Skip to main content
THIS SITE

Recent Decisions of the New Jersey Appellate Courts
from 2022-11-12 to 2022-11-26

Supreme Court Decisions


Docket No.: a-41-42-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: State in the Interest of E.S.
Summary:
SOLOMON, J., writing for the Court. In this appeal, the Court considers whether the trial court abused its discretion by choosing to hear the State's motion to waive family court jurisdiction and prosecute juvenile defendant E.S. as an adult before hearing E.S.'s motion to suppress the gun seized from him at the time of his arrest. The Court also considers whether, as the Appellate Division suggested, the Family Part should “apply a general preference” to hear suppression motions before deciding waiver motions. Officers from the Elizabeth Police Department arrested E.S. and his co- defendant, Alleem Johnson, after they allegedly brandished handguns, pointed them at the officers' vehicle, and then ran away. Police arrested and searched E.S. and found a loaded semiautomatic handgun. Johnson was also arrested. E.S. was charged as a juvenile with offenses eligible for waiver. Johnson, E.S.'s adult co-defendant, was charged in the Law Division, Criminal Part. Counsel for E.S. filed a motion to suppress the gun. Two weeks later, the State filed a motion pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-26.1 to waive juvenile court jurisdiction and to transfer the case to the Law Division, Criminal Part, to prosecute E.S. as an adult. At some point that is not specified in the record, Johnson moved in the Criminal Part for the suppression of evidence seized from him. The family court judge ultimately determined that the waiver motion should be heard before the suppression motion. The Appellate Division affirmed that judgment.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a-1-21
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: State v. Oscar Ramirez
Summary:
SABATINO, P.J.A.D. (temporarily assigned), writing for a unanimous Court. In this appeal, the Court considers the conflicting rights of a sexual assault victim -- to decline to participate in an investigation and to enjoy solitude at home -- and a person accused of a sexual offense -- to receive an effective defense, to assert the right to confrontation and compulsory process of witnesses, and to due process -- in the context of a prosecutor's motion for a protective order relieving the prosecution of its obligation to supply a victim's residential address to defense counsel.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a-40-21
Decided: 2022-11-17
Caption: Green Knight Capital, LLC v. Gabriel Calderon
Summary:
FISHER, P.J.A.D. (temporarily assigned), writing for a unanimous Court. In this appeal, the Court considers whether a party that acquires an interest in property subject to a tax sale foreclosure action must lose the opportunity it has acquired because of its attempt to redeem the tax sale certificate before moving to intervene.

click here to get this case.


Appellate Division PUBLISHED Decisions


Docket No.: a2456-21
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: DARO M. LARGOZA, M.D. v. FKM REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS, INC.
Status: Published
Summary:
NATALI, J.A.D. Plaintiffs appeal, pursuant to leave granted, from two Law Division orders. The first dismissed their multi-count complaint against defendant Celtic Bank Corporation under Rule 4:6-2(e) based on a forum selection clause which required plaintiffs to submit to the jurisdiction of Salt Lake County, Utah, where Celtic is headquartered, in the event plaintiffs filed a "lawsuit" against Celtic. They also challenge a subsequent order denying their motion for reconsideration.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0712-20
Decided: 2022-11-14
Caption: ASPHALT PAVING SYSTEMS INC v. THE BOROUGH OF STONE HARBOR
Status: Published
Summary:
FISHER, P.J.A.D. The Legislature has declared that no business entity may be awarded a public contract unless, prior to or along with its bid, the business entity submits "a statement setting forth the names and addresses" of the individuals owning more than ten percent of the entity. N.J.S.A. 52:25-24.2 (emphasis added). In this appeal, we consider and hold that the Legislature did not intend the word "addresses" to be synonymous with "home addresses" and that the statute's requirement is met when the bidder provides its owners' mailing addresses.

click here to get this case.


Appellate Division UNPUBLISHED Decisions


Docket No.: a0103-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: JOHN YOUNG v. CATARINA SANTOS-YOUNG
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Catarina Santos-Young appeals from the Family Part's March 8, 2021 order denying her motion for relief from the July 2015 final judgment of divorce (JOD) between defendant and her former husband, plaintiff John Young, and to reopen and amend the property settlement agreement (PSA) that was incorporated into the JOD.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0121-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: GL TRINITY HOLDINGS, LLC v. SHATHA EMACHAH
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant, Shatha Emachah, a/k/a Shatha Saab, appeals from an August 16, 2019 order denying her motion to vacate the entry of default judgment against her and extend the time for filing an answer. We affirm, substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge J. Randall Corman's well-reasoned written opinion.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0617-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANANCY v. R.W and A.P. and L.A.P
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant R.W.1 appeals from the October 7, 2021 order terminating her parental rights to her two minor children, A.R.W. (Ashley) and L.A.P. (Lane). 2 Defendant contends the trial court erred by failing to consider recent revisions to New Jersey's child-placement statutory framework that emphasize the importance of kinship caregiving and kinship legal guardianship (KLG), 3 L. 2021, c. 154 (the 2021 Amendments). 4 Defendant also contends the trial court misapplied the "best interests" statutory factors, see N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1(a). After carefully reviewing the record in light of the parties' arguments and governing principles of law, we affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0785-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: 80 WEST CENTURY LLC v. DROSOS LORENZO ASSOCIATES, P.C
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this commercial landlord-tenant case, defendant Drosos Lorenzo $1 Associates, PC, appeals a November 16, 2021 judgment of possession (JOP), which was issued in favor of plaintiff 80 West Century LLC after a trial. Because a lockout was performed and defendant no longer possesses the property at issue, we dismiss the appeal as moot.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1013-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: EUGENIA T. BURCH v. KINDLE FORD
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Kindle Ford appeals from an order awarding plaintiff Eugenia T. Burch $18000 after a trial in the Special Civil Part. On appeal, defendant argues the court erred in holding it liable, and awarding damages, because plaintiff: (1) lacked standing to bring her claim; (2) failed to prove defendant breached any duty to her; and (3) did not support her damages claim with competent evidence. Having reviewed the record before us, and in light of the applicable law, we are satisfied the court's factual findings sufficiently established plaintiff's standing and supported the imposition of liability against defendant as a bailee. We reach a different determination regarding the court's damages award and conclude additional findings are required. We accordingly affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1107-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: THE SUPERIOR GROUP, LLC v. MENDEL DEUTSCH
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In a December 18, 2019 contract, plaintiff The Superior Group, LLC agreed to transfer ownership of 120 Mountain Avenue in Springfield (the property) for $12.4 million to defendant Mendel Deutsch. Per the contract, Deutsch deposited $500,000 with Universal Title, LLC (Universal) to hold in escrow towards the purchase. The contract gave Deutsch until January 17, 2020, to conduct "such inspections and investigations of the [property] as [Deutsch] deems necessary," including environmental inspections. The contract's time of the essence clause stated, "[u]nder no circumstances shall the Closing Date occur earlier than April 1, 2020 or later than April 15, 2020." 1 The contract also stated "[t]he Closing Date shall not be delayed as a result of [Deutsch]'s pursuit of financing and any risk of delay or postponement of the Closing Date due to [Deutsch]'s financing rests with [Deutsch]."

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a3687-19
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY v. S.S.C and A.A.F.D.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellant S.S.C. (Sam) appeals from the judgment of guardianship terminating his parental rights to his two children, N.A.F.C. (Nicole), born in April 2004, and A.M.C. (Amanda), born in December 2008. Defendant A.A.F.D. (Anna) is the children's mother. Her parental rights were also terminated under the May 12, 2020 order. She does not appeal from the judgment. After a careful review of appellant's contentions and the record in light of the applicable principles of law, we affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a4008-21
Decided: 2022-11-22
Caption: RAY ANGELINI, INC. v. RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OF SOUTH JERSEY INC.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM By leave granted, defendant JJD Electric, LLC (JJD) appeals from the Law Division's July 22, 2022 order denying its motion for an order stating it was not required to respond to certain discovery demands made by plaintiffs Ray Angelini, Inc.'s and Raymond J. Angelini in this breach of contract action. The order also denied JJD's alternate request to bifurcate the matter into two trials, one on liability and the other on damages, and to postpone JJD's obligation to provide discovery until after the trial court "adjudicated liability." We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0260-21
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: K.O. v. N.D.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this non-matrimonial custody and child support dispute, defendant N.D.1 appeals from nine Family Part orders awarding temporary joint legal custody of his two daughters N.D.D. (Nadia) and N.H.D. (Nancy), and other relief to their maternal and paternal aunts, plaintiffs K.O. and V.M. Collectively, the orders also established defendant's child support and college contribution obligations, applied derivative Social Security benefits, enforced litigant's rights, addressed parenting time, and denied defendant's motions. Because the orders were entered without a finding that defendant was unfit, without conducting a plenary hearing as to custody, and without adequate consideration of defendant's financial circumstances, we are constrained to reverse and remand.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0790-21
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: VINETA LIVINGSTONE v. REUBEN DANIEL
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff, Vineta Livingstone, appeals from the October 22, 2021 Family Part order awarding defendant, Reuben Daniel, college costs and other related relief pursuant to a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA). Following our review of the record and applicable legal principles, we affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0814-21
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: EKA MANAGEMENT v. H.B
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
ACCURSO, J.A.D. Plaintiff EKA Management purportedly obtained a default judgment of possession for late payment and non-payment of rent against defendant H.B. in August 2021 when she failed to appear for a settlement conference scheduled pursuant to the Supreme Court's July 1, 2021 Order and Notice to the Bar. H.B. subsequently completed the Department of Community Affairs Eviction and Homelessness Prevention Certification form promulgated pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:27D-287.9(d)(1)(b), part of the August 2021 legislation to "help struggling tenants avoid displacement" following the end of the pandemic eviction moratorium. Although the form calculated her household income as below 80% of area median income for four-person households in Camden, placing her in the moderate-income level pursuant to the statute, and she provided the form to the court, the summary dispossess action was not dismissed as H.B. asserts it should have been. Instead, H.B. was presented with a lockout date.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1906-20
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF E.L
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this guardianship matter concerning E.L. (Emma), an incapacitated person who is now deceased, Emma's mother, M.L. (Melanie), appeals pro se from a February 7, 2021 Probate Part order awarding: $126,667.98 in counsel fees and costs to Michael S. Miller, Esq., as administrator of Emma's estate; and $31,795.82 in fees and costs to Matthew R. Petracca, Esq., as Emma's guardian ad litem.1 Melanie contends Miller and Petracca engaged in "negligence and malpractice" and, as such, they were not entitled to their fees. 2 We reject these contentions and affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2393-20
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: LISA SULLIVAN v. MICHAEL SULLIVAN
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this appeal of a post-judgment order, we are asked to consider whether the Family Part erred in declining to modify and reduce defendant's alimony and child support obligations and in compelling defendant to disclose information related to a particular business. We conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it found defendant did not make a prima facie showing of changed circumstances because defendant Michael Sullivan's pleadings were deficient and any reduction in income, he experienced was temporarily caused by disruptions related to the pandemic; they did not affect his ability to earn income or seek alternative sources of income. Additionally, although the court found no prima facie showing of changed circumstances, it still had the authority to enforce its own orders and, on plaintiff Lisa Sullivan's cross-motion to enforce litigant's rights, appropriately ordered discovery of financial information defendant omitted from his Case Information Statement (CIS) relevant to his ability to comply.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a4405-19
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. DONELL COOK
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant appeals from his sentence imposed after a plea agreement. He contends the court increased his sentence by using his failure to appear at a prior sentencing as a non-statutory aggravating factor and in double counting it regarding the bail jumping offense. We disagree and affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a4940-18
Decided: 2022-11-21
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. GARRATT D. CARTER
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant was driving west on Market Street in Newark on the evening of September 22, 2017, when his vehicle struck pedestrian Steven Dawkins in the roadway; at this location, Market Street consisted of four lanes, two in each direction. No one else saw the accident but several witnesses arrived shortly after it occurred. When officers arrived, they found an hysterical defendant leaning over Dawkins, attempting to give him CPR. The officers smelled alcohol on defendant who was swaying on his feet and slurring his words. Defendant was charged with one count of first-degree vehicular homicide, N.J.S.A. 2C:11- 5b(3)(a).

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0322-19
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. ANTHONY C. FIGUEROA
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Anthony Figueroa appeals from his conviction of drug-related and weapons offenses, and his sentence. Figueroa and his wife, co-defendant Nahomi Collazo, were charged with several defendants after an extensive law enforcement investigation into drug activity in Cumberland County. Figueroa and Collazo were severed from the other defendants upon the State's motion. Figueroa argues that the trial court erred by permitting two police officers to testify that his voice was on recordings of several phone calls in which he allegedly planned drug sales with one of the severed defendants, because the officers had no personal knowledge of the sound of his voice. He further contends that the court erred by not providing a specific jury instruction on voice identification. Figueroa also asserts cumulative error. Figueroa additionally contends he must be resentenced because the trial court improperly double counted his prior criminal record. We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1215-20
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: CARE ONE, LLC, v. ADINA STRAUS
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM These consolidated appeals involve the removal of two minority members of plaintiff Care One, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (LLC), and the compensation paid to those minority members for their respective ownership interests. The essential issues are whether plaintiff Daniel E. Straus,1 the majority and sole managing member of Care One, who controlled a supermajority of voting interests in Care One, acted within his authority under the Care One operating agreement and Delaware law, when in 2015 he: (1) removed all individual minority members of Care One, including defendants Adina Straus (his sister) and Jeffrey Rubin (his former brother-in-law), who each owned a 4.412 percent interest in Care One; and (2) amended the Care One operating agreement to establish a formula for determining the amount to be paid when removing members through a purchase of their membership interests. As to the purchase, the issues include whether the formula should have calculated the "fair value" rather than the "fair market value" of the membership interests,2 and, if fair market value was the appropriate amount, it was reasonably calculated.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1303-21
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: YAHCOR NAPPER v. NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellant Yahcor Napper appeals from a November 10, 2021 final agency decision by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC), adjudicating him guilty of committing a prohibited act $1.202, possession of a weapon in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a). We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1542-19
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. NAHOMI COLLAZO
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Nahomi Collazo appeals from certain motion rulings, her conviction of drug-related offenses, her sentence, and a forfeiture order. We affirm in all respects except for reversing the forfeiture order entered during the sentencing hearing.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2120-20
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. HUMBERTO GONZALEZ
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Humberto Gonzalez appeals from a Law Division order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. He presents the following points on appeal: POINT I THE PCR COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING AS TESTIMONY IS NEEDED FROM TRIAL COUNSEL EXPLAINING WHY SHE FAILED TO ADVISE THE STATE THAT DEFENDANT WAS ACCEPTING THEIR FAVORABLE PLEA OFFER. POINT II THE PCR COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING AS TESTIMONY IS NEEDED FROM TRIAL COUNSEL REGARDING HER FAILURE TO INTERVIEW AND INVESTIGATE HIS MATTER. Having reviewed the record and applicable legal standards, we are unpersuaded by defendant's arguments and affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2675-20
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: POOJA GOEL, v. HARSHAD PATEL
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff, Pooja Goel, appeals from an order finding a court -appointed expert report admissible because it was supported by factual evidence in the record. On appeal, plaintiff contends the expert report should have been barred as a net opinion. Plaintiff further argues the report was based on fraudulent documentation provided by defendants. Finally, she argues that her due process rights were violated when two witnesses sat in close proximity during the virtual trial. We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2711-21
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: JAMES VISCONTI v. HARMON COVE IV CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION INC.
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff James Visconti, an employee of third-party defendant Preferred Pool Management, Inc. (PPM), was injured when a set of wooden stairs leading to the pump room of a pool at the Harmon Cove condominium complex collapsed underneath him.1 Defendant The Wilkin Management Group, Inc. (Wilkin) managed the property on behalf of defendant Harmon Cove IV Condominium Association, Inc. (the Association) (collectively, defendants), which owned the common elements of the condominium, including the pool and surrounding area. Plaintiff filed suit, claiming defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the property.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a3352-20
Decided: 2022-11-18
Caption: TAMELA EAKINS v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE TEACHERS' PENSION AND ANNUITY FUND -
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Appellant Tamela Eakins appeals from a June 9, 2021 final agency decision by respondent Board of Trustees, Teachers' Pension $1 Annuity Fund (Board), denying her accidental disability pension benefits. We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0165-21
Decided: 2022-11-17
Caption: CHRISTIANA TRUST v. MICHAEL P. KAWAN
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this foreclosure action, plaintiff appeals from orders in which the court permitted Mordechay Tzabari (Intervenor) to intervene in the litigation and purchase the subject property and invalidated a consent order in which plaintiff and defendant Jenna Kawan1 invalidated Intervenor's contract. We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0277-21
Decided: 2022-11-17
Caption: ADEL HANNA v. WOODLAND COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In this appeal we are asked to determine whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to all defendants pursuant to the "ongoing storm rule" enunciated by the Supreme Court in the recent case of Pareja v. Princeton Int'l Props., 246 N.J. 546 (2021). We conclude the trial court was correct in granting summary judgment to A. Guzzo Landscaping, LLC and affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0321-21
Decided: 2022-11-17
Caption: IN THE MATTER OF SOUTH JERSEY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY RESOLUTION 2021-109 REJECTING THE BID OF GAUDELLI BROTHERS INC. AND AUTHORIZING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO AP CONSTRUCTION INC. OF BLACKWOOD, NEW JERSEY FOR THE ATLANTIC CITY EXPRESSWAY FARLEY SERVIC
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Although Gaudelli Brothers, Inc. submitted the lowest bid in response to the South Jersey Transportation Authority's solicitation of bids on an upcoming project,1 the Authority gave notice that it would be conducting a responsibility hearing to determine whether Gaudelli had the ability to complete the project satisfactorily and without delay. The Authority's position was based on an assertion that Gaudelli was thirty-two days late completing another project for the Authority "due to Gaudelli's inability to secure equipment."

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2797-21
Decided: 2022-11-17
Caption: BENDER ENTERPRISES, INC v. WEST RAC CONTRACTING CORP
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant West Rac Contracting Corp. (WRC), and third-party defendants Gary P. Krupnick, Victor Weisberg, R.A., and Global Contracting Concepts, LLC (Global), appeal from the May 6, 2022 order denying their motion to compel arbitration and stay further litigation with defendant/third- party plaintiff, Sapthagiri, LLC (Sapthagiri). The parties are before us a third time. See W. Rac Contr. Corp. v. Sapthagiri, No. A-2355-20 (App. Div. Mar. 28, 2022) (West Rac); Bender Enters. v. W. Rac Contr. Corp., No. A-0948-21 (App. Div. Apr. 8, 2022) (Bender I).

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2882-18
Decided: 2022-11-17
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. LUIS RIVERA
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
DeALMEIDA, J.A.D. Defendant Luis Rivera appeals from his conviction after a jury trial of seventeen counts, including five counts of first-degree attempted murder, arising from a shooting at a group of people socializing in the front yard of a house. We vacate defendant's convictions and remand for a new trial.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0026-21
Decided: 2022-11-16
Caption: VALARIE DAVIS v. MONMOUTH COUNTY VOCATIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiff Valarie Davis was expelled as a student from the adult cosmetology program of defendant Monmouth County Vocational School District. She appeals an order granting defendant's summary-judgment motion and dismissing her complaint with prejudice. Specifically, she challenges the dismissal of her claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -50 and her punitive-damages claim.1 We affirm substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Owen C. McCarthy's written decision.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0403-21
Decided: 2022-11-16
Caption: DOMINIQUE CASIMIR v. MAASI SMITH
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Maasi Smith appeals from a September 23, 2021 order which, among other things, denied his request for a downward modification of his child support obligation. We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0587-20
Decided: 2022-11-16
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. HASSAN A. LABAN
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Hassan A. Laban appeals his convictions for robbery, shoplifting, criminal mischief, and possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Defendant was tried by a jury on the shoplifting and mischief charges. After the jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts, defendant pled guilty to robbery and drug possession. He was sentenced on the second-degree robbery conviction to a six-year prison term subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7. Defendant was sentenced on the third-degree shoplifting conviction to a persistent offender extended term. The judge ordered that six-year prison sentence to run consecutive to the robbery sentence. The judge also imposed a three-year prison term on the third-degree CDS conviction and a one-year prison term on the fourth-degree criminal mischief conviction. On appeal, defendant contends the trial court made several errors that, while not objected to below, influenced his decision not to testify. He also argues the court committed errors in imposing his sentences. After carefully reviewing the record in view of the arguments of the parties and the applicable legal principles, we affirm the convictions.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0930-20
Decided: 2022-11-16
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. CARLOS SANCHEZ
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant, Carlos Sanchez, appeals from an order denying his motion to suppress evidence seized by police without a warrant from his mother's home. He argues that the police did not have valid consent to enter the home, nor search the premises. As a result, defendant contends, the evidence seized should have been suppressed. We are not persuaded and affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1791-20
Decided: 2022-11-16
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. RYAN PESCHIERI
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM On January 12, 2019, around 2:00 a.m., the Toms River Police Department received a phone call from a male resident that there was a "suspicious" parked car on the resident's street for about thirty minutes with its motor running and brake lights on. Shortly thereafter, Police Officer David Talty driving a marked police car pulled up behind defendant's car, got out and approached the driver's side of defendant's car, which had its motor running and brake lights on as reported. When Talty asked defendant where he was coming from, the officer noticed defendant's eyes were watery, his face was pale, and the smell of alcohol was emanating from his breath. In addition, Talty observed defendant fumbling with his wallet to find his driving credentials. Defendant admitted drinking two or three beers when asked if he had been drinking.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a4201-19
Decided: 2022-11-16
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. CASEY TERRY
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Casey Terry appeals from the May 4, 2020 Law Division order denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. We vacate the order denying defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence and remand to the trial court for a sentencing rehearing in light of the Supreme Court's decision in State v. Comer, 249 N.J. 359 (2022), which had not been decided at the time the judge denied defendant's motion.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1323-21
Decided: 2022-11-15
Caption: RYAN FUNK v. TOWNSHIP OF WEST ORANGE
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Plaintiffs are police officers employed by the Township of West Orange (Township). On November 9, 2021, they filed a lawsuit against the Township in Superior Court, contending the Township had violated N.J.S.A. 40A:14-147 by placing plaintiffs on unpaid leave pursuant to the Township's COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy. Plaintiffs sought an order reinstating them or placing them on paid status and awarding them back pay. In a December 1, 2021 order, the trial court dismissed plaintiffs' complaint and denied their requested relief. On January 5, 2022, plaintiffs filed with us a notice of appeal of that order.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1450-21
Decided: 2022-11-15
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. ABELARDO LOPEZ, JR
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Abelardo Lopez, Jr., a non-citizen of the United States, appeals from a December 17, 2021 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm because the petition was procedurally barred and otherwise lacked merit.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2901-20
Decided: 2022-11-15
Caption: WILLIAM CELMAR v. INDIAN ORCHARD NAVESINK, LLC
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In the summer of 2019, Indian Orchard Navesink, LLC entered into a two-year residential lease with William J. Celmar for a single-family home in Red Bank at a monthly rent of $16,250. In addition to prohibiting the tenant from assigning the lease or subletting the property, the lease prohibited Celmar from permitting "any other person to use the Property without the prior writ ten permission of the Landlord." Celmar, however, had the written permission of Indian Orchard to permit Carrie Martino and her children to use the property. Erin Ecklof, Indian Orchard's general manager of real estate, completed a Red Bank certificate of occupancy compliance form noting they would be residing in the premises from the inception of the lease.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a3524-20
Decided: 2022-11-15
Caption: GREGORY VAN SCIVER v. JERSEY MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, INC -
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Petitioner Gregory Van Sciver was severely injured when a tank filled with acetylene gas exploded in his car. Following a trial, a workers' compensation judge found that the accident arose out of and in the course of petitioner's employment and his injuries were compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act (the WC Act), N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 to -147. Petitioner's employer, Jersey Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (the Employer or Jersey Mechanical), appeals from the order awarding petitioner workers' compensation benefits. Because there is substantial credible evidence supporting the compensation judge's finding that petitioner was on a special mission for his Employer when the accident occurred, we affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a3598-20
Decided: 2022-11-15
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. RASOOL McCRIMMON
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following his conviction for murder and weapons offenses, on August 13, 2007, the trial court sentenced defendant Rasool McCrimmon to a fifty-year term of imprisonment with a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility. Eight days later, after the State informed the court that it failed to impose the mandatory period of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, the court resentenced defendant to a fifty-year term of imprisonment subject to NERA's eighty-five percent parole disqualifier. Now, defendant, who is self-represented, appeals from a July 7, 2021 order denying his motion to correct what he contends is an illegal sentence. We disagree and affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a5157-18
Decided: 2022-11-15
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. TERRENCE L. STROTHERS
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following a fifteen-day trial, a jury agreed with the State's claims that defendant Terrence L. Strothers' year-long dispute over a woman with another man, Shane Stevens, resulted in defendant assaulting Shane by firing a flare at Shane's car; and later that same day recruiting some friends––to aid in his retribution––who fired two flares at Shane's family's home, causing its destruction. In reaching its verdict, the jury found defendant guilty of eleven of the State's thirteen charges. 1 Defendant was convicted of third-degree conspiracy to commit arson, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1), as a lesser-included offense of second-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated arson, N.J.S.A. 2C:17-la(1) and/or N.J.S.A. 2C:17-la(2); third-degree arson, N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1b(1), as a lesser-included offense of second-degree aggravated arson, N.J.S.A. 2C:17-la(l) and/or N.J.S.A. 2C:17- la(2); third-degree conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3a(1); third-degree criminal mischief, N.J.S.A. 2C:17- 3a(1); third-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:5- 2a(1) and/or 2C:12-lb(7), as a lesser-included offense of second-degree conspiracy to committed aggravated assault; third-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-lb(7), as a lesser-included offense of second-degree aggravated assault; second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-lb(l); two counts of third-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; and three counts of fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d. Following merger, defendant received an aggregate eleven-year sentence for second-degree aggravated assault subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, consecutive to a four-year sentence for third- degree arson, third-degree criminal mischief, and the third- and fourth-degree weapons offenses. Defendant was also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the Stevens. Defendant appeals his convictions and sentence. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a0508-21
Decided: 2022-11-14
Caption: DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES v. D.E. (MONKEY BARS LEARNING CENTER)
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Following a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), the Department of Children and Families (the Department) entered a final agency decision affirming revocation by the Office of Licensing (OOL) of Monkey Bars Learning Center's (the Center) license to operate a childcare center.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a1705-20
Decided: 2022-11-14
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MARCAL N. CAMPBELL
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM In these appeals we scheduled back-to-back and consolidate for the purpose of issuing a single opinion, defendants Marcal N. Campbell and Edward D. Woodson challenge orders denying their separate post-conviction relief (PCR) petitions without evidentiary hearings. Unpersuaded by their contentions the PCR courts erred by finding they failed to present sufficient evidence establishing prima facie cases that their respective trial counsel were ineffective and by denying their petitions without evidentiary hearings, we affirm the challenged orders.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a2134-20
Decided: 2022-11-14
Caption: KENNETH HINES v. NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Kenneth Hines, an inmate currently confined in South Woods State Prison, appeals from a final determination of the Department of Corrections (DOC), which upheld a guilty finding and sanctions for committing the institutional disciplinary offense $1.204,1 use of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) such as drugs, intoxicants, or related paraphernalia not prescribed for the inmate by the medical or dental staff, N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a)(2). We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a3342-21
Decided: 2022-11-14
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. ZHARIA Z. YOUNG
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM We granted defendant Zharia Z. Young leave to appeal from a May 10, 2022 order, denying her motion to dismiss an indictment charging her with third- degree terroristic threats, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3(a). We affirm.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a3374-20
Decided: 2022-11-14
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MICHAEL J. SIRIANI
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
PER CURIAM Defendant Michael J. Siriani pled guilty to a charge of second-degree robbery in exchange for a recommended discretionary extended term sentence of twenty-years, subject to the No Early Release Act. We affirmed the sentence on direct appeal.

click here to get this case.


Docket No.: a5552-18
Decided: 2022-11-14
Caption: STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. DEREK SCHOR
Status: Unpublished
Summary:
FISHER, P.J.A.D. On August 19, 2017, police attempted to stop defendant Derek Schor's vehicle on Route 23 after he was identified as a possible suspect in the theft of a pack of cigarettes from a gas station in Wayne. Police signaled him to stop, but defendant instead led them on a high-speed chase that came to an end in Riverdale when defendant crashed his truck by hitting a curb, causing the truck to roll over. Defendant crawled out from underneath the wreckage and fled on foot into an overgrown retention pond where police eventually apprehended him.

click here to get this case.


Tax Court Cases