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Vol. 3 No. 154 – AUGUST 16, 1995 STATE COURT CASES Editor’s Note: Please note that we are now including decisions issued by the Division of Workers’ Compensation on a trial basis. The cases will be found under the Workers’ Compensation topic heading with a court designation code number of 11. INSURANCE — HOMEOWNER’S COVERAGE 23-2-6383 Robert DiFrancisco v. Chubb Ins. Co., App. Div. (16 pp.) In case where homeowner sued for coverage under his homeowner’s policy for loss of furnishings and valuables allegedly stolen during two burglaries at his home, motion judge correctly granted summary judgment to insurer, since insured materially breached the policy when he refused to produce his corporate books and records, given the substantial suspicious circumstances existing in the case, however, for future guidance, the court notes that an insured who is uncertain as to whether he must comply with the insurer’s document production demands must promptly file a declaratory judgment action seeking judicial clarification of the policy obligations. [Approved for publication Aug. 16, 1995.] LANDLORD/TENANT 27-2-6384 Dianne M. Rocco, et al. v. Paul Goldman, et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where tenants vacated premises before the expiration of a lease because they received a telephone call from landlord’s rental office telling them that they had to vacate by a certain date or be charged $30 per day, the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in finding that the tenants had the right to rely on the caller’s apparent authority, even though the caller was mistaken, and the award of the balance of the security deposit to the tenants is affirmed. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION 39-11-6385 Barbara A. Zentz v. St. Konstantinos Inc., etc., Div. of Workers Comp. (6 pp.) Case law and Section 362(b)(4) and (5) of the Bankruptcy Act permit the exemption of workers’ compensation proceedings from the general stay imposed by Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding brought against respondent, and, when and if compensability is found (or a settlement obtained), the petitioner and/or the Uninsured Fund may seek a bankruptcy court ruling as to the enforceability of any money judgment against the debtor/respondent. 39-11-6386 Oral L. McClain v. City of Newark, Div. of Workers Comp. (7 pp.) Although petitioner was injured in the course of his employment–he was performing his job as a groundskeeper at the time and place he was injured–since the injury did not arise out of his employment because there was no causation between his job and his argument and scuffle with police officers, it is not compensable. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-6387 State v. Donald E. Howard, App. Div. (7 pp.) Defendant’s conviction of parking in a fire zone is affirmed, notwithstanding his allegations that N.J.S.A. 39:4-191.1 and .2b require that fire zones must be painted with yellow stripes in uniformity of markings, since defendant has not satisfied the court that the statutory directions apply to markings in a private shopping mall, where the violation occurred, and the nature and extent of the markings that were present were adequate notice that parking was prohibited in the subject area. FEDERAL COURT CASES ATTORNEYS — INTEREST ON FEES — CLASS ACTION 04-7-6388 Cecil McLendon, et al. v. The Continental Group, et al., etc., U.S. Dist. Ct. (24 pp.) In a report and recommendation concerning interest on plaintiff class’s attorneys fees, based on substantial legal and equitable grounds, the court finds that the interest rate on unpaid fee amounts should be set at the higher statutory interest rate set forth in 28 U.S.C. 1961, rather than at the lower rate of earnings in the settlement fund. BANKRUPTCY — LANDLORD/TENANT — DAMAGES 42-6-6389 In re: Edward S. Cohen; Hilda DeLaCruz, et al. v. Edward S. Cohen, U.S. Bankruptcy Ct. (23 pp.) In damages portion of adversary proceeding, where debtor/landlord had committed fraud and misrepresentation to tenants, the Consumer Fraud Act applies, and tenants are entitled to treble damages. CONTRACTS — ENTERTAINMENT 11-7-6390 The Platinum Group, Inc. v. Ruth Landers, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (16 pp.) In a case in which New Jersey corporation contracted with California corporation to raise money for children’s television project, and venture failed, New Jersey corporation’s motion to dismiss California corporation’s counterclaims and affirmative defenses for misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice and fraud in the inducement is denied, since a prima facie case has been made as to these claims, but (1) because California corporation failed to show that it lost any contract because of any action by the New Jersey corporate principal, the tortious interference claim will be dismissed; (2) because the New Jersey principal is not alleged to have done anything coercive other than file suit, claim for abuse of process is dismissed; and (3) because the New Jersey Unfair Trade Practices Act applies to mass marketers, and does not apply to isolated sales, the claim under the act is also dismissed. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY 25-7-6391 Pattie Oliver v. Shirley S. Chater, Comm’r of Social Security, U.S. Dist. Ct. (19 pp.) Administrative law judge’s decision denying social security disability benefits to motel housekeeper is reversed, since the judge (1) improperly failed to produce support or explain his conclusion regarding the reliability of various forms of diagnostic testing, (2) ignored the report of one of the physicians without cause, and (3) discredited housekeeper’s subjective complaints of pain. TAXATION — INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE — SUMMONS 35-7-6392 U.S.A. v. Joseph Raniere, U.S. Dist. Ct. (23 pp.) (1) The government has made out a prima facie case for the enforcement of the Internal Revenue Service summons against defendant in his capacity as company’s president and, since defendant’s technical challenges that summons is unduly burdensome, overbroad, and lacks specificity are without merit, the government’s petition to enforce the summons is granted. (2) Defendant’s assertion of a general Fifth Amendment privilege is insufficient as a matter of law, since the privilege against self-incrimination does not apply where an individual attempts to resist a subpoena for corporate documents because producing them could incriminate him individually, and, absent a request from the government, a court will not grant a use immunity;therefore defendant’s immunity request is denied. [For publication.]

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