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Sunday, January 10, 2016

SEOUNG OUK CHO, ET AL. VS. TRINITAS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. A-5923-13T2


SEOUNG OUK CHO, ET AL. VS. TRINITAS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL.
A-5923-13T2
On the day before jury selection in this medical malpractice case, defendant filed a motion that was purportedly a "motion in limine," but which sought the dismissal of the complaint against him in its entirety, an admitted violation of the rule governing summary judgment motions.
The fact that this misuse of the motion in limine occurs sufficiently often to win our notice, despite our repeated cautions against such practice, leads us to conclude it necessary to state clearly what a motion in limine is not. It is not a summary judgment motion that happens to be filed on the eve of trial. When granting a motion will result in the dismissal of a plaintiff's case or the suppression of a defendant's defenses, the motion is subject to Rule 4:46, the rule that governs summary judgment motions. We hold the trial court's consideration of these motions and dismissal of the complaint against defendant deprived plaintiffs of their right to due process of law, reverse that dismissal and remand for restoration of the complaint to the trial calendar.