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Sunday, October 9, 2016

MIDLAND FUNDING LLC A/P/O WEBBANK VS. ROBERTA BORDEAUX A-0850-14T3

MIDLAND FUNDING LLC A/P/O WEBBANK VS. ROBERTA BORDEAUX
          A-0850-14T3
Plaintiff filed a civil action in small claims court to collect the full amount of a consumer debt's alleged outstanding balance. The issue in this appeal concerns the enforceability of an arbitration clause that plaintiff claims was part of the original creditor's consumer credit application form. Plaintiff's sole evidence of the arbitration agreement's
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existence consists of two single-spaced, photocopied pages that do not bear defendant's signature or any other indicia of her assent. The trial court enforced the arbitration clause, relying only on a certification in which a "Legal Specialist" employed by plaintiff attested that the two pages were in the records of plaintiff's predecessor in interest.
We reverse. Relying on Atalese v. U.S. Legal Serv. Grp., L.P., 219 N.J. 430, 442 (2014), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2804, 192 L. Ed. 2d 847 (2015), we hold that plaintiff failed to prove that defendant knowingly waived her constitutional right to adjudicate this dispute in a court of law.