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

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance and the Bear Education and Resource Group v. New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection

10-22-07* A-1463-05T3; A-1382-06T3

The 2005 Comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan should
have been, but was not, adopted pursuant to the rulemaking
provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. Having not been
so adopted, there was no black bear management policy in effect
in 2006 or 2007, and the decision of the Commissioner of the
Department of Environmental Protection not to implement the
policy is therefore affirmed. [*Approved for Publication date]

Mercer Mutual Insurance Company v. Joseph N. Proudman, Sr.

10-22-07 A-1287-06T5

Third-party plaintiffs (plaintiffs) brought a products
liability action against cigarette manufacturer after a
cigarette that was left burning caused a fire. We held that
plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted because burning is an inherent characteristic of
cigarettes that is apparent to the ordinary user, which cannot
be eliminated without impairing the usefulness of the product.
Plaintiffs conceded at oral argument on appeal that a selfextinguishing
cigarette could only reduce, not eliminate the
danger.

Michael Sternesky v. Ana Cecilia Salcie-Sternesky

10-22-07 A-5932-05T3

We consider equitable distribution of an accidental
disability retirement allowance awarded by the Board of Trustees
of the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS). The Board has
not provided guidance on segregation of the marital and
individual components of a disability pension, as we encouraged
in Larrison v. Larrison, 392 N.J. Super. 1, 18 (App. Div. 2007).
The parties in this case did not provide the trial court with
evidence that would permit such segregation, which we found
necessary in Larrison and Avallone v. Avallone, 275 N.J. Super.
575 (App. Div. 1994). We provide a formula for identification
of the marital component of a PFRS accidental disability
retirement allowance, which is inferable from the statutory
scheme and decisions of our courts addressing equitable
distribution of retirement assets, and we hold that a trial
court should apply that formula in the absence of relevant
evidence or guidance from the Legislature or Board.

Walter Sroczynski v. John Milek

10-19-07* A-3103-06T1

In order for an insurer's cancellation of a workers'
compensation policy to be effective, the insurer must file a
"certified statement" of cancellation with the Commissioner of
Banking and Insurance as required by N.J.S.A. 34:15-81(b). The
failure to do so renders the cancellation ineffective, even if
the insurer has complied with all other applicable statutory
requirements for cancellation. We also reject the insurer's
substantial compliance argument under Bernstein v. Bd. of Trs.,
151 N.J. Super. 71, 76-77 (App. Div. 1977). (*Approved for
Publication Date)

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Town & Country Developers, Inc.

10-19-07 A-5940-05T1

In this environmental enforcement action under the Water
Pollution Control Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1 to -35, we upheld
a civil administrative penalty of $604,110 against a developer
for not securing a DEP permit for sewer hookup prior to
construction of a major residential development, even though
there was no discharge of pollutants. We rejected defendant's
contention that its violation was "minor" and therefore exempted
as falling within the Grace Period Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-125 to
-133, finding instead that the violation was purposeful,
irremediable, and undermines the very purpose of the dry-sewer
law prohibitions under the Act. As to the latter, we conclude
that defendant's failure to obtain pre-approval deprived the DEP
of its authority to decide, in the first instance, whether the
project may adversely affect sewer infrastructure and statewide
water quality.

Rachel G. Shuster v. Board of Review

10-18-07 A-1880-06T2

Defendant employer notified plaintiff that she was not a
candidate for partner at his veterinary office, and that she
would need to find new employment as soon as possible. After
leaving her employer on the basis of tension in the workplace,
giving sixty days notice pursuant to her contract of employment,
plaintiff's claim for unemployment was contested by defendant
employer and subsequently denied. Plaintiff first appealed to
the Appeal Tribunal, which affirmed the denial of her claim, and
next to the Board of Review of the Department of Labor, which
also affirmed the denial of her claim. Both the Appeal Tribunal
and the Board of Review relied upon N.J.S.A. 12:17-9.5 in
determining that plaintiff was ineligible for benefits, stating
that plaintiff's separation from her employer was not imminent.
We held that the Appeal Tribunal and Board of Review
mistakenly relied upon N.J.S.A. 12:17-9.5 in finding that
plaintiff's separation from her employer was not imminent. The
parties were obligated to each other under the employment
contract to provide sixty days notice before terminating the
employment relationship. Thus, the "within" sixty days
provision of N.J.S.A. 12:17-9.5 did not apply to plaintiff.
Further, the regulation does not mandate disqualification from
unemployment benefits. Because plaintiff had good cause for
voluntarily leaving her employer attributable to defendant
employer's statements regarding her seemingly imminent layoff,
we reversed the decision of the Board of Review.

Rhonda Bosland v. Warnock Dodge, Inc., d/b/a Warnock Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep

10-18-07 A-1369-06T5
In this Consumer Fraud Act case, we hold that as long as a
consumer is able to demonstrate a loss that is quantifiable and
measurable, the consumer need not demand a refund of any
overcharge prior to filing suit in order to satisfy the Act's
"ascertainable loss" requirement. In so holding, we part
company with the decision in Feinberg v. Red Bank Volvo, 331
N.J. Super. 506 (App. Div. 2000), which held otherwise.
We further hold that in order to satisfy the requirements
of the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act,
N.J.S.A. 56:12-14 to -18 (TCCWNA), a consumer need not allege
that the contract language was confusing. Such provision is a
part of the Plain Language Act, N.J.S.A. 56:12-2 to -13, which
is separate and distinct from the TCCWNA.

In the Matter of the Trust Under Agreement of Blanche P. Billings Vander Poel

10-17-07 A-0983-04T5

The settlor established a trust in 1950 under New Jersey
law with her son as income beneficiary for life and a gift of
the remainder to his "issue." Two years later the son married a
woman with a ten-year-old daughter, the appellant, and three
natural children resulted from that marriage. The son inquired
into adopting the appellant as a minor, but was unable to do so
because the family was then living abroad. Later he adopted the
appellant as an adult, some thirteen years after the settlor's
death.

Held that while an adopted child will equally participate
in a remainder class gift to "issue," an adult adoptee may not
so inherit from a "stranger to the adoption." The concept of
equitable adoption, while providing a judicial remedy in the
case of a child, is inapplicable to an adult adoptee. The
record indicated that the settlor's probable intention was not
to include an adopted child in the remainder gift to her son's
issue.

Long Branch Housing Authority vs. Toni Villano

10-16-07* A-4617-05T1

A tenant in public housing that is under the control of a
public housing agency may be removed from the leased premises
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1e(2) when the tenant
substantially violates a covenant or agreement pertaining to
illegal uses of controlled dangerous substances, provided the
covenant or agreement conforms to applicable federal guidelines.
Moreover, federal law permits a tenant to be evicted from public
housing when a member of the household or guest engages in drugrelated
criminal activity in the leased premises, regardless of
whether the tenant knew or should have known of the illegal
activity. (*Approved for Publication date)

Housing Authority of the city of Bayonne v. Deborah Mims

10-15-07 A-5158-05T3

In this eviction action, the trial court found that
plaintiff had established grounds for eviction but also found
that the action was retaliatory, in violation of the Tenant
Reprisal Act (TRA), N.J.S.A. 2A:42-10.10 to -10.14. However,
the judge then determined that the TRA was preempted by federal
law governing public housing authorities. We reversed,
concluding that the TRA was not preempted by the federal
statutes and regulations.

Elizabeth Trimarco v. Anne Trimarco

10-15-07 A-4093-05T5

The issue is whether an allegedly oppressed minority
shareholder, whose derivative lawsuit on behalf of a corporation
under N.J.S.A. 14A:12-7 ultimately settled, is otherwise
entitled to counsel fees under Rule 4:42-9(a)(2)'s "fund in
court" provision where there is no actual or specific "fund" out
of which such fees could be awarded.
We upheld the trial court's discretionary award of counsel
fees in this case, finding that the Rule is satisfied where
shareholder litigation confers some benefit on the corporation,
whether pecuniary or intangible, justifying shifting of the
financial burden of producing the benefit to all those who would
enjoy it.

Philip Menichetti v. Palermo Supply Company

10-10-07 A-2290-06T1

We construed N.J.S.A. 34:15-64c of the Workers'
Compensation Act, which permits an employer to pay a reduced
amount of the employee's counsel fees if the employer makes a
good faith offer of compensation prior to the hearing. We held
that the employer is entitled to the statutory reduction in fees
where the employer makes an offer of compensation before having
the employee examined by its doctor, even if the offer is higher
than the percentage of disability the doctor eventually
determines. We noted that the statutory scheme may deprive a
petitioner's attorney of fees for work performed before the
employer makes an offer, but arguments for amendment of the
statute must be directed to the Legislature.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Extension of Time for Discovery in civil in NJ

Parties may extend the track-allotted discovery period up to 60 days, by consent.
Such extension may be obtained by signed stipulation filed with the court or by
application to the Civil Division Manager or team leader, by telephone or by letter copied
to all parties, representing that all parties have consented to the extension. Any such
consensual extension of discovery must be sought prior to the expiration of the discovery
period, and any telephone application for extension must thereafter be confirmed in
writing to all parties by the party seeking the extension. See R. 4:24-1(c). If parties do
not agree, or if an extension greater than 60 days is sought, a formal motion must be filed
with the Civil Presiding Judge or his or her designee. Any such application for discovery
may be granted for good cause shown, and the order must describe the discovery to be
engaged in and specify the date by which discovery is to be completed. Absent
exceptional circumstances, no discovery extension is to be permitted once an arbitration
or trial date is set.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com
Types of Discovery
In any civil action, parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following
methods:
 Depositions upon oral examination or written questions (R. 4:14)
 Written interrogatories (R. 4:17)
 Production of documents or things (R. 4:18)
 Permission to enter upon land for inspection (R. 4:18)
 Physical and mental examinations (R. 4:19)
 Requests for admissions (R. 4:22).


Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter which is relevant to the subject
matter involved in the pending action whether it relates to the claim or defense of the
party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party.
e. Track IV Discovery Period
Rule R. 4:24-1(a) states that Track III and Track IV cases are entitled 450 days’
discovery, except as otherwise provided by R. 4:69-4 (prerogative writs).
f. Posting of Discovery End Dates on Web
The discovery end dates for all pending civil cases are posted on the Judiciary’s
website www.njcourtsonline.com. The information posted on the website is updated
nightly.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Time for Discovery in civil in NJ

The time for completion of discovery and other pretrial procedures depends upon
the track to which the case is assigned. The case type normally determines the track on
which the case will be placed. The applicable discovery periods for each track are:
Track I (150 days’ discovery)
Track II (300 days’ discovery)
Track III (450 days’ discovery)
Track IV (450 days’ discovery).
b. Calculation of Discovery Period
Discovery runs from the date the first answer is filed or from 90 days after the first
defendant is served, whichever is first. See R. 4:24-1.
c. Discovery End Date Notice
Pursuant to R. 4:36 -2, the court must send every party a discovery end date notice
60 days prior to the end of the prescribed discovery period.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Time for Amendment of pleading in NJ

A pleading may be amended without obtaining court permission at any time before
the opposing party responds to the original pleading. Thereafter, pleadings may be
amended with the written consent of the adversary or with the court’s permission. Such
written consent may include a consent order, a letter from both attorneys, or a letter from
one attorney representing that all parties consent and copying all counsel and pro se
parties. Permission to amend and/or supplement is obtained by filing a motion, which
must have attached to it a copy of the proposed amended pleading. All amended or
supplemental pleadings require responses from the adversaries in the litigation. See R.
4:9.
More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Individual Judge Management of Cases on Tracks I, II and III

Individual judge management may be available to cases on Tracks I, II, and III, if
the court determines it to be necessary, either on the request of a party or sua sponte; this
degree of management, however, should not result in reassignment of the case to Track
IV.
b. Pretrial Judge Upon Consolidation
When two or more cases are consolidated, and one or more, but not all, of the
cases eventually are disposed, the remaining case (s) will generally stay with the judge
who had managed the consolidated case.
c. Judicial Case Management/Calendaring
Cases on Tracks I, II and III should be handled by the same pretrial judge from
filing at least through discovery, and for cases on Track IV by the same managing judge
from filing through trial, barring exceptional circumstances. See R. 4:5A-1, -2. A judge
other than the designated pretrial or managing judge may nonetheless handle a settlement
conference in any case, and block scheduling of settlement conferences (e.g., “settlement
days” involving many cases from a designated carrier) may continue. The oversight of
the designated pretrial judge in cases on Tracks I, II and III does not necessarily extend
beyond the track-allotted discovery period plus 60 days. Thereafter, motions to extend
discovery further may be handled by the Civil Presiding Judge or his or her designee.
See R. 4:24-1. Civil Presiding Judges retain the authority to assign particular cases or
classes of cases to particular judges for oversight of all pretrial activity prior to the end of
the track-allotted discovery period plus 60 days. For example, a single pretrial judge may
be designated to handle all medical malpractice cases filed in the vicinage. An initial
case management conference in all Track IV cases is to be conducted within 60 days of
joinder (except in prerogative writ cases, which are governed by R. 4:69 -4).
In cases on any track the number of case management conferences is within the
discretion of the pretrial or managing judge. Case management conferences should not
ordinarily be held after a case is ready for trial. All decisions and directives issued at a
case management conference must be memorialized by court order, pursuant to R. 1:2- 6.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Intervention

A party seeking to intervene in a pending civil action must file a motion. The
motion must be accompanied by the proposed complaint or answer, a CIS and the
applicable filing fee. See R. 4:33- 3. A party seeking to intervene normally has not
suffered a personal harm, as did the plaintiff, but nonetheless may have an interest in the
litigation because the litigation may, for example, involve a matter of some greater public
significance.

When a plaintiff seeks interpleader, he or she must file a complaint setting forth all
the claims which may expose the plaintiff to double or multiple liability and joining all
persons having claims as defendants. The complaint usually demands a judgment
requiring the defendants to interplead their claims, enjoining them from prosecuting those
claims against the plaintiff, discharging the plaintiff from liability and seeking costs. The
defendants answer the complaint and assert their claims by cross- claims against each
other.


More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Interpleader

Interpleader is one means of joining multiple parties to a lawsuit and is provided
for in R. 4:31. Interpleader may occur when the plaintiff possesses a fund to which
several persons claim ownership. The plaintiff, who has no personal interest in the fund,
interpleads the various claimants for an adjudication of the competing claims.
Interpleader is based on the beliefs that adverse claimants should litigate between or
among themselves their conflicting rights or claims and that a plaintiff should be
protected from exposure to double or multiple liability. Another example of a situation in
which an interpleader maybe filed involves a realtor who asks the court to ascertain who
is entitled to a deposit held by the realtor after a buyer and seller of real property have a
dispute and the agreement to sell the real property is not consummated, leaving the
realtor holding a deposit in escrow.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Third Party Complaints

A third party complaint or impleader is an action by the defendant that brings a
third party not previously named into a lawsuit. The third party complaint must be
accompanied by the appropriate filing fee.
A third party plaintiff must serve the third party complaint along with summons,
CIS and TAN and must abide by the rules covering service of process. A third party
defendant must reply to the complaint or risk having a default entered for failure to
respond. If default is not timely filed, the third party complaint may be dismissed
pursuant to R. 1:13- 7.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Cross claim

A crossclaim is a claim by a defendant against another named defendant. It must
be asserted in an answer to the plaintiff’s complaint. Since the crossclaim is part of the
answer, it must be served on all other parties in the same manner as an ordinary answer to
the complaint is served. A crossclaim for contribution or indemnification need not be
answered. See R. 4:7-5.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Counterclaims

A counterclaim is a claim made by the defendant in a suit against the plaintiff.
Since the counterclaim is normally part of the answer, it is served on all other parties in
the same manner as an ordinary answer to the complaint. Therefore, there is no need for
a summons to accompany the counterclaim. The counterclaim or answer and
counterclaim must be accompanied by the applicable filing fee. A counterclaim must be
answered or the counterclaim is subject to dismissal pursuant to R. 1:13-7.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Answers in Civil cases in NJ

A signed answer must be accompanied by a completed and signed CIS and the
appropriate filing fee. Answers and CIS forms must be signed by a New Jersey licensed
attorney or pro se party, provided that a pro se appearance is permitted by the court rules.
Thus, an answer and CIS submitted on behalf of a corporation must be signed by a New
Jersey licensed attorney. Answers not meeting the paper weight requirements of R. 1:4-9
or not signed or unaccompanied by the proper fee or CIS or submitted after default has
been entered must be returned by the court to the sender stamped “received, but not
filed.”
Answers not complying with other court rules, e.g., does not contain the
certification of service required by R. 4:6-1(d) or signed notices of adoption in lieu of
answer accompanied by the correct filing fee and a completed and signed CIS, are filed
as “non- conforming.” In such instances, the court may, but it is not required to, provide
the filer with notice of the non-conformity as provided by R. 1:5-6(c).
The filing of a non- conforming answer, e.g., without the required certification of
service, will trigger the calculation of the discovery end date and block the generation of
a dismissal notice.


More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Substituted Service

If personal service cannot be made, the rules also provide for substituted service.
See R. 4:4- 4(b) and R. 4:4-5. Methods of substituted service include service by mail and
service by publication of a notice, and the rules set out the circumstances under which
such service may be made as well as the steps attorneys and pro se litigants must follow
to make substituted service.
Note that R. 4:4- 4(c) provides for optimal mailed service by registered, certified or
ordinary mail instead of personal service, when personal service is required. Service
made pursuant to this paragraph of the rule, however, is considered effective only if the
defendant answers or otherwise appears in response to the complaint. Default may not be
entered against a defendant served by mail pursuant to R. 4:4-4(c) who does not answer
or appear. (This prohibition against entry of default does not apply to mailed service
authorized by court order.)
e. Service of Law Division Process by Special Civil Part Officers
Special Civil Part Officers are not permitted to serve Law Division process.
f. Service by E-Mail not Permitted
Absent a special Order of the Court, service by e-mail is not permitted. However,
if service by e-mail is acknowledged by an acknowledgement of service, signed by the
defendant or defendant’s attorney, the acknowledgement may be filed and has the same
effect as if the defendant had been properly served. See R. 4:4-6.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Methods of Personal Service

According to R. 4:4-4, the primary method of obtaining personal jurisdiction over
a defendant is by causing the summons and complaint to be personally served in New
Jersey pursuant to R. 4:4-3. Rule 4:4-4 sets out how personal service may be made on an
adult, a minor, a mentally incapacitated person, sole proprietors and real property owners,
a partnership, a corporation, the State and other public bodies.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Service of the Summons, Complaint, CIS and TAN - - Who May Serve

According to R. 4:4-3(a), the summons shall be served, together with the
complaint (and the required attachments to the complaint which include the CIS pursuant
to R. 4:5- 1(b) and TAN pursuant to R. 4:5A-2), by the sheriff, or by a person specially
appointed by the court for that purpose, or by plaintiff’s attorney or the attorney’s agent,
or by any other competent adult not having a direct interest in the litigation.
If personal service cannot be made after a reasonable and good faith attempt,
which must be described with specificity in the proof of service required by R. 4:4- 7,
service may be made by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint by registered or
certified mail, return receipt requested, to the defendant’s residence or to the residence of
a person authorized by law to accept service for the defendant or, with postal instructions
to deliver to addressee only, to the defendant’s place of business or employment. If the
addressee fails to claim or refuses to accept delivery of the registered or certified mail,
service may be made by ordinary mail addressed to the defendant’s residence. The party
making service may, at the party’s option, make service simultaneously by registered or
certified mail and ordinary mail, and if the addressee fails to claim or refuses accept
delivery of registered mail and if the ordinary mailing is not returned, the simultaneous
mailing constitutes effective service. Mail may be addressed to a post office box in lieu
of a street address only if the sender cannot by diligent effort determine the addressee’s
street address or if the post office does not make street address delivery to the addressee.
The specific facts underlying service must be recited in the proof of service filed with the
court pursuant to R. 1:5-3. See R. 1:5- 2.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Issuance of the Summons

Rule 4:4- 1 provides that the summons must be issued within 15 days from the date
of the TAN. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of the action pursuant to R. 1:13 -7.


More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Change of Track Assignment

A track assignment may be changed either at the outset of a case or as the case
develops, as follows:
 Within 30 days of receipt of the TAN, the plaintiff may apply to the court for a
change of initial track assignment by filing a certification of good cause.
 Any party other than the plaintiff seeking a change of initial track assignment
may file and serve a certification of good cause with its first pleading.
 Objections to the certification of good cause for change of track assignment
must be made within 10 days by responding certification.
 The designated pretrial or managing judge, or his or her designee, should
respond in writing, e.g., by letter or memo, advising of the court’s
determination on the application for change of track assignment.
 Any party who is aggrieved by the court’s determination on such applications
may seek relief by filing a formal motion within 15 days of the entry of the
order.
 Subsequent applications to change a track assignment must be made on formal
motion or on the court’s own motion only if the fundamental cause or causes of
action have changed or if the case type or track was erroneously identified on a
party’s CIS or erroneously entered by staff into the Civil Automated Case
Management System (ACMS). See R. 4:5A-2(b).

 A track assignment should not change to accommodate a party’s (or the
parties’) need for a longer discovery period or because of the alleged
complexity of the case; rather in such situations, the party(ies) may apply to the
pretrial judge for an extension of the discovery end date, which may be granted
in accordance with R. 4:24- 1. See R. 4:5A-2.
 Orders directing track changes should also direct a change to the underlying
case type in accordance with side 2 of the CIS.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Track Assignment Notice

A Track Assignment Notice (TAN) is automatically generated the day after a
complaint is entered and is mailed by the court to the plaintiff with the docketed copy of
the complaint or within 10 days of the filing of the complaint. The TAN will advise the
plaintiff of the track, team, and judge to which the case has been assigned. The TAN
must be attached to, and served with, the summons, complaint and CIS on all parties. See
R. 4:5A-2.
c. Track Assignments for Administratively or Procedurally Complicated
Cases
Cases that are administratively or procedurally complicated are not necessarily
Track IV cases; such cases should be placed and remain on the track to which they are
presumptively assigned based upon case type.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Track Assignments

For purposes of managing and providing for the needs of civil cases, the caseload
is broken down into discrete categories. Cases are assigned to a track upon the filing of
the complaint. The track assignment is based on case type as noted on side 2 of the CIS
and each track provides a specific discovery period based on the presumed discovery
needs of the case types allocated to the particular track. See Rules 1:5- 6 and 4:5- 1; 4:5A-
1, - 2, -3.
The four tracks and the discovery period and case types associated with each are:
Track I – 150 days discovery
151 Name Change
175 Forfeiture
302 Tenancy
399 Real Property
502 Book Account (debt collection matters only)
505 Other Insurance Claim (including declaratory judgment
actions)
506 PIP Coverage
510 UM or UIM Claim
511 Action on a Negotiable Instrument
512 Lemon Law
801 Summary Action
802 Open Public Records Act (Summary Action)
999 Other
Track II – 300 days discovery
305 Construction
509 Employment (other than CEPA or LAD)
599 Contract/Commercial Transaction
603 Auto Negligence - Personal Injury
605 Personal Injury
610 Auto Negligence - Property Damage
699 Tort - Other
Track III – 450 days discovery
005 Civil Rights
301 Condemnation
602 Assault and Battery
604 Medical Malpractice
606 Products Liability

607 Professional Malpractice
608 Toxic Tort
609 Defamation
616 Whistleblower/Conscientious Employee Protection Act
(CEPA) Cases
617 Inverse Condemnation
618 Law Against Discrimination (LAD) Cases
Track IV – Active Case Management by Individual Judge/450 days
discovery
156 Environmental/Environmental Coverage Litigation
303 Mt. Laurel
508 Complex Commercial
513 Complex Construction
514 Insurance Fraud
701 Action in Lieu of Prerogative Writs
Mass Tort (Track IV)
240 Diet Drug
241 Tobacco
248 Ciba Geigy
264 PPA
266 HRT
267 PPA Coverage
268 Manufactured Gas Plant Litigation
271 Accutane
272 Bextra/Celebrex
274 Risperdal/Seroquel/Zyprexa
275 Ortho Evra
276 Depo-Provera
601 Asbestos
619 Vioxx
702 Lead Paint
272 Bextra/Celebrex
274 Risperdal/Seroquel/Zyprexa
275 Ortho Evra.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Mass Torts

Mass Torts
There are a number of Track IV cases that have been designated by the Supreme
Court, pursuant to R. 4:38A, mass tort guidelines and AOC Directive #11- 03, as “mass
torts” and/or approved for centralized case management. A copy of the guidelines,
approved by the Supreme Court on October 23, 2003, appears in the appendix.
Mass tort cases are groups of cases filed in a number of counties and assigned to a
single designated judge for centralized case management. These mass tort judges have
specialized expertise in the handling of such cases. There are currently three mass tort
sites in New Jersey located in Atlantic, Bergen and Middlesex Counties.
In New Jersey, there is no definition of a mass tort. Each group of cases that
ultimately are designated as a mass tort do, however, bear a number of common
characteristics, as noted in the attached guidelines. There have been three general classes
of cases determined thus far in New Jersey to be mass torts. These include:
 large numbers of claims associated with a single product: For example, diet
drugs or other large products liability cases such as tobacco, Norplant, breast

implant, asbestos, Propulsid, Rezulin, PPA and latex litigation.
 mass disasters: These cases are characterized by a commonality of technical
and legal issues. The Durham Woods pipeline explosion litigation is a good
example of this type of case.
 complex environmental cases and toxic torts: These cases are characterized by
a large number of parties with claims arising from a common event. An
example of this type of case is the Ciba-Geigy litigation.
Some of the possible characteristics of a mass tort include:
 large number of parties involved;
 many claims involving common, recurrent issues of law and fact that are
associated with a single product, mass disaster, or very complex environmental
or toxic tort;
 geographical dispersement of parties;
 parties having common injuries and damage issues;
 value interdependence between different claims, that is, causation and liability
aspects are often dependent upon the success or failure of similar lawsuits in
other jurisdictions; and
 degree of remoteness between the court and actual decision-makers in the
litigation - i.e., the fact that the simplest of decisions often must pass through
layers of local, regional, national, general and house counsel.
The cases currently designated as mass torts are:
Accutane (271) – actions against the manufacturers of Accutane and others for
damages arising from its use.
Asbestos (601) - actions against the manufacturers, suppliers, distributors or
others for damages arising from the exposure to asbestos.
Bextra/Celebrex (272) – actions against manufacturers of the drugs Bextra and
Celebrex and others for damages allegedly caused by ingestion of one or both of
these drugs.
Ciba Geigy (248) - actions for damages or medical monitoring arising out of the
environmental contamination of the byproducts of chemical manufacturing in
Toms River, New Jersey.

Depo- Provera (276) – actions for damages or medical monitoring arising out of
the use of the contraceptive Depo-Provera.
Diet Drug (240) - actions against manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and others
for damages due to the use of the diet drugs Redux or Phen-Fen.
HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) (266) – actions against manufacturers,
sellers, distributors or others for damages arising from the use of Hormone
Replacement Therapy.
Lead Paint (702) – actions by municipalities against various manufacturers and
distributors of lead-based paint seeking damages including costs of detecting and
removing lead- based paint, for providing medical care to lead-poisoned residents
and for developing public education programs concerning the hazards of lead-
based paint.
Manufactured Gas Plant Litigation (268) – actions arising from the emission of
chemicals into the environment by manufactured gas plants over numerous years.
Ortho- Evra (275) – actions against the manufacturer and others for damages
arising from the use of the Ortho-Evra Birth Control Patch.
PPA - (Phenylpropanolamine) (264) - actions against the manufacturers, sellers,
distributors or others for damages arising from the use of PPA, an ingredient in
over-the-counter cold and weight- loss mediations.
PPA Coverage (267) – actions relating to insurance coverage issues involving
PPA.
Risperdal/Seroquel/Zyprexa (274) – actions against the manufacturers and
others of the drugs Risperdal/Seroquel/Zyprexa for damages arising from their
use.
Tobacco (241) – actions against manufacturers and others of tobacco products for
damages arising from use and exposure to them.
Vioxx (619) - actions against the manufacturers, suppliers, distributors or others
for damages arising from the use of the drug Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory
medication used to treat arthritis and menstrual pain.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Case Type Definitions

There are many different types of cases filed in the Law Division, Civil Part of the
Superior Court. These include:
Action in Lieu of Prerogative Writs (case type code 701) - appeal from a
decision of or failure to act on the part of a local governmental body, such as a
Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Board; limited to an appeal on the record
below. These matters are governed by R. 4:69- 4.
Rule 6:1-2 sets forth with specificity those types of actions that are
cognizable in the Special Civil Part and since Actions in Lieu of Prerogative Writs
are not included among the types of actions listed, such actions are not cognizable
in the Special Civil Part and thus may not be filed there. See also R. 4:69-1 and
AOC Directive #2-01.
These cases are assigned to Track IV to ensure individual judge
management, even though most will not need 450 days’ discovery. An informal
conference, by telephone or in chambers, must be held within 30 days of joinder to
determine factual and legal disputes, mark exhibits, establish a briefing schedule,
and if necessary, a discovery schedule. At least five days before the conference,
parties shall submit a statement of factual and legal issues and an exhibit list to the
managing judge. The complaint must be accompanied by a certification that
transcripts of hearings have been ordered.
Rule 4:69-4 was amended eff ective September 1, 2004 to provide that the
discovery to be conducted, if any, and the time to complete such discovery, will be
determined at the informal conference and memorialized in the case management
order.
action on a negotiable instrument (511) - suit seeking damages for the
defendant’s failure to honor obligations pursuant to a written instrument such as a
check. These actions usually involve a dishonored check.
assault and battery (602) - action seeking damages for unlawful contact.
auto negligence (603) - personal injury - action seeking damages for bodily
injuries arising out of the negligent ownership and/or use of a motor vehicle.
auto negligence (610) - property damage - action seeking damages for damage
to property arising out of the negligent ownership and/or use of a motor vehicle.

book account (502) - action for the collection of an unpaid bill for goods or
services provided.
civil rights (005) - action brought pursuant to the Federal Civil Rights Act, 42
U.S.C. 1983, which establishes a civil action for the deprivation of constitutionally
protected rights.
complex commercial (508) - commercial matters involving unusually complex
factual or legal issues.
complex construction (513) – construction matters involving unusually complex
factual or legal issues.
condemnation (301) - action also known as eminent domain, brought by a
governmental entity seeking to take private real property for a public use and after
payment of just compensation.
A condemnation action is instituted by the filing of a verified complaint,
which must include a statement of the compensation offered by the condemnor
and the manner in which the amount was calculated. See R. 4:73-1. The matter
will proceed in a summary manner under R. 4:67. Within 14 days of the filing of
the complaint, the condemnor must file and record in the county recording office a
notice of the pendency of the action (lis pendens). The condemnor must also file a
declaration of taking in the court and the county recording office. Simultaneously,
the condemnor must deposit with the clerk of the court the amount of the
estimated compensation. Once the declaration has been filed and the
compensation paid to the clerk of the court, the title and the right to immediate and
exclusive possession to the property belongs to the condemnor.
The court will appoint three commissioners to fix the amount of
compensation. Regarding the fees paid to condemnation commissions, refer to
section 21. The presiding commissioner will schedule a hearing date at which
testimony is taken regarding the value of the property. No discovery occurs
during this phase of the case. The commissioners’ report is to be filed within four
months of their appointment, unless the court extends the time. If there is no
appeal from the commissioners’ determination of the amount of compensation, the
award is considered a final judgment to be paid within 60 days.
Appeals from the commissioners’ report are made by filing a notice of
appeal with the Clerk of the Superior Court within 20 days after service of the
commissioners’ report. If this is the party’s first paper, the filing fee must be paid.
Discovery may be done during this phase. Pursuant to R. 4:73- 6(a), unless the
court otherwise orders, if the original action involves taking or takings from a tract
of land under single ownership, the appeal shall be docketed under the docket
number assigned to the original action and shall continue in that action. A party

may demand a trial by jury within 10 days after service of the notice of appeal.
The hearing on appeal is a trial de novo.
construction (305) - dispute arising out of a construction agreement or
arrangement.
contract/commercial transaction (599) - action based upon the failure to honor
the terms of an oral or written agreement/or arising from a business dispute.
defamation (609) - action seeking damages due to the publication, either orally
(slander) or in writing (libel), of false information concerning another.
employment (509) - dispute arising out of an agreement between an employer and
employee.
environmental/environmental coverage litigation (156) - action based upon
damage to the environment or against an insurance company by an insured seeking
coverage pursuant to an insurance contract or policy to remediate or compensate
the insured for damage to the environment.
forfeiture (175) - action by the government seeking ownership of personal
property either used as an instrumentality of a crime or the fruits of criminal
activity. A civil forfeiture proceeding must normally be instituted by the State
within 90 days of the seizure for property, unless the property forfeited is
considered to be what the applicable statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:64-3, considers to be
“prima facie contraband”. See N.J.S.A. 2C:64- 3. Examples of “prima facie
contraband” are untaxed cigarettes, controlled dangerous substances, firearms and
gambling devices. Forfeiture will be denied if the action is not timely filed and the
property may be returned to the owner. The complaint must be verified and must
describe with particularity the property, which is the subject matter of the action
and the reason for the forfeiture. Often in forfeiture cases a thing, such as a car or
money, is named as a defendant. This is called a “chattel defendant.”
N.J.S.A. 2C:64- 3 permits the court to stay a forfeiture until the underlying
criminal case is concluded. Other than for lack of prosecution , forfeiture should
not be dismissed as the State will lose jurisdiction over the res. Thus, if the case is
not stayed and if applicable, lack of prosecution dismissal notices will issue as to
named human or corporate defendants only. Once the case is closed as to all such
defendants, all chattel defendants may be dismissed.
The prosecutor will thus receive notice of dismissal as to one chattel
defendant only. When the case is closed as to that chattel defendant, it may be
dismissed as to the remaining chattel defendants without further notice.

insurance fraud (514) – action alleging damages resulting from a fraudulent
insurance claim.
inverse condemnation (617) - action brought by owner of real property seeking
damages compensating the owner for a taking of the owner’s private real property
for a public use.
Law Against Discrimination (LAD) (618) - action seeking damages pursuant to
N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq., commonly known as the New Jersey Law Against
Discrimination, which makes it unlawful to subject people to differential treatment
based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, familial
status, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular
or blood trait, genetic information, mental or physical disability, perceived
disability, and AIDS and HIV status. The LAD prohibits unlawful discrimination
in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, credit and business
contracts.
lemon law (512) - suit pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:12-29 to - 49, commonly known as
the New Jersey Lemon Law, brought by the purchaser or leaser of a new motor
vehicle against the car dealer who sold the vehicle seeking damages because the
vehicle was faulty. The law seeks to ensure that the manufacturer of the vehicle
fixes any problems or defects that were originally covered under the
manufacturers’ warranty and which were reported by the owner within 2 years or
18,000 miles whichever comes first.
medical malpractice (604) – action against a healthcare provider for injuries
arising from negligence in acting or failing to act.
In Ferreira v. Rancocas Orthopedic Associates , 178 N.J. 144 (2003) and
Knorr v. Smeal, 178 N.J. 169 (2003), the Supreme Court mandated a case
management conference in all professional malpractice cases. This conference
must be held within 90 days of the service of the answer. During the conference,
the court must address discovery issues, and whether an affidavit of merit has been
served on the defendant.
These conferences may be held by telephone.
When there are multiple defendants in a malpractice case, requiring service
of the affidavit of Merit on each, only one conference need be held.
The Court- mandated case management conference must be:
 conducted by a judge in all professional malpractice cases (unless all parties
consent to a staff- conducted conference), and memorialized in a case
management order pursuant to R. 1:2- 6; and

 held unless all counsel consent to waive the conference, and agree that the
Affidavit of Merit has been provided and that the defendant waives objections
to its adequacy, with such consent, agreement and waiver memorialized in a
consent order signed by all counsel and the judge.
A party filing an affidavit of non-involvement pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-40
in accordance with the New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and
Patients Trust Act, shall do so by annexing the affidavit, which shall comply with
R. 1:6-6, to a Notice of Motion for dismissal of the action as to that party.
Pursuant to R. 1:6-6, if a motion is based on facts not appearing of record or not
judicially noticeable, the court may hear it on affidavits made on personal
knowledge, setting forth only facts which are admissible in evidence to which the
affiant is competent to testify and which may have annexed thereto certified copies
of all papers or parts thereof referred to therein. The court may direct the affiant
to submit to cross-examination, or hear the matter wholly or partly on oral
testimony or depositions.
If no opposition to the motion is filed, in accordance with R. 1:6-3, an order
shall be entered dismissing the action as to the moving party. If opposition to the
motion is filed, the court shall proceed in accordance with R. 1:6-2.
Mt. Laurel (303) - actions brought pursuant to the New Jersey Fair Housing Act,
N.J.S.A. 52:27D- 301 et seq., relating to the allocation of a fair share of affordable
housing to lower and moderate income families.
Name Change (151) - action to change an individual’s or family’s name. See
section infra regarding “Redaction of Social Security Numbers from Name
Change Judgments”.
Open Public Records Act (OPRA) (802) - summary action brought pursuant to
N.J.S.A. 47:1A- 1 et seq. which provides that certain government records shall be
accessible for inspection, copying or examination by New Jersey citizens, with
certain exceptions, and provides the process for requesting access and appealing
any denial of access.
other insurance claim (505) (including declaratory judgment actions) - suit
involving differing interpretations of an insurance policy or a dispute over
insurance coverage.
personal injury (605) - action seeking damages for bodily injuries caused by the
negligence of another in a context other than in the ownership and/or use of a
motor vehicle, usually as a result of negligence in the ownership, use or control of
premises.

PIP coverage (506) - suit brought by an insured or a healthcare provider on behalf
of the insured against the insured’s automobile insurance company for unpaid
medical bills or other insurance benefits.
products liability (606) - action against a manufacturer, distributor or seller of
goods including pharmaceuticals, seeking damages for injuries suffered as a result
of the use of the good.
professional malpractice (607) - action against a provider of professional
services, other than a healthcare provider, for injuries or damages arising from a
negligent act or failure to act.
These conferences may be held by telephone.
When there are multiple defendants in a malpractice case, requiring service
of the affidavit of Merit on each, only one conference need be held.
The Court- mandated case management conference must be:
 conducted by a judge in all professional malpractice cases (unless all parties
consent to a staff -conducted conference), memorialized in a case management
order pursuant to R. 1:2 -6; and
 held unless all counsel consent to waive the conference, and agree that the
Affidavit of Merit has been provided and that the defendant waives objections
to its adequacy, with such consent, agreement and waiver are memorialized in
a consent order signed by all counsel and the judge.
real property (399) - suit based upon a dispute over real property and not
involving a landlord/tenant relationship, contract, condemnation, complex
commercial or construction issues.
summary action (801) - action pursuant to R. 4:67, seeking an expeditious
judicial determination rather than a full-blown trial; usually based upon particular
statute. Summary actions should be filed via verified complaint and order to show
cause. If these matters are not resolved on the return date of the order to show
cause, they must be actively case managed by a judge.
tenancy (302) - action arising from any dispute between a landlord and tenant
other than summary dispossess action and actions to recover a security deposit
under $15,000.
tort (699) - othe r - action seeking damages for injuries to a person or property due
to negligent or deliberate conduct other than in the use and/or ownership of a
motor vehicle or in the ownership or control of premises, such as intentional
infliction of emotional distress, tortuous interference with contract, trespass,
malicious prosecution.
toxic tort (608) - action seeking damages due to the emission of a harmful
substance into the environment.
UM or UIM claim (510) - action by an insured against the insured’s automobile
insurance company seeking damages from the insurance company under either the
uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage provision of an insurance
policy. Under such a provision, if the insured sustains injuries or damages due to
an automobile accident caused by the fault of a third person but the third person
either is uninsured or is underinsured (i.e., does not have adequate coverage to
cover the value of the insured’s damages or injuries), the insurance carrier must
pay the amount needed to fully compensate the insured.
Whistleblower/Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) (616) - action
filed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 et seq. seeking damages due to retaliation
against an employee by the employer for 1) disclosing or threatening to disclose to
a supervisor or public body an activity, policy or practice of an employer that the
employee believes violates a law or regulation, or 2) providing information or
testimony to a public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any
violation of law, rule or regulation by the employer, or 3) objecting to or refusing
to participate in any activity, policy or practice which the employee reasonably
believes is in violation of the law, is fraudulent or criminal, or is incompatible with
a clear mandate of public policy.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Papers Submitted By Non-Parties

When papers are submitted by or on behalf of individuals not named in the
complaint, other than papers submitted by intervenors, or amicus briefs, the papers will
be returned by the court stamped “received but not filed.” Similarly, if papers are
submitted by a law firm, other than co-counsel, that is not the attorney/firm representing
the party on whose behalf the papers are being submitted, the papers will be returned
“received but not filed.”
More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Types of Parties

The following are parties in civil actions:
 Plaintiff - person who sues
 Defendant - person who is sued
 Guardian - person appointed to represent the interests of another with a
disability (e.g., minor, incapacitated person)
 Executor - person named in a will to carry out the terms of the will, suing or
defending on behalf of the estate of a decedent
 Administrator - person suing or defending on behalf of an estate when the
decedent died without a will
 John or Jane Doe - fict itious defendant designation used when the true
identity of the defendant or potential defendant is unknown
 ABC Corporation - fictitious defendant designation used when the true
identity of a corporate defendant or potential corporate defendant is unknown
 Crossclaimant - defendant suing another defendant on a crossclaim
 Counterclaimant - defendant suing a plaintiff on a counterclaim
 Intervenor - a third party who voluntarily requests to participate in a lawsuit
and is permitted by the court. See R. 4:33 et seq.
 Interpleader - party suing two or more persons claiming the same thing or
fund and requesting that the court determine between or among them which is
entitled to recover it
 Third Party Plaintiff - party suing a non- party to the original suit on a third
party complaint
 Third Party Defendant - party being sued in a third party complaint .

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Jury Demand

Any party to most civil actions may demand a trial by jury. (See Rules 1:8-1 and
4:35-1) By filing certain summary actions, a party is deemed to have waived the right to
a jury trial. See R. 4:67- 4(b). The jury demand must be made with the filing of the
party’s initial pleading only or within 10 days thereafter. The jury demand may specify
the issues to be tried by jury; otherwise the demand will be deemed to apply to all triable
issues. The failure of a party to demand a jury will be considered a waiver of trial by
jury. See R. 4:35- 1. In civil actions, a jury will consist of six (6) people unless the court
for good cause shown orders a jury of twelve (12) persons or the parties agree to be
bound by the verdict of another number of jurors. See R. 1:8-2.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Venue

Venue refers to the particular county in which a court with jurisdiction may hear
and determine a case because that county has some relationship to the particular dispute.
In New Jersey, pursuant to R. 4:3- 2, venue in civil cases shall be laid (designated) by the
plaintiff in Superior Court actions as follows:
 actions affecting real property are brought in the county where the affected
property is situated;
 actions not affecting real property which are brought by or against municipal
corporations, counties, public agencies or officials, are brought in the county in
which the cause of action arose;
 in all other actions, with few exceptions (see R. 4:3-2), venue shall be laid in
the county in which the cause of action arose, or the county in which any party
to the action resides, or in any county where summons was served on any non-
resident defendant; or
 actions on and objections to certificates of debt for motor vehicle surcharges
that have been docketed as judgments by the Superior Court Clerk pursuant to
N.J.S.A. 17:29A-35 shall be brought in the county of residence of the judgment
debtor.
Moreover, according to R. 4:3-2(b), a corporati on is deemed to reside in the
county in which its registered office is located or in any county in which it is actually
doing business.
Finally, R. 4:3-2(c) provides that with the approval of the Chief Justice, the
Assignment Judge of any multicounty vicinage may order that instead of laying venue in
a county of the vicinage pursuant to R. 4:3- 2, venue in any designated category of cases
may be laid in any other county within the vicinage.


More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Late Notice of Claim Against a Public Entity

At times, the first paper filed by a plaintiff is a motion requesting the court’s
permission to file a late notice of claim against a public entity, such as the State of New
Jersey, a county or municipality. Such motions are filed because the plaintiff failed to
timely notify the public entity of his or her claim as required by N.J.S.A. 59:8- 7 and –8,
which provide that, within 90 days after the cause of action arose, e.g., the date of an
accident, the claimant must file a notice of claim with the Attorney General of the
department or agency involved in the alleged negligent act. The plaintiff must then wait
six months (after the date the notice of claim is received) before filing a complaint in
court. The six- month waiting period is to allow the public entity against which the claim
is made to investigate and, if appropriate, to negotiate a settlement. The claimant must
also file suit within two years of the accrual of the cause of action.
Sometimes, however, claimants fail to file the notice of claim with the Attorney
General or other governmental department or agency within 90 days of the accrual of the
cause of action, as required by N.J.S.A. 59:8- 8. N.J.S.A. 59:8- 9 provides for late notices
of claim to be filed, if permission to do so is granted by the court, within one year of the
accrual of the cause of action.
Claimants must make a motion to the court for permission to file a late notice of
claim. The fee for such a motion is $200 since it is the party’s first paper. The motion is
given a docket number.
When the motion is decided, whether it is granted or denied, it counts as a
termination and the “case” is closed.
If the motion is granted and, after the six- month waiting period, the claimant files
a complaint, the matter is reopened under the original docket number. No additional fee
is required.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Requests to Change Birth Certificates

If a request is made to change the name on a birth certificate, a name change
action must be commenced. If the request is to change anything else on a New Jersey
issued birth certificate, such as designation of parentage, a misspelling of the first, middle
or last name, or misstatement as to gender, the requestor should be directed to contact the
New Jersey Registrar of Vital Statistics (“the Registrar”). See N.J.S.A. 26:8- 49.

Specifically, with respect to an error in a first or middle name, the individual
seeking a correction must supply documentary proof of the correct spelling and the proof
has to be something from before the individual’s 7th birthday, such as a baptismal
certificate, school records, etc. This goes through the Registrar and the court is not
involved.
With respect to an error in the last name, the individual seeking a correction must
show documentary proof of the correct name and the documentation itself must date from
within a year of the individual’s birth or prior to the birth, such as the parent’s marriage
certificate with the last name spelled correctly, the birth certificate of an older sibling, or
a parent’s birth certificate. This also goes through the Registrar and the court is not
involved.
With respect to an error in gender on the birth certificate (that is, if someone who
is and has always been a male is mistakenly classified on the birth certificate as a
female), the individual seeking a correction must show documents with the correct
gender noted, such as school records, marriage certificate, etc. This, too, goes through
the Registrar and the court is not involved.
With respect to someone who has undergone gender reassignment and wants both
a name change and a gender change on the birth certificate, that individual can get a birth
certificate in the new name with the court-ordered name change, but the gender will not
be changed unless the person has a notarized statement from the physician certifying
the completion of the gender reassignment. Once this latter document is presented to
the Registrar, the individual can get a new birth certificate showing both the new name
and the new gender. In this scenario, then, the court is involved to order the name change
but everything else is done through the Registrar.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Actions Seeking Titles to Abandoned Motor Vehicles

Individuals or entities seeking titles to abandoned motor vehicles should contact
the Motor Vehicle Commission. There is an administrative procedure available and
lawsuits in the Superior Court no longer need to be instituted.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Requests for Letters Rogatory in NJ

A letter rogatory is a formal written communication from one court in which an
action is pending to a court in a foreign jurisdiction (interstate or international) requesting
that the testimony of a non-party witness be taken within its jurisdiction for the use of the
court making the request. Under R. 4:11-5, a deposition of a non-party resident may be
taken “... in accordance with a commission or letter rogatory issued by a court of this
state, which shall be applied for by motion on notice...” A commission or letter rogatory
shall be issued in accordance with R. 4:12-3, on application and notice. Once a judge has
issued an order for a letter rogatory, the Clerk of the Superior Court in Trenton must affix
the seal of the court to the letter rogatory. The party seeking the deposition must then
apply to the foreign state court pursuant to the law of the foreign state.

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Petitions for Obtaining Depositions in Aid of Foreign Litigation

Rule 4:11 prescribes the procedure for out-of- state counsel to use when filing a
New Jersey action to obtain a deposition in aid of a case pending in a foreign jurisdiction.
A kit has been developed for use in such actions. A copy appears in the appendix and on
the Judiciary website. A CIS is not required insofar as the filer is not a “party” in a
pending New Jersey case, as contemplated by R. 4:5-1(b)(2).

More information can be obtained from “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE
TO NEW JERSEY’S
CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Petitions for Obtaining Depositions in Aid of Foreign Litigation

Rule 4:11 prescribes the procedure for out-of- state counsel to use when filing a
New Jersey action to obtain a deposition in aid of a case pending in a foreign jurisdiction.
A kit has been developed for use in such actions. A copy appears in the appendix and on
the Judiciary website. A CIS is not required insofar as the filer is not a “party” in a
pending New Jersey case, as contemplated by R. 4:5-1(b)(2).

More information can be obtained from the “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE
TO NEW JERSEY’S
CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

No Stipulations to Enter Suit Without Process

Parties seeking court approval of a private settlement entered into on behalf of a
minor or mentally incapacitated person may not file a stipulation to enter suit without
process. The proper procedure is to file a complaint and CIS along with the applicable
$200 filing fee. Thereafter, the matter will be scheduled for a friendly hearing pursuant
to R. 4:44.

More information can be obtained from the “ A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE
TO NEW JERSEY’S
CIVIL COURT PROCEDURES”

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

CIS not Required for Motions that are First Pleadings

CIS not Required for Motions that are First Pleadings
A CIS must be filed with first pleadings only, and “pleadings,” pursuant to R. 4:5-
1(a), do not include motions. Thus, even if a motion is the first paper filed by a party, no
CIS need accompany it.

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Case Information Statements

Case Information Statements
Every complaint must be accompanied by a completed and signed Case
Information Statement (CIS) and the appropriate filing fee. See R. 4:5 -1. The CIS must
be signed by an attorney admitted to practice in New Jersey or a pro se, provided that a
pro se appearance is permitted pursuant to the Rules of Court. A pro se cannot sign a
CIS on behalf of a corporation. Original signatures must appear on the CIS. CIS forms
may not contain stamped or facsimile signatures or anything other than an original. If
pleadings are filed along with a CIS not containing an original signature, these will be
returned to the sender stamped “received but not filed.” See R. 1:5- 6(c). The CIS is a
brief statement that identifies the case type and contains information about the case
including the degree of complexity and complementary dispute resolution eligibility, as
well as any special accommodations required for the timely resolution of the case. Rule
1:5-6(c) permits the court t o reject any complaint not signed or submitted with the
appropriate fee or the required completed CIS or on paper of standard weight and quality
in accordance with R. 1:4 -9. The CIS form appears as Appendix XII-B to the Rules of
Court and is also included as an appendix to this document.

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Personal Injury Dept.: 732-572-0024
website: www.njpersonalinjurylawcenter.com

Procedure for Instituting a Civil Case

Procedure for Instituting a Civil Case
Most cases are initiated by the filing of a complaint. See R. 4:2- 2. The complaint
shall contain:
 a brief statement indicating the grounds upon which the court’s jurisdiction
depends, e.g.,
 a party to the claim resides in the filing county
 the cause of action occurred in the filing county
 affected real property, as set forth in the complaint, is located in the filing
county (see R. 4:3- 2);
 a brief statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief;
 the “wherefore” clause, generally demanding judgment for the relief sought
(See Botta v. Brunner, 26 N.J. 82 (1958) regarding the proscription on
including a specific dollar amount);
 the certification, stating that there is no other pending court action arising from
the cause of action set forth by the complaint (see R. 4:5-1(b)(2)); and
 the original signature of an attorney duly licensed to practice in New Jersey or
pro se plaintiff, if a pro se appearance is permitted by the court rules (i.e.,
papers submitted on behalf of a corporation must be signed by a New Jersey
licensed attorney).
Civil cases can also be initiated by way of a verified complaint (i.e., one that is
sworn to) and an Order to Show Cause (OSC). The filing fee for this is $200.00 for the
verified complaint and $30.00 for the OSC. This alternative procedure is used where the
plaintiff in the particular case requires some emergent relief or the matter involves a
summary action pursuant to R. 4:67 or an action under R. 4:70- 1 for the enforcement of a
statutory penalty. Examples of summary actions under R. 4:67 that must be brought by
way of verified complaint and OSC include:
 Actions to expunge a voluntary or involuntary civil commitment. N.J.S.A.
30:4-80.9.
 Actions by insured to compel UIM arbitration after settlement with a
tortfeasor. See R. 4:67 et seq. and Rutgers Cas. Ins. Co. v. Vassas, 139 N.J.
163, 174 (1995).

 Actions to discharge a construction lien. N.J.S.A. 2A:44A- 30.
 Proceedings to obtain money deposited pursuant to a lien on real estate.
N.J.S.A 2A:56-20.
 Appeals by police officers pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-150.
 Appeals by investigators in the county prosecutors’ offices pursuant to N.J.S.A.
2A:157- 10.7.
 Controversies between execution creditors as to application of money realized
from the sale of the property of a judgment debtor under executions issued out
of different courts. N.J.S.A. 2A:17-6.
 Actions for enforcement of written agreement for alternative resolution.
N.J.S.A. 2A:23A- 4.
 Actions to challenge an election. N.J.S.A.19:28-1 et seq.
 Actions for cancellation or discharge of a mortgage loan. N.J.S.A. 46:10B-6.
 Actions to confirm, vacate or modify an outside arbitration award including a
fee arbitration award entered pursuant to R. 1:20A et seq. N.J.S.A. 2A:23A- 26.
It should be noted that if a suit was pending prior to the matter going to fee
arbitration, a summary action should not be filed. Rather, default can be
entered pursuant to R 1:20A-3 (e). See R. 1:20A- 3 (e).
 Actions for civil penalties for violations of the animal cruelty laws. N.J.S.A.
4:22-17.
 Actions to recover wages paid at less than the minimum wage. N.J.S.A. 34:11-
56.40.
 Actions by crime victims to recover the proceeds of sale of criminal
memorabilia. N.J.S.A. 52:4B-28.
 Actions for a determination of costs and expenses when the court vacates
arbitration awards. N.J.S.A. 2A:23A-18.
In either instance, i.e., cases initiated with complaints or verified complaints with
an OSC, service of the above on the defendant is required, along with a summons (see R.
4:4-1). However, when a case is initiated via a verified complaint and OSC, the signed
OSC serves as original process and no summons is needed. Attached in the appendix are
standard form OSC’s for use as original process. See AOC Directive #16-05. As will be
discussed, service of complaints may be effectuated by personal delivery upon the
defendant by an approved agent, e.g., Sheriff’s Officer or private process server (R. 4:4-
3). Failure to serve the complaint may result in the case being dismissed in accordance
with R. 1:13- 7.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Diane Brierley v. David S. Rode

09-27-07 A-0637-06T3

A business that permits another business, which is on the
other side of a public road, to use its lot for customer
parking, has no duty to the other business's customers to make
passage over the road reasonably safe.

Carolyn Amm Ausley v. County of Middlesex

09-24-07 A-2765-06T5

We addressed the circumstances under which a decedent's
relative may obtain tissue samples taken during an autopsy, for
purposes of further testing by a privately-retained medical
expert. We also discussed the proper procedure to be followed
in such cases.

In re Referendum Petition to Repeal Ordinance 04-75

9-26-07 (A-94-06)

Trenton Ordinance 04-75 is subject to voter approval in a
referendum. The judicially-created exception for administrative
ordinances is not supported by the statute, its legislative
history, or its place in the overall statutory scheme.