Saturday, January 16, 2021
Monday, January 11, 2021
Metz Family Ltd. Partnership v. Township of Freehold, Docket Nos. 001064-2015; 000482-2016; 000783-2017
Tax Court: Docket Nos. 001064-2015; 000482-2016; 000783-2017;opinion by Sundar, J.T.C., decided October 20, 2020. For plaintiff - Daniel J. Pollak and Michael Rienzi (Brach Eichler, L.L.C. attorney); for defendant - Martin Allen and Wesley E. Buirkle (DiFrancesco, Bateman, Coley, Yospin, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum, P.C., attorney); for the Monmouth County Board of Taxation and the Director, Division of Taxation - Abiola G. Miles and Michelline Capistrano Foster (Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney).
Defendant Mell, a wealthy businessman, engaged in sexual relations with B.B. over a period of months when she was fifteen years old. Upon discovery, Mell was arrested and soon convicted of federal and state crimes; he is presently incarcerated in a federal penitentiary. B.B. commenced this action for damages against Mell and others and obtained an order attaching some of Mell's assets. Soon after, Mell sought an order permitting the payment of his attorneys in this civil action from the attached funds; the judge granted that motion and later entered another order fixing the amount of fees to be paid from the fund. The court granted B.B.'s motions for leave to appeal those two orders and reversed, holding that B.B. had a greater priority to the fund even though she has yet to obtain a judgment and that the equities preclude such an invasion of the fund, noting it would be perverse to allow Mell's expenses to be paid from the fund established through valid court procedures for the benefit of his victim.