Sunday, July 30, 2017
MAIN STREET AT WOOLWICH, LLC, ET AL. VS. AMMONS SUPERMARKET, INC., ET AL. A-0713-15T3
MAIN STREET AT WOOLWICH, LLC, ET AL. VS. AMMONS
SUPERMARKET, INC., ET AL.
After plaintiffs successfully defended against litigation brought by defendants challenging approvals for plaintiffs' shopping complex, plaintiffs filed a complaint against defendants, their attorney, and his firm alleging the litigation was a sham intended only to gain advantage over a competing business.
In a case of first impression, the court adopts the holding in Hanover 3201 Realty, LLC v. Village Supermarkets, Inc., 806 F.3d 162, 180 (3d Cir. 2015), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 2451, 195 L. Ed. 2d 264 (2016), and concludes that, when determining whether a litigant is entitled to immunity under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, the motion judge was required to consider the allegations in plaintiffs' complaint that the litigation was part of a pattern of sham litigation brought by defendants for the purpose of injuring market rivals rather than to redress actual grievances.