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VOL. 2, NO. 197 DECISIONS RELEASED NOVEMBER 9, 1994 TAXATION 35-2-4275 Dr. Fouad Fahmy Shafik v. City of Jersey City, App. Div. (3 pp.) Where doctor contested his 1991 property tax, tax court properly denied the appeal, since the Freeze Act, N.J.S.A. 54:3-26, is inapplicable because the base-year assessment was 1988. ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION 03-2-4276 The Radco Constr. Corp and L. Kidd, Inc. v. The Children’s Place, Inc., et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where contract-dispute defendant claimed that the arbitrator’s award was procured by undue means, trial court properly upheld the award, since there was no showing of serious wrongdoing, which is needed for a court to overturn a private arbitration award. CIVIL PROCEDURE – BANKRUPTCY – TORTS 07-2-4277 Anna Peterla v. Shop Rite of Hamilton, et al., App. Div. (3 pp.) Where shopper sued landlord and defendant stores–including Jamesway, a Chapter 11 debtor�for injuries sustained in a slip and fall, trial court erred in dismissing the complaint against all defendants, since the filing of a bankruptcy petition operates as an automatic stay only as to claims against the bankrupt entity. FAMILY LAW 20-2-4278 Luise Freiter v. Wilhelm Freiter, App. Div. (6 pp.) In a divorce proceeding, trial court erred in holding (1) that the marriage ended in 1985 for the purposes of determining equitable distribution, since the parties continued to reside in the same household until 1992, and (2) that a husband’s obligation to pay alimony automatically ceases when he retires, since the wife in this case may not be able to continue working because she has undergone several cancer operations. 20-2-4279 Claudia Marie Zichello v. Peter John Zichello, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where husband contested alimony award on grounds that wife’s rent payment request was arbitrary, trial court properly awarded wife $750 for rent and $250 for car payments in calculating alimony, since the judge’s decision did not constitute legal error or abuse of discretion. INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES 23-2-4280 Russell Brown and Martha Brown v. Shaun Terrell Marsh and Joe Cray, App. Div. (5 pp.) Where a passenger with hypertension was injured in an automobile accident, trial court erred in dismissing the complaint for failure to meet the verbal threshold, since the doctor’s report, even though it did not state that the passenger had sustained a “significant limitation of use of a body function or system,” demonstrated that the accident aggravated her hypertension, which limited the functioning of her circulatory system. 23-2-4281 Gary DeFalco and Angela DeFalco v. Daniel F. Leahy Jr., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where plaintiff injured his back in an automobile accident, trial court properly dismissed the complaint for failure to meet the verbal threshold, since doctors’ reports did not establish that plaintiff lost the “permanent use of a body organ, member, function or system.” 23-2-4282 John Lively, Jr. v. Lisa J. Palmer and Warner Ins. Sys. and N.J.A.F.I.U.A., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where plaintiff injured his back in an automobile accident, trial court properly dismissed the complaint for failure to meet the verbal threshold, since the injury did not have a serious impact on his life. 23-2-4283 Kathleen Quinn v. Timothy Storey, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where plaintiff was injured in an automobile accident, trial judge erred in dismissing the complaint for failure to meet the verbal threshold, since the judge did not make adequate findings of fact and conclusions of law. INSURANCE – CORRECTIONS 23-2-4284 Minnie Randall v. State of New Jersey, et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Where correctional facility visitor sued for trauma after she was strip-searched because money was found, in violation of regulations, in the possession of the prisoner she was visiting, trial court properly dismissed the claim under Tort Claims Act’s verbal-threshold provision, but erred in accepting the complaints as true when deciding the motion, since they were not supported by objective medical evidence. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-4285 State v. Tommy Lee Sims, App. Div. (15 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of heroin possession, trial court properly denied defendant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim for defense counsel’s failure to call defense witnesses, since one witness was not present at the drug transaction, and the other witness was in prison at the time of trial. APPROVED FOR PUBLICATION: 11-2-4244 Van Natta Mech. Corp. v. Joseph Di Staulo, et al. (Nov. 3, 1994); 12-2-4245 Ralph Muellenberg and Bikon-Technik v. Bikon Corp. (Nov. 3, 1994); 14-2-4260 State v. Jose Ribalta (Nov. 3, 1994); 15-2-4262 Ruby Cromartie, et al. v. Carteret Savings & Loan (Nov. 3, 1994); 23-2-4265 Nancy Strube v. Travelers Indem. Co. of Ill. (Nov. 3, 1994) EDITOR’S NOTE: The Alert was not published yesterday, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 1994, since the courts were closed.

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