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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

10-22-09 UNITED CONSUMER FINANCIAL SERVICES CO. V.

10-22-09 UNITED CONSUMER FINANCIAL SERVICES CO. V.
WILLIAM CARBO v. A&M MERCHANDISING, INC.
A-5501-06T2

The dispute that gave rise to this class action litigation
is about the content and form of a contract and notice of
cancellation, which was approved by a single creditor and used
by multiple door-to-door sellers in retail installment sales of
vacuum cleaners. The appeal is from a judgment awarding
injunctive relief and a civil penalty in the amount of $100 to
each member of the class pursuant to the Truth-in-Consumer
Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA), N.J.S.A. 56:12-14 to
-18, based upon violations of consumer rights provided in the
Retail Installment Sales Act (RISA), N.J.S.A. 17:16C-1 to -61,
and the Door-to-Door Retail Installment Sales Act (DDRISA),
N.J.S.A. 17:16C-61.1 to -61.9.

We reject the claim that class certification was improper
because only one of the several sellers was involved in the
purchase made by the class representative. We affirm the TCCWNA
penalty because the contract violated a consumer right provided
by RISA and the aggregate award was neither unconstitutionally
excessive nor a basis for decertification of the class. We
modify the injunctive relief because the Federal Trade
Commission regulations, 16 C.F.R. §§ 429.1 to 429.3, preempt and
preclude enforcement of several but not all of the provisions of
DDRISA.



Assistant Editor: Umair Hussain

10-21-09 D.R. HORTON, INC., NEW JERSEY V. J.J. DELUCA CO., INC.

10-21-09 D.R. HORTON, INC., NEW JERSEY V. J.J. DELUCA CO., INC.
A-1041-08T2

We affirm, for reasons stated by the Chancery Division, a
judgment holding that the New Jersey Arbitration Act, N.J.S.A.
2A:23B-10(c), does not vest exclusive jurisdiction in the courts
to decide motions to consolidate two or more pending arbitration
proceedings and therefore the matter may proceed before a
neutral arbitrator in accordance with the American Arbitration Association's (AAA) procedural rules.



Assistant Editor: Umair Hussain

10-20-09 JANICKY V. POINT BAY FUEL, INC. and USF INSURANCE

10-20-09 JANICKY V. POINT BAY FUEL, INC. and USF INSURANCE
CO. and THE POWDERHORN AGENCY, INC.
A-0867-08T3

When the parties consent to entry of a final judgment
memorializing a settlement disposing of all claims in an action,
a party cannot appeal from an interlocutory order that no longer
has any effect upon any party's pecuniary interests or property
rights.


Assistant Editor: Umair Hussain

Monday, October 19, 2009

10-14-09 Thomas Best v. C&M Door Controls, Inc. (A-57-08)

DATE NAME OF CASE (DOCKET NUMBER)
10-14-09 Thomas Best v. C&M Door Controls, Inc. (A-57-08)
A defendant can never be awarded fees under Rule 4:58,
the offer-of-judgment rule, in a case involving the
Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the
Prevailing Wage Act (PWA), or a similar fee-shifting
statute. However, a trial judge may take into account
a plaintiff’s unreasonable rejections of an offer of
judgment in calculating plaintiff’s award under such a
statute.

Assistant Editor: Umair Hussain

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10-07-09 New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company v. Bergen Ambulatory Surgery Center A-0307-08T2

10-07-09 New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company v. Bergen
Ambulatory Surgery Center
A-0307-08T2
In this case, plaintiff automobile insurer sought discovery
in the Law Division pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-13 for use in
personal injury protection (PIP) arbitration proceedings. The
nature of the discovery was the annualized billing and payment
history of the defendant ambulatory surgery center for certain
services that were subject to a usual, customary, and reasonable
(UCR) analysis in the PIP arbitration proceedings. We hold that
this type of expansive discovery is not obtainable under
N.J.S.A. 39:6A-13 as of right in the Law Division. We therefore
affirm the trial court's dismissal of plaintiff's action.

Assistant Editor: Umair Hussain

10-01-09 NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES v. J.L. A-1103-08T2

10-01-09 NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY
SERVICES v. J.L.
A-1103-08T2
In this decision, we reverse the final decision of the
Director of the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS)
finding that J.L. had committed an act of child neglect as
defined by N.J.S.A. 9:5-8.21c(4)(b), determining that willful
and wanton misconduct was not demonstrated. Additionally, we
again query whether inclusion on the Central Registry prior to
any trial-type hearing of the matter constitutes a deprivation
of due process rights under the federal or state constitution or
is fundamentally unfair. However, we ultimately determine that
the matter is not ripe for our consideration, since J.L. did not
challenge her interim inclusion on the Registry either before
DYFS or by order to show cause in Superior Court, and her appeal
was only from the Director's final decision.

Assistant Editor: Umair Hussain