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VOL. 2, NO. 162 DECISIONS RELEASED SEPTEMBER 19, 1994 CIVIL PROCEDURE – PHYSICIAN/PATIENT 07-2-3995 John S. Tawgin v. Medical Ctr. of Ocean County, Inc., et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Trial judge erred in not reinstating a medical-malpractice complaint–which was dismissed without prejudice for counsel’s failure to provide timely answers to interrogatories–on grounds that the motion to reinstate the complaint was not filed within 30 days of its dismissal, since under R. 4:23-5 such motions can be filed within 90 days. TAXATION 35-5-3996 Joseph Newman v. Director, Div. of Taxation, Tax Ct. (25 pp.) Where hardwood-floor refinisher contended that he was not subject to sales and use tax, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:32B-3(b)(4), because his services did not consist of “maintaining, servicing or repairing real property” but were “capital improvements,” tax court rejected the argument, since the refinisher failed to demonstrate that the refinishing increased the value of the underlying property or extended its useful life. [Decided June 30, 1994; approved for publication.] 35-5-3997 Majestic Constr. Co. v. Deptford Township, Tax Ct. (9 pp.) Where taxpayer, which dismissed its complaint contesting 1993 tax assessment, moved to dismiss township’s counterclaim as being filed untimely, on grounds that R. 8:4-3(a) excludes the three-day mailing period afforded by R. 1:3-3 from property-tax counterclaims, tax court permitted counterclaim, since this interpretation would produce an illogical and inequitable result. [Decided July 22, 1994; approved for publication.] 35-5-3998 Martin W. Caulfield, et al. v. Surf City Borough, Tax Ct. (10 pp.) Where beachfront property owner, challenging property tax evaluation, claimed that property should be valued as a vacant building lot with reduced dimensions due to building restrictions, tax court (1) rejected contention based on expert’s opinion that the highest and best use of the property was its present use as a single-family residence, and (2) assessed taxes by applying the Chapter 123 Ratio, under N.J.S.A. 54:1-35a, to the fair-market value. [Decided July 18, 1994; approved for publication.] 35-5-3999 Seacoast Realty Co. v. West Long Branch Borough, Tax Ct. (14 pp.) Where realtor refused to accept tax settlement that its counsel reached with borough, tax court would not vacate the settlement, since the realtor’s counsel failed to establish “compelling circumstances” that would justify vacating the settlement or “exceptional circumstances” that would justify vacating judgments entered under R.4:50-1. [Decided June 10, 1994; approved for publication.}

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