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Vol. 3 No. 179 Decisions Released Sept. 21, 1995 STATE COURT CASES EDUCATION 16-2-6557 Deptford Township Bd. of Educ. v. Deptford Township Educ. Ass’n., App. Div. (3 pp.) The trial judge correctly confirmed arbitrator’s decision, which awarded teacher a salary- level step up based upon her completion of a sufficient length of service, since the teacher specifically had accelerated her maternity leave by one month to accomodate a request of her principal, and, therefore, her inability to meet the required length of working time to qualify for the step-up by one week was not due to her own actions. FAMILY LAW 20-2-6558 Janice Sousa v. Jack Sousa, App. Div. (6 pp.) The motion judge correctly held that the parties’ settlement agreement, stipulating that husband’s income would not be considered to be less than $33,000 per year so long as he remained self-employed, meant that the court would not modify the parties’ support arrangement in response to husband’s alleged change in financial circumstances, and therefore the judge properly denied husband’s post-divorce motion for reduction in payments of rehabilitative alimony, maintenance and child support. 20-2-6559 Delores Costello v. Francis H. Costello, App. Div. (5 pp.) The portion of judge’s order increasing husband’s child support obligation is reversed, since the judge failed to set forth the unemancipated child’s needs, or her ability to contribute to meeting those needs. FAMILY LAW — COHABITATION 20-2-6560 Joseph Jantzen v. Virginia Lowe, App. Div. (7 pp.) Although trial judge’s determination that there was no express or implied agreement that defendant would convey 50 percent of the residence to plaintiff was supported by the evidence, the record is insufficient to determine the equitable principle the judge applied or the facts that justified application of that principle to support judge’s determination that plaintiff was owed a one- third share, and the matter is reversed and remanded. INSURANCE — P.I.P. 23-2-6561 Neddy Resto v. Pa. Nat’l. Mut. Casualty Ins. Co., App. Div. (2 pp.) There is sufficient credible evidence in the record to support trial court findings that plaintiff’s TMJ problems were not caused or aggravated by an automobile accident, and, therefore, medical expenses incurred in treating the TMJ problems were not covered by the PIP provisions of plaintiff’s insurance policy. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION 25-2-6562 Ralph R. Gibilisco v. Bd. of Review, et al., App. Div. (3 pp.) Plaintiff was properly denied his unemployment-benefits claim because he failed to meet the reporting requirements of the Division of Unemployment and Disability Insurance when he obtained reemployment. LANDLORD/TENANT 27-2-6563 Cynthia Castro v. Felix Obodo, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where tenant sued landlord, seeking treble damages and attorney’s fees because she claimed she vacated the rental premises because of landlord’s false representation that he intended to personally occupy the premises, judge properly dismissed the case since, even though the landlord’s reasons for asking tenant to leave were inconsistent, the judge found that the tenant left the premises solely because of her personal needs. NEGLIGENCE — LANDLORD/TENANT 31-2-6564 Barbara Mayo v. Robert Bongiovani, et al., App. Div. (5 pp.) Where guest of tenant slipped and fell in a water puddle that leaked from an air conditioner unit, and filed suit against tenant and landlord alleging failure to maintain the rental premises in a safe condition, judge properly granted summary judgment in favor of defendants, since (1) landlords had inspected the premises before the rental, and could not be held liable for any allegedly defective condition which came into existence after the tenant took possession, and (2) there is no proof that landlord had any knowledge of prior air conditioner leaks. NEGLIGENCE — JURY INSTRUCTIONS 31-2-6565 Donald Toner v. CEM Ozyigit, et al.; Muhammed Idrees, et al. v. Basilis Zacharatos, App. Div. (5 pp.) Verdict in case involving five-car collision must be reversed because the judge refused to include within his instructions the principles of Dolson v. Anastasia, 55 N.J. 2 (1969), which said that a failure to maintain a reasonably safe driving distance behind the car ahead, or not having due regard for the speed and road conditions, constitute negligence, and that a jury should be so instructed. TAXATION 35-5-6566 Corporate Property Investors v. Director, Div. of Taxation, Tax Ct. (10 pp.) Plaintiff, having duly elected treatment as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) for federal income tax purposes, may deduct dividends paid to its investors in computing its federal income, and, since such deductions do not qualify as “special deductions,” the plaintiff also may deduct them for New Jersey corporation business tax (CBT) purposes, and the director’s decision to the contrary is reversed. [Approved for publication. Availble online in N.J. Full-Text Documents] 35-2-6567 Advanced Thread Corp. v. City of Hackensack, App. Div. (3 pp.) Where landowner knew of municipality’s implementation of a complete city-wide reassessment and revaluation program, and had actual knowledge that its property had been assessed for the 1993 tax year at an amount different from the assessments arrived at by settlement and incorporated in the Tax Court’s judgment for the tax years 1991 and 1992, the Freeze Act plainly did not apply to the 1993 assessment because the binding effect of the judgment terminates with the tax year immediately preceding the year in which a program for a complete revaluation of all real property in a district has been put into effect. 35-2-6568 Joseph Newman v. Director, Div. of Taxation, App. Div. (2 pp.) Assessment of sales tax on plaintiff’s service of refinishing hardwood floors is affirmed, since the services fall within the statutory language that taxes receipts from every sale of service of “maintaining, servicing or repairing real property,” and do not fall within language which exempts the installation of property that constitutes an addition or capital improvement to real property. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-6569 State, in the Interest of J.S., App. Div. (10 pp.) While juvenile’s cocain-possession conviction is affirmed, the evidence was insufficient to support an adjudication of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, since the state did not show beyond a reasonable doubt that juvenile intended to sell the vials of cocaine rather than possessing them for his own personal use, and this conviction is reversed. FEDERAL COURT CASE LAND USE — CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — TORTS 26-7-6570 Marilyn Battaglia v. Twp. of Wayne, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (11 pp.) (1) Where plaintiff asserts constitutional due process violations, alleging that defendants–the municipality and its mayor–acted out of personal animosity and bad faith in preventing her from developing her property, the alleged actions do not qualify as “legislative activity” and defendants’ summary judgment motion on the basis that they are immune fails, but since the mayor has submitted unopposed evidence that counters plaintiff’s constitutional allegations as to him, summary judgment will be granted in his favor on these counts. (2) The mayor’s request for summary judgment will be denied on plaintiff’s tortious interference claim, however, since his evidence does not directly counter these allegations.

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