The court addresses and establishes the factors a trial court should consider in determining whether to make an equitable distribution of restricted stock units where the stock vests post-complaint and the employed spouse asserts the vesting is attributable to that spouse's future employment efforts.
The court holds that the party seeking to exclude assets from equitable distribution on such grounds bears the burden to prove the stock award was made for services performed outside of the marriage. That party must adduce objective evidence to prove the employer intended the stock to vest for future services and not as a form of deferred compensation attributable to the award date.
This opinion, decided on August 4, 2017, is being published at the request of the Supreme Court. Appellants N.J. Highlands Coalition and Sierra Club N.J. challenged a settlement agreement between the NJDEP and a developer relating to the development of a 204-unit inclusionary housing project in the Borough of Oakland. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the NJDEP issued two freshwater general permits and a transition area waiver, which appellants also challenge. We held that the NJDEP correctly concluded the developer was entitled to an exemption under N.J.S.A. 13:20-28(a)(17), and the NJDEP's decision to approve the general permits and transition area waiver was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable.
Plaintiff's complaint alleged that defendants' interference with plaintiff's efforts to purchase property for use as a group home for autistic individuals violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49. The court concluded, as the LAD makes clear, that it is, in fact, unlawful to discriminate against a buyer because of the disability of a person intending to live on the premises, even if the buyer does not fit within a protected class, N.J.S.A. 10:5-4.1, and that it is, with a discriminatory intent, unlawful to interfere with another's transaction, N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(n). In reversing the motion judge's dismissal of the complaint pursuant to Rule 4:6-2(e), the court also rejected the application of the Noerr-Pennington doctrine to the claim that defendants sabotaged plaintiff's efforts to secure a grant from the Monmouth Conservation Fund; that nonprofit foundation was not shown to be a governmental or quasi-governmental body.
The judgment of the Appellate Division is affirmed substantially for the reasons expressed in the per curiam opinion. The Court adds modifying comments to clarify that the affirmance is based solely on a plain language reading of the Highlands Act that does not incorporate the definition of “final approval” contained in the separate but related MLUL.
Within fifteen years of having been convicted of "sex offenses," see N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(b), and sentenced to probation, each registrant was convicted of another offense. After fifteen offense-free years following those convictions, registrants moved to be relieved of their registration obligations pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(f), which provides in relevant part:
[A] person required to register under this act may make application to the Superior Court of this State to terminate the obligation upon proof that the person has not committed an offense within 15 years following conviction or release from a correctional facility for any term of imprisonment imposed, whichever is later, and is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.
The Law Division judges denied relief, concluding essentially that conviction for any offense within fifteen years of the conviction of or release from imprisonment for the underlying sex offense permanently barred relief.
The court reversed, concluding that although the statute was ambiguous, permanently barring relief was 1) contrary to the Legislature's intent and the remedial purposes of Megan's Law; and 2) inconsistent with N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(c), which permits termination of community/parole supervision for life "upon proof . . . that the person has not committed a crime for [fifteen] years since the last conviction or release from incarceration, . . . and . . . is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others if released from parole supervision."
In this vehicular negligence action, the court holds that the cumulative impact of multiple errors, including defense counsel's improprieties, the trial court's denial of a directed verdict as to defendant's negligence, and the trial court's grant of defendant's in limine motion to bar plaintiff's life care expert, deprived plaintiff of a fair trial. The court reverses the order of judgment entered on the jury's verdict and remands for a n
The court reverses the Family Part order entered under the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA), N.J.S.A. 2C:14-13 to -21. SASPA cannot be used to impose a restraining order on defendant based on conduct that occurred before SASPA's effective date. SASPA does not permit such retroactive application. The Family Part judge heard credible testimony from plaintiff that defendant had intercourse with her in 2005 when she was eleven. The Family Part judge correctly concluded the 2005 incident of intercourse was a sexual assault, however the 2005 assault was not a predicate act triggering the right to SASPA protection because SASPA was not signed into law until 2015.
Plaintiff New Jersey Transit Corporation appealed from the summary judgment dismissal of its subrogation action against the tortfeasors for reimbursement of the workers' compensation benefits paid to an injured employee for wage loss and medical expenses resulting from a work-related automobile accident. Plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury within the meaning of the limitation on lawsuit option under AICRA, and did not seek recovery from the tortfeasors. The motion judge held AICRA trumped the WCA, ruling that N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8(a) barred NJ Transit's claims because NJ Transit, as subrogee, stands in the shoes of the injured employee, and has no rights superior to the injured employee under AICRA. Since the injured worker was compensated by workers' compensation benefits for his medical expenses and wage loss; he suffered no uncompensated economic loss. The motion judge held NJ Transit's claim must be dismissed because AICRA bars claims for compensated economic damages.
The court reverses the summary judgment dismissal, holding the workers’ compensation carrier is permitted to pursue its Section 40 claim for reimbursement of the worker's compensation benefits paid to the injured employee against the third-party tortfeasors. If successful, the workers' compensation carrier would be reimbursed by the tortfeasors, subject to their right to indemnification from their own automotive insurers. Therefore, allowing such recovery does not conflict with AICRA's collateral source rule, N.J.S.A. 39:6A-6.
Regarding the interplay of the WCA and AICRA, where only workers' compensation benefits and PIP benefits are available, the primary burden is placed on workers' compensation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-6. Where only PIP benefits and tortfeasor liability are involved, the primary burden is placed on the PIP carrier by N.J.S.A. 39:6A-12. However, where both workers' compensation benefits and the proceeds of a tort action have been recovered, the tort recovery is primary pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-40(f). In turn, where workers' compensation benefits have been paid, but the injured employee has not sought or obtained recovery from the tortfeasor, the primary burden is placed on the tortfeasor.
Plaintiff, a shareholder in a closely-held corporation, brought an action against the only other shareholder, asserting both direct claims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and derivative shareholder claims alleging breach of fiduciary trust, mismanagement, conversion, and fraud. Following the conclusion of a bench trial, the trial judge dismissed the action in its entirety without prejudice for lack of standing.
The court reverses the dismissal of plaintiff's direct claims of breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and remands those claims to the trial court to render a decision on the merits, finding plaintiff had standing to pursue those direct claims.
The court rejects plaintiff's argument that the prior denial of defendant's motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted constituted the law of the case. The court affirms the dismissal without prejudice of the remaining derivative claims because it is unable to determine from the record if allowing the derivative claims to proceed would prejudice the corporation's creditors.
The court remands to the Department of Corrections (DOC) for reconsideration and the articulation of appropriate reasons for the sanctions imposed on the inmate consistent with N.J.A.C. 10A:4-9.17(a) and Mejia v. New Jersey Department of Corrections, 446 N.J. Super. 369, 378-79 (App. Div. 2016). The court suggests the DOC amend its regulations so that particularized reasons for sanctions are provided in all future disciplinary matters.