New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htmKenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2017 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures for the Bar and handles litigation matters. He is Past Chair of the ABA Tort & Insurance Committee,GP on Personal Injury and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting attended by 10,000 attorneys and professionals. To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at VercammenAppointments@NJlaws.com, call or

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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

NANCY E. LANDERS VS. PATRICK J. LANDERS A-3931-14T3


NANCY E. LANDERS VS. PATRICK J. LANDERS
          A-3931-14T3
In this matter, we clarify the application of the 2014 amendments to the alimony statute addressing the modification of alimony when an obligor retires. When an obligor files an application to terminate or modify alimony upon his or her retirement, the circumstances of the parties are examined under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(j). More specifically, subsection (j)(1), which places the burden of proof on the obligee to rebut the presumption to terminate alimony when an obligor reaches full retirement age as defined under the statute, is used for alimony awards entered after the effective date of the amended statute. On the other hand, subsection (j)(3), which requires an obligor to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence modification or termination of alimony is appropriate, governs review of final alimony awards established prior to the effective date of the statutory amendments. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

ALEXANDER BARDIS, ET AL. VS. KITTY STINSON, ET AL. A-3454-12T3


ALEXANDER BARDIS, ET AL. VS. KITTY STINSON, ET AL.
          A-3454-12T3
          (NEWLY PUBLISHED OPINION FOR FEBRUARY 19, 2016)
Plaintiffs Alexander Bardis and Monica Bardis appeal from the January 25, 2013 Law Division order granting summary judgment in favor of defendants Kitty Stinson, Stinson Claims Services (collectively Stinson), and Cumberland Insurance Group (Cumberland) (collectively Defendants). The trial court found there was no coverage under plaintiffs' homeowner's insurance policy for the collapsed basement wall and other damages to their home allegedly caused by "hidden decay." The court also rejected plaintiffs' argument that "hidden defects" allegedly resulting from the faulty construction meant the same as "hidden decay," and were thereby covered losses under the policy. We find a question of fact regarding causation, and ultimately coverage, and therefore, reverse and remand.
Judge Sapp-Peterson respectfully dissents, reasoning there is no ambiguity in the terms of the commercial dwelling policy issued to plaintiffs 

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY VS. K.F. AND R.G. AND

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY
          VS. K.F. AND R.G. AND D.M.I/M/O A.M. AND N.G.
          A-0558-14T1
We reverse application of the burden-shifting paradigm found in In re D.T., 229 N.J. Super. 509 (App. Div. 1988), in an abuse and neglect case involving a twenty-five-day-old infant. The parents brought the child to the emergency room with a bruised lip and small bump on the side of the head which they claimed resulted from the baby falling off a bed. Throughout the investigation, neither parent wavered from the narrative that the mother took the infant into the bedroom and left him there sleeping. While in the living room, they heard the baby suddenly start to cry, the mother returned to the bedroom and found him on the floor. They immediately took the child for treatment. Since an infant that age cannot roll, that night medical personnel referred the matter to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
During the fact-finding hearing, the trial judge shifted the burden of persuasion to the father because the mother's explanation that she placed the child near the edge of the bed was unconvincing, and the father was in the home when the
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incident occurred. We conclude that merely finding one parent's explanation insufficient should not result in shifting the burden to the other. 

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE STRUCTURED ASSET SECURITIES CORPORATION MORTGAGE

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE STRUCTURED ASSET SECURITIES CORPORATION MORTGAGE PASS- THROUGH CERTIFICATES, 2006-EQ1 VS. JOANN L. CURCIO, ET AL.
A-2649-13T4
After unsuccessful attempts at personal service, plaintiff served the complaint in foreclosure on defendant at the encumbered property by regular and certified mail. We rule that defendant's failure to challenge service earlier, in her opposition to the entry of a final judgment in default, bars a belated attempt to raise the issue in a motion to vacate default judgment. In any event, such service by mail was proper under Rule 4:4-3(a) because plaintiff adequately attempted personal service, and its certificate showed plaintiff first made diligent inquiry to determine if defendant still resided at the encumbered property. Plaintiff was not required to obtain a court order or file an affidavit before making service by mail. Rather, the certificate showing diligent inquiry and service must be filed within the time to answer the complaint. Because plaintiff served defendant within the State under Rule 4:4-3(a), plaintiff did not need to follow the rules governing mail
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service out of State, Rule 4:4-4(b)(1)(C), or mail service to obtain in rem jurisdiction, Rule 4:4-5(a)(2), or meet Rule 4:4- 5(c)'s requirements for affidavits under those rules. 

Templo Fuente De Vida Corp v. National Union Fire


 Templo Fuente De Vida Corp v. National Union Fire
          Insurance Company of Pittsburgh (A-18-12; 074572)
          First Independent’s failure to comply with the notice
          provisions of the bargained for Directors and Officers
          “claims made” policy constituted a breach of the
          policy, and National Union may decline coverage
          without demonstrating appreciable prejudice