Kenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2017 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at VercammenAppointments@NJlaws.com, call or visit www.njlaws.com

(732) 572-0500

Saturday, May 12, 2018

JOHN S. WISNIEWSKI, ETC. VS. PHIL MURPHY, ET AL. IN THE MATTER OF THE NJEDA/STATE LEASE REVENUE BONDS 2017 SERIES AND STATE LEASE REVENUE REFUNDING BONDS 2017 SERIES (STATE HOUSE PROJECT) AND IN THE MATTER OF STATE CAPITOL JOINT MANAGEMENT COMMISSION MOTION APPROVING THE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RENOVATION OF THE EXECUTIVE STATE HOUSE. IN THE MATTER OF THE APPROVAL OF THE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RENOVATION OF THE EXECUTIVE STATE HOUSE. (L-1002-17, MERCER COUNTY AND STATEWIDE, NEW JERSEY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, AND STATE CAPITOL JOINT MANAGEMENT COMMISSION)(RECORD IMPOUNDED)(CONSOLIDATED) (A-4689-16T2/

These consolidated appeals involve a challenge to decisions by two state agencies to finance a comprehensive renovation of the State Capitol complex. The agencies resolved to issue $300 million in bonds and to repay the bonds with rental payments pursuant to a lease of the State Capitol complex.
Plaintiff John S. Wisniewski, then a state legislator, filed a complaint challenging the agencies' actions on the basis that they violated the Debt Limitation Clause (DLC) of the New Jersey Constitution. At the time the complaint was filed, the bonds had already been sold and distributed into the marketplace. Consequently, the trial court dismissed the complaint as moot.
In No. A-4689-16, plaintiff appeals the trial court's determination that his complaint is moot. In Nos. A-4693-16 and A-4698-16, he appeals the final agency decisions. The panel finds the appeals are technically moot. Notwithstanding, the panel addresses the merits because the issue raised is a matter of significant public importance that is capable of repetition while evading review.
The panel concludes the issuance of the bonds to finance the renovations of the State Capitol complex did not violate the DLC. The panel further concludes the State Capitol Joint Management Commission acted within its delegated authority in approving the renovations and entering into the lease/leaseback agreement, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority possessed the requisite authority to issue the bonds to fund the renovations.

RAUL AUGUSTIN JIMENEZ, ET AL. VS. RAUL ANIBAL JIMENEZ (L-0025-12, MIDDLESEX COUNTY AND STATEWIDE) (A-2495-16T1

This appeal poses the legal question of whether N.J.S.A. 46:3-17.4, a statute that became effective in 1988, precludes a spouse's unsecured creditor from obtaining the forced partition of real property the spouse and his non-debtor spouse own together as tenants by the entirety. The panel affirms the trial court's ruling that the statute prohibits such non-consensual partition. The statute supersedes and nullifies earlier case law, such as Newman v. Chase, 70 N.J. 254, 262 (1976), which had allowed such a creditor's remedy in certain equitable circumstances.

STUART GOLDMAN VS. CRITTER CONTROL OF NEW JERSEY, ET AL. STUART GOLDMAN VS. MADISON CARLSTROM, ET AL. (L-1852-16 AND L-1173-16, MONMOUTH COUNTY AND STATEWIDE) (CONSOLIDATED) (A-1392-16T2/A-3906-16T2)

In these appeals, consolidated for our opinion, plaintiff sued defendants under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCAA), N.J.S.A. 4:22-11.1 to -60, to recover civil penalties for acts that he contended constituted animal cruelty under its provisions. Plaintiff lacked standing to sue in his individual capacity and the cases were dismissed. He contends the complaints were filed as qui tam actions under N.J.S.A. 4:22-26 which provided, in relevant part, that a person who violates the PCAA shall pay a civil penalty according to a schedule in the statute "to be sued for and recovered, with costs, in a civil action by any person in the name of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals".
We decline to interpret N.J.S.A. 4:22-26 as authorizing private citizens, who otherwise would not have standing, to sue for civil penalties under the PCAA in qui tam actions against other parties, who they alleged may have committed acts of animal cruelty. The language relied on by plaintiff does not signal authority for qui tam litigation in light of the PCAA's other provisions nor was it supported by the legislative history or case law. We affirm the dismissal of these cases for lack of standi

IN RE ADOPTION OF N.J.A.C. 17:1-6.4, 17:1-7.5 AND 17:1-7.10 (NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, DIVISION OF PENSION AND BENEFITS) (A-2171-16T3)

The New Jersey Education Association challenged regulations pertaining to the disability retirement process for various State retirement systems. In upholding most of the regulations – except those requiring applicants to pay for subsequent independent medical examinations and related addenda – this court maintained the requirement that eligibility for disability retirement benefits requires members to show that they cannot work due to a disability.

In the Matter of State and School Employees' Health Benefits Commissions’ Implementation of In the Matter of Philip Yucht (Statewide) (A-21-17;

Because significant questions exist concerning the extent of the notice actually provided, either by the Commissions or through their agents to active employees, former employees, and retirees, a hearing is necessary. The hearing is to be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in this opinion and, at the hearing, the adequacy of the content of the notice can be raised.

Petro-Lubricant Testing Laboratories Inc. Asher Adelman (Sussex County and Statewide) (A-39-16; 078597)

The single publication rule applies to an internet article. However, if a material and substantive change is made to the article’s defamatory content, then the modified article will constitute a republication, restarting the statute of limitations. In this case, there are genuine issues of disputed fact concerning whether Adelman made a material and substantive change to the original article, and the Appellate Division erred in dismissing the defamation action based on the single publication rule. However, the modified article is entitled to the protection of the fair report privilege. The article is a full, fair, and accurate recitation of a court-filed complaint. The trial court properly dismissed the defamation action, and on that basis the Court affirms the Appellate Division’s judgment