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Vol. 2, No. 57 DECISIONS ISSUED APRIL 5, 1994 AUTOMOBILES – NEGLIGENCE 05-2-2987 Patricia L. Yunecko and Joseph G. Yunecko v. Amalendu Kar, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where defendant’s vehicle skidded out of control, crossed the center line and struck plaintiff’s vehicle head-on, trial court erred in finding that defendant was not at fault, since verdict was against weight of evidence, which constituted a miscarriage of justice. FAMILY LAW 20-2-2988 Raymond A. Pickell v. Doris J. Pickell, App. Div. (5 pp.) Where husband sought reduction in alimony support for wife because wife co-habitated with boyfriend who contributed to her household expenses, trial judge’s initial alimony award was proper, since judge considered income that wife received from boyfriend when determining award amount. INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES 23-2-2989 Nelly Costa v. Virginia Perex, George Lytwyn and Lease and Go, et al., App. Div. (14 pp.) Where plaintiff suffered from back injuries and radiating pain into her arms; was on temporary disability for 105 days; and used an arm sling for about three months due to injuries sustained in an auto accident, trial court erred in dismissing plaintiff’s complaint, since plaintiff met verbal threshold criteria when she could not work as a sewing machine operator for about three months and could not perform other daily activities. 23-2-2990 Ricky Owens v. Jack Kessler, GMAC Leasing and Tim White, App. Div. (12 pp.) Where plaintiff sustained back muscle spasms and a limited range of motion from injuries sustained in an auto accident, trial court erred in dismissing plaintiff’s complaint for failure to meet verbal threshold criteria, since plaintiff experienced pain on his job when lifting heavy objects and could no longer participate in sports. MUNICIPAL LAW 30-2-2991 Stephen Cepreghy, et al., v. Maurice River Township and New Jersey Dep’t of Envtl. Protection and Energy, App. Div. (4 pp.) Trial judge erred in mandating that township repair and maintain a section of a beach road pursuant to a purported settlement, since the settlement had not been adopted as an ordinance or resolution at a public meeting. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION 39-2-2992 Linda Verge v. County of Morris, App. Div. (14 pp.) Where plaintiff/county employee twisted her left knee while walking in the court house, workers’ compensation judge erred in denying plaintiff’s claim and holding that plaintiff’s incident was an “idiopathic fall” — that is, her knee gave out for reasons personal to her — since case had to be remanded to determine if plaintiff fell because she tripped on a rug, or because of her weak knee. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-2993 State v. Jesse D. Crosby, App. Div. (6 pp.) Where defendant admitted to cocaine possession but denied that he intended to distribute the drug, defendant was properly convicted of intent to distribute, since jury verdict was clearly supported by weight of the evidence. 14-2-2994 State v. Marcus O. Forehand, App. Div. (9 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of possessing a controlled dangerous substance and possessing two unlicensed handguns that were found in a handbag that belonged to female co-defendant in trunk of defendant’s automobile during a search that defendant consented to, trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress, since police officer’s conduct was not reasonable under circumstances because police officer’s failure to ask female co- defendant if the purse belonged to her invalidated the entire search. 14-2-2995 State v. Jeffrey Shephard, App. Div. (10 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of cocaine possession and intent to distribute, trial court properly restricted defense counsel’s ability to cross-examine state’s key witness, a police officer, about surveillance location, since strong public interest in nondisclosure and substantial amount of corroborating evidence outweighed defendant’s right-to-know. 14-2-2996 State v. Arthur Snellbaker, App. Div. (13 pp.) Where trial judge declared a mistrial on defendant’s indictable offenses and judge was deciding if defendant was guilty of non-indictable offense, trial judge had to wait to render a decision on the non- indictable offenses, since jury was hung on related counts of indictable prosecution, pursuant to Supreme Court decisions. 14-2-2997 State v. Christopher Thomas, App. Div. (5 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of possessing a controlled dangerous substance, trial court properly denied defendant’s claim that prosecutor exercised her peremptory challenges in an impermissible manner by excluding three African-American, one Hispanic and five white potential jurors and used her last challenge to exclude the last African-American on the panel, since two of the potential minority jurors were excluded since they were related to persons who had experienced drug problems, a legitimate reason for their exclusion.

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