial of his application for a Firearms Purchaser ID Card FPIC and Handgun Purchase Permit HPP, together with the FPIC "the application". Luczu claims the trial court erred because: 1 he presented "satisfactory proof" within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c3 to show his alcoholism is not a disqualifying disability; 2 he does not meet the definition of an alcoholic as defined in subsection c3; and 3 denial of his application violated his Second Amendment right as expressed in N.Y. State Rifle Pistol Ass'n v. Bruen, 597 U.S. 1 2022. Having reviewed his arguments in light of applicable legal principles, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a3113-22
Decided: 2024-07-15
Caption: BART ALGOZZINI VS. DGMB CASINO, LLC, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Bart Algozzini appeals from an order granting the summary- judgment motion of his former employer, defendant DGMB Casino, LLC d/b/a Resorts Casino Hotel. While plaintiff was still on medical leave after receiving second- and third-degree burns over nearly seventy percent of his body in a boat- fuel explosion, defendant eliminated his position as Director of Slot Operations and demoted him to Slot Service Manager, a lower-salaried position. After plaintiff complained about his demotion as discriminatory and returned to work while using a cane, defendant eliminated his new position. The motion judge granted defendant's summary-judgment motion and dismissed plaintiff's claims for disability discrimination and retaliation in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination LAD, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -50, based on his finding plaintiff had failed to establish he suffered from a disability. Because a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether plaintiff was disabled and because he did not have to prove a disability for his retaliation claim, we reverse .

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Docket No.: a3551-22
Decided: 2024-07-15
Caption: ARELIS GUTIERREZ VS. AMERICAN BANKERS INSURANCE COMPANY OF FLORIDA
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff appeals from the June 23, 2023 order granting defendant's motion to dismiss her complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 4:6-2e. Defendant denied plaintiff coverage under a property insurance policy. The complaint alleged breach of contract and other claims. The trial court found plaintiff did not file the action within the two-year statute of limitations as required under the insurance policy. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a0033-23
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: DONALD MUENZER VS. MARIE NASTASI
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM The parties own a condominium and boat slip together as tenants in common. After their relationship ended, they decided to sell the property. Although they received several offers from prospective buyers, each party then determined they wanted to buy out the other's interest. Plaintiff moved for declaratory relief to compel defendant to sell him her fifty percent interest. The court ordered partition of the property and sale to the highest bidder. Plaintiff appeals from the April 28, 2023 order. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a0195-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: MATTHEW TROTTER VS. BOARD OF TRUSTEES, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Matthew Trotter appeals from an August 9, 2022 final agency decision of the Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen's Retirement System Board denying his application for accidental disability retirement benefits ADRB. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a1020-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: COFFEE ASSOCIATES, LLC VS. BOROUGH OF EDGEWATER ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In these three consolidated Law Division complaints in lieu of prerogative writs, plaintiffs Erik C. DiMarco and Coffee Associates, L.L.C. appeal and cross-appeal the trial court's order dismissing their challenge to defendant Borough of Edgewater Zoning Board of Adjustment's decision granting defendant Three Y LLC's application under the Municipal Land Use Law MLUL, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 to -136, seeking a height variance for its mixed- use development project. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a2428-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: ESTEFANO FRANCHINI VS. MARCH ASSOCIATES CONSTRUCTION, INC., ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Estefano Franchini was injured at a hotel construction site in Teaneck when the ladder he was on slipped and fell down. At the time, Franchini was employed by electrical sub-contractor Bender Enterprises, Inc. Defendant March Associates Construction, Inc. was general contractor for the hotel owner defendant Glenpointe Associates IV, LLC.

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Docket No.: a2488-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: IN RE DENIAL OF THE APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE AS A REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON SUBMITTED BY MARTA CUNHA-CORCORAN
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellant Marta Cunha-Corcoran appeals from the March 13, 2023 final decision of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission Commission denying her application for a real estate salesperson's license. The Commission determined appellant failed to demonstrate the good moral character required under N.J.S.A. 45:15-9a of the New Jersey Real Estate License Act, N.J.S.A. 45:15-1 to -29- 5, because she made intentional misrepresentations in her licensure application, and was previously convicted of theft by deception. The Commission also precluded appellant from re-applying for a five-year period. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a2635-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: JONATHAN WALKER VS. NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Parolee, Jonathan Walker, appeals from a March 29, 2023 final agency decision by the State Parole Board the Board revoking his parole and imposing a thirteen-month term of incarceration before he would be eligible for parole again. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a2699-21
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: NATACHA SMITH VS. JOCELYNE VIECELI, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM This appeal, involving defendant Jocelyne Vieceli's purported breach of an alleged oral contract to purchase a home in Ringoes where plaintiff Natacha Smith lived as a long-term tenant, returns to us after our remand. Before us, plaintiff challenges the court's order granting summary judgment and dismissing the contract claims against Vieceli, as well as the intentional interference of contract claim against the successful purchasers of the Ringoes property, defendants John and Chelsie Malavasi together, the Malavasis. Plaintiff also appeals from a separate order awarding the Malavasis 8,549.97 in litigation sanctions under Rule 1:4-8 and N.J.S.A. 2A:15-59.1. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3414-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: I.O. VS S.A.B.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant S.A.B.1 appeals the trial court's entry of a final restraining order FRO issued against her in an action brought by plaintiff I.O. under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act the Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35. She contends the trial court erred when it: failed to consider certain facts in the record probative on the issue of I.O.'s credibility; found that S.A.B.'s phone calls to I.O. and his mother, and a social media posting, constituted predicate acts under the Act; and found that S.A.B. committed prior acts of domestic violence against I.O. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3503-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: LOURDY JORDONNE VS. LUCIEN SAINT LOUIS
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff appeals from two orders of the Family Part in this matrimonial matter: 1 the March 31, 2023 order invalidating the parties' settlement agreement and dismissing their pleadings; and 2 the May 26, 2023 order denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. We vacate both orders and remand for further proceedings.

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Docket No.: a3589-22
Decided: 2024-07-12
Caption: KREYCO INC. VS. FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Kreyco Inc., d/b/a Language Learning Network Kreyco appeals from the Law Division's June 12, 2023 order granting defendant Franklin Township Board of Education's Board motion to dismiss the complaint. Kreyco brought this action for specific enforcement of certain provisions of a services agreement Agreement between the parties. In dismissing the complaint, the trial judge found Kreyco's claims "hinge[d] on the application of multiple provisions of the school laws,[1] and therefore at least the impact of those statutory provisions must be decided by the Commissioner [of Education Commissioner] before the court can take any action." The issue before us on appeal is whether the trial court or the Commissioner had jurisdiction to interpret and enforce the contractual provisions at issue. Because portions of the complaint implicated the interpretation of certain provisions of the school laws, we affirm in part; but because other claims were purely contractual in nature, we reverse and remand in part for further proceedings.

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Docket No.: a0065-21
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. LIONELL G. MILLER
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Lionell G. Miller appeals from the June 30, 2021 order denying his motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. We reject his argument and for the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a0133-23
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: DONNA MCGRATH VS. PETER VEZZOSI, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this premises liability matter, plaintiff Donna McGrath appeals from the July 7, 2023 order granting summary judgment to defendants Peter and Concepcion Vezzosi. Plaintiff also challenges the August 11, 2023 order denying her motion to reconsider the July 7 order. We affirm both orders.

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Docket No.: a0732-22
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: AKANSHA SINGH VS. SOULCYCLE, INC., ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this personal-injury action, plaintiff Akansha Singh alleges that she fell from a stationary exercise bike during a cycling class at an exercise studio owned and operated by defendants SoulCycle, Inc. and SoulCycle Short Hills, LLC. She appeals from an order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissing her complaint with prejudice. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

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Docket No.: a1269-22
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: JOSEPH RONNE, ET AL. VS. BOROUGH OF DUMONT, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiffs Joseph Ronne, by his parent Daina Ronne, and Daina 1 individually, appeal from the September 30, 2022 judgment in favor of defendant following a jury verdict in which the jury found Joseph sixty percent negligent for his injuries incurred during an after-school workout. Plaintiffs also appeal the December 22, 2022 order denying their motion to alter or amend the judgment, or alternatively, for a new trial. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a2334-22
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: W.E. AND N.E. VS. A.E.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant A.E. Mother appeals from: 1 the December 22, 2022 order of the Family Part granting grandparent visitation with A.E.'s two sons to her former in-laws, plaintiffs W.E. and N.E. Grandparents; and 2 the March 15, 2023 order denying her motion for reconsideration.1 We vacate both orders and remand for further proceedings.

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Docket No.: a2362-22a2593-22
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: DOUGLAS SCHWARZWAELDER VS. BHC MARKETING, LTD., ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM After a two-day bench trial, the trial judge entered a judgment against defendant Simplicity Financial Marketing, Inc. SFMI, awarding plaintiff Douglas Schwarzwaelder 245,687.98. In these back-to-back appeals, which we consolidate for purposes of issuing a single opinion, SFMI appeals from the judgment, arguing the judge erred in finding it liable based on a non-solicitation theory of liability plaintiff had not pleaded in the complaint, and plaintiff appeals from a subsequently-issued order, arguing the judge erred in disregarding his expert witness's testimony and in finding the contracts on which he had based this case were unmodified and terminable at will. We affirm the aspects of the order plaintiff challenges, reverse the remaining aspects of the order, and reverse the judgment.

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Docket No.: a2508-22
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. JAMIE MONROE
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Jamie Monroe appeals from the Law Division's January 19, 2023 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief PCR without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a2812-22
Decided: 2024-07-11
Caption: ROBERT DIBLASIO VS. ARLENE DIBLASIO
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Robert DiBlasio appeals the denial of his cross-motion seeking termination of his alimony obligation to his former wife, defendant Arlene DiBlasio, as well as the denial of his subsequent reconsideration motion. Since the trial court erred in concluding an "anti-Lepis clause"1 barred plaintiff's requested relief, we vacate the portions of the January 24, 2023 and April 24, 2023 orders on appeal and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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Docket No.: a0549-22
Decided: 2024-07-10
Caption: FLIMON TESFAMARIAN VS. HABTE FREZGHI AND WEST MADISON, LLC.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff, Flimon Tesfamarian, appeals from the trial court's order granting third- party defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissing his complaint for adverse possession. Having reviewed the arguments in light of the record and law, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a0615-22
Decided: 2024-07-10
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. SHAMIR JUDSON
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Shamir Judson seeks reversal of the trial court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief PCR without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm for the reasons expressed in Judge Harold W. Fullilove, Jr.'s cogent written opinion.

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Docket No.: a0827-21
Decided: 2024-07-10
Caption: JACQUELINE WYNN VS. GERMAINE N. JOHNSON, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this personal injury action, a discovery dispute resulted in the trial court dismissing with prejudice the answer and affirmative defenses of defendant Germaine N. Johnson for his failure to comply with discovery obligations. Having reviewed the parties' submissions, the record, and law, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a2643-21
Decided: 2024-07-10
Caption: SYLVIA MELANIA TEJADA DE TAPIA VS. 74 INDUSTRIES, INC., ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Slyvia Melania Tejada de Tapia was injured at work and filed a workers' compensation claim against her employer, 74 Industries, Inc. 74 Industries, which was settled pursuant to an order approving settlement with dismissal under N.J.S.A. 34:15-20 the Section 20 Settlement. The Section 20 Settlement resulted in the dismissal of plaintiff's workers' compensation claims with prejudice.

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Docket No.: a2878-21
Decided: 2024-07-10
Caption: MARILYN RUKAJ VS. JERRY PUCCIO, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this breach-of-contract dispute, plaintiff Marilyn Rukaj sued defendants for the return of a 50,000 wedding deposit. Plaintiff appeals from: a March 18, 2021 order granting partial summary judgment in favor of defendants dismissing her Consumer Fraud Act CFA, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 to -20 claim; an August 6, 2021 order denying her motion for leave to amend her complaint to add three additional counts alleging violations of the CFA, an August 27, 2021 order dismissing the remaining counts in her complaint, and a May 13, 2022 order denying her motion for attorney's fees following the dismissal of defendants' counterclaims for defamation and slander per se. Defendants cross-appeal from the March 18, 2021 order granting partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on her breach of contract claim and ordering the return of plaintiff's 50,000 deposit. Having reviewed the record, the parties' arguments, and applicable law, we affirm each of the court's orders.

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Docket No.: a3195-21
Decided: 2024-07-10
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. ROBERTO UBIERA
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree felony murder, third- degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3b4g, the court sentenced defendant to life imprisonment without parole. This appeal followed.

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Docket No.: a0013-22
Decided: 2024-07-09
Caption: GAIL PALMINTERI, ETC. VS. WILLIAM STOCKMAN, ET AL.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
DeALMEIDA, J.A.D. On leave granted, defendant Oradell Animal Hospital, Inc. OAH, appeals from the July 15, 2022 order of the Chancery Division denying its motion to disqualify Cole Shotz, PC CS as counsel for defendant William Stockman. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a0859-22
Decided: 2024-07-09
Caption: RONDELL HADDOCK VS. TOWN OF CLINTON
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this employment discrimination action, plaintiff Rondell Haddock appeals from a November 9, 2022 order granting summary judgment to defendant Town of Clinton Clinton. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a1622-22
Decided: 2024-07-09
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF JESSE Ou0027BRIEN, JERSEY CITY
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Jesse O'Brien is a former police officer who worked for the Jersey City Police Department the JCP Department. He appeals from a December 21, 2022 administrative decision by the Civil Service Commission the Commission, which denied his request for interim relief. O'Brien had requested the Commission to direct the JCP Department to rescind his suspension from his position as a police officer pending a final decision on his disciplinary charges. While this appeal was pending, the JCP Department conducted a final hearing on O'Brien's disciplinary charges, found him guilty, and terminated him. Accordingly, because O'Brien can no longer be given interim relief, we dismiss this appeal as moot.

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Docket No.: a2480-22
Decided: 2024-07-09
Caption: MICHAEL LENZ VS. BOARD OF TRUSTEES, ETC.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Petitioner Michael Lenz appeals from the final administrative decision of the Board of Trustees "Board", Public Employees' Retirement System "PERS", rejecting an administrative law judge's "ALJ" decision that Lenz's retroactive salary increase be included as creditable compensation for pension calculation purposes. Based on our review of the record and the applicable legal principles, we affirm.

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Docket No.: a3537-22
Decided: 2024-07-09
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. MICHAEL J. WARD, IV
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Michael J. Ward, IV appeals from the June 9, 2023, Law Division order finding him guilty of violating a municipal sidewalk ordinance, Ordinance 176-12G, following a de novo trial. The June 9 order imposed fines and fees and ordered defendant to repair the sidewalk in front of his residential property located in the Borough of Beach Haven Borough. We affirm.

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Docket No.: a3557-22
Decided: 2024-07-09
Caption: CITY OF PLAINFIELD VS. FMBA LOCAL 7
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM This appeal arises out of a dispute between the City of Plainfield the City and Plainfield FMBA Local 7 the Union, which represents the City's fire personnel, excluding Fire Officers. In 2019, the City sought to collect from certain retirees a percentage of the costs of their healthcare insurance premiums. The Union objected, contending that under the governing collective negotiations agreement, the City had agreed to pay those costs at "its sole expense." The dispute was arbitrated, and the arbitrator ruled in favor of the Union. The City now appeals from a Law Division order denying its application to vacate the arbitration award and, instead, confirming the award. Discerning no basis to disturb the arbitrator's award, we affirm.

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Tax Court Cases

Docket No.: 008090-2020
Decided: 2024-07-19
Caption: City of Jersey City v. 575 Pavonia, LLC
Summary:
This letter constitutes the court's opinion following trial of the local property tax appeal filed by plaintiff, City of Jersey City “Jersey City” and the counterclaim filed by defendant, 575 Pavonia, LLC 1 “Taxpayer” for the 2020 tax year. For the reasons stated more fully below, and based upon the specific facts of this case, the court finds that the property in question is underassessed. Furthermore, its true market value shall be established using the sales comparison approach and shall be calculated “as is” with a unit of comparison based on square footage and shall not be calculated based on potential density.

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Trial Court Cases

Docket No.: esx-dc-4496-24
Decided: 2024-07-16
Caption: CKS PRIME INVESTMENTS, LLC v. DENISE COLON
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
SANTOMAURO, D., J.S.C. This matter comes to the court by way of an application for an Order Entering Judgment Ex Parte filed by plaintiff CKS Prime Investments, LLC as assignee of Celtic Bank relating to an alleged breach of a Stipulation of Settlement between plaintiff and defendant Denise Colon. The court has reviewed the application, including the Stipulation of Settlement. For the reasons set forth below, plaintiff's ex parte application is denied without prejudice.

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