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Sunday, July 23, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF WILLIAM R. HENDRICKSON, JR., DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS A-3675-15T1


IN THE MATTER OF WILLIAM R. HENDRICKSON, JR., DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
A-3675-15T1
If an agency fails to timely act on an administrative law judge's initial decision, by statute it is "deemed adopted," and becomes final. See N.J.S.A. 52:14B-10(c). The court holds that when the lack of a quorum attributable to vacancies caused the agency inaction, the deferential agency standard of review will not be employed. Instead, the court will review the decision using the standard for decisions rendered in bench trials. 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, EX REL. LEONARD M. CAMPAGNA VS. POST INTEGRATIONS, INC., EBOCOM, INC., AND MARY GERDTS A-1463-15T1


STATE OF NEW JERSEY, EX REL. LEONARD M. CAMPAGNA VS.
          POST INTEGRATIONS, INC., EBOCOM, INC., AND MARY GERDTS
          A-1463-15T1
In this qui tam action, the court was 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), N.J.S.A. 2A:32C-1 to - 18. The statutory obligations included the alternative minimum tax required by the Corporation Business Tax Act, N.J.S.A. 54:10A-1 to -40, and assessments and fees imposed upon foreign corporations by the New Jersey Business Corporation Act, N.J.S.A. 14A:13-1 to -23. The court held that such obligations are taxes as contemplated by the NJFCA and, therefore, the Law Division properly dismissed plaintiff's complaint, which alleged that defendants violated the NJFCA by making false statements in order to avoid paying New Jersey "assessments, fees, license costs and other charges." 

JOHN SMITH VS. ARVIND R. DATLA, M.D., ET AL. A-1339-16T3

JOHN SMITH VS. ARVIND R. DATLA, M.D., ET AL.
          A-1339-16T3
This interlocutory appeal presents novel statute of limitations issues. Plaintiff sued defendants for monetary damages and attorney's fees for (1) invasion of privacy for harmful public disclosure of private facts, (2) violation of the AIDS Assistance Act, N.J.S.A. 26:5C-1 to -14, and (3) medical malpractice arising out the defendant-doctor's alleged disclosure that plaintiff was HIV-positive in the presence of a third party without plaintiff's consent. Defendants moved to dismiss plaintiff's complaint because it was filed more than one year after the disclosure event.
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The trial court denied defendants' motion, holding that a two-year statute of limitations applied to all three causes of action. The appellate panel affirmed, agreeing that each of plaintiff's causes of action were subject to the two-year statute of limitations imposed by N.J.S.A. 2A:14-2, not the one- year statute of limitations for defamation imposed by N.J.S.A. 2A:14-3. 

FRANCINE REIBMAN, ETC. VS. JAY H. MYERS, ETC., ET AL. A-0332-15T2


FRANCINE REIBMAN, ETC. VS. JAY H. MYERS, ETC., ET AL.
          A-0332-15T2
In this appeal, the Appellate Division was asked to consider whether plaintiff's property rights in the marital home under the New Jersey Joint Possession Statute N.J.S.A. 3B:28-3 were released, extinguished, or merged by virtue of a subsequent deed granting title by the entirety with defendant husband. This court holds, when plaintiff obtained a fee interest she lost protection under N.J.S.A. 3B:28-3 because her possessory interest merged into the greater fee estate.
As such, plaintiff's interest was subject to liens and an equitable mortgage, particularly, as here, where plaintiff was aware of and enjoyed the benefit of those loans and the parties intended the property to secure repayment. 

OCWEN LOAN SERVICES, LLC VS. MARLA WUEBBENS QUINN A-2668-14T3

OCWEN LOAN SERVICES, LLC VS. MARLA WUEBBENS QUINN
          A-2668-14T3(NEWLY PUBLISHED OPINION FOR JULY 10, 2017)
In 2004, defendants David and Louisa Wuebbens conveyed their home to their daughter, Marla Wuebbens Quinn, while retaining life estates in the property. In 2005, Quinn and defendants executed a $260,000 mortgage on the property in favor of plaintiff's assignor, IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. (the 2005 mortgage). In 2007, Quinn refinanced the mortgage loan for $380,000 with IndyMac (the 2007 mortgage) and used the proceeds, in part, to satisfy the 2005 mortgage. IndyMac's title commitment failed to disclose defendants' recorded life estate interests in the property. As a result, defendants did not execute the 2007 mortgage.
In 2009, IndyMac filed an action to foreclose the 2007 mortgage after Quinn defaulted. The issue presented is whether plaintiff's 2007 mortgage lien takes priority over defendants' earlier recorded life estate interests in the property. Applying principles of replacement and modification recognized in the Restatement (Third) of Property Mortgages (1997), the
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court extends its holding in Sovereign Bank v. Gillis, 432 N.J. Super. 36 (App. Div. 2013), so as to grant plaintiff's mortgage limited priority over defendants' life estates. Consequently, the court "capped" plaintiff's mortgage priority at $260,000, and preserved the priority of defendants' life estates over the portion of the 2007 mortgage loan that exceeded that amount. 

FISHER, KRYSTAL AND DAVID VS. CITY OF MILLVILLE A-3351-15T3

FISHER, KRYSTAL AND DAVID VS. CITY OF MILLVILLE
          A-3351-15T3
The court reviewed the statutory requirements for a personal residence real estate tax exemption, granted to certain disabled veterans, honorably discharged, who served in "active service in time of war." Construing the Legislative intent the court concluded the military conflict applicable to plaintiff's period of service, Operation "Enduring Freedom," occurring on or after September 11, 2001, requires the disabling injury occur during service "in a theater of operation and in direct support of that operation." This geographic component was not satisfied by plaintiff who was injured during stateside basic training and never sent with her unit to Afghanistan. Accordingly, plaintiff's disabling injuries were not suffered in a theater of operation or in direct support of a theater of operation, and
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thus, were not the result of "active service in time of war," as defined in N.J.S.A. 54:4-8.10(a). 

DUTCH RUN-MAYS DRAFT, LLC VS. WOLF BLOCK, LLP A-0922-15T4


DUTCH RUN-MAYS DRAFT, LLC VS. WOLF BLOCK, LLP
          A-0922-15T4
Reviewing a general jurisdiction challenge, the Appellate Division rejected plaintiff's argument asserting a foreign corporation's registration and acceptance of service of process in New Jersey constituted consent to submit to the general jurisdiction of the courts. Rather, the court adopted the circumscribed view stated in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 746 187 L. Ed. 2d 624 (2014), which requires a court focus on an entity's affiliation with the state, such as the place of incorporation or a continuous, systematic course of business, making the entity "at home" in the forum. Id. at __, 134 S. Ct. at 761, 187 L. Ed. 2d at 641. In light of Daimler, the court rejects the holding in Allied-Signal, Inc. v. Purex Inds., Inc., 242 N.J. Super. 362, 366 (App. Div. 1990), basing general jurisdiction solely on the fiction of implied consent by a foreign corporation's compliance with New Jersey's business registration statute.