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Vol. 3 No. 161 Decisions Released August 25, 1995 STATE COURT CASES EVIDENCE 19-2-6444 James Polloni v. Shell Oil Co., Inc., et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Trial court correctly granted defendants’ motion to dismiss since there was insufficient evidence from which the trier of fact could conclude that the driver of the red motor vehicle — which hit and injured plaintiff — was an agent, servant or employee of defendants, or that the driver, even if he were an employee, was acting in his capacity as an employee when the accident occurred, and such a conclusion could only be based upon speculation. FAMILY LAW 20-2-6445 Robert B. Crews, Jr. v. Barbara D. Crews, App. Div. (14 pp.) In a ‘protracted, acrimonious and financially complex’ matrimonial action, where wife refused to participate in, and, in fact, left, the trial because judge had denied her attorney ‘adequate’ compensation, and allegedly, therefore, compromised her ability to complete discovery, the judge’s findings of fact and conclusions of law are nevertheless satisfied by the record, and will be affirmed as far as alimony and equitable distribution, since he not only considered the husband’s evidence, but also the wife s case information statement, and the reports of her experts, however, the matter is remanded for reconsideration of the child support award, since no conclusions of law or findings of fact were set forth regarding this aspect of the decision. TAXATION 35-5-6446 Eileen Gifford v. Director, Div. of Taxation, Tax Ct. (12 pp.) Where inheritance tax assessment was made on March 5, 1992, and, at no time within the 90-day appeals period did plaintiff either file a protest and request a hearing, or file a complaint with the Tax Court, her appeal is barred by the statute of limitations, and her contention that she relied on ongoing correspondence with the Division as tolling the limitations period is meritless, since that correspondence did not even commence until 225 days after the assessment was made, long after the limitations period expired. [Approved for publication.] WORKERS’ COMPENSATION 39-11-6447 Luis F. Blanco v. U.S. Urethane Roofers Corp., Workers’ Comp. Ct. (22 pp.) In case where petitioner, a laborer for a roofing and commercial building maintenance company, suffered a severely herniated disc when moving a large compressor, an admittedly compensable accident, and the condition involves permanent substantial irreversible traumatic structural damage, confirmed by several widely separated examinations and corroborated by independent sources, which have substantially altered the petitioner s ability to function on a daily basis, the court finds that petitioner is disabled to the extent of 40% of permanent partial, with an orthopedic and neurological disability of 20% and a psychiatric disability of 20%. FEDERAL COURT CASES CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE — HABEAS CORPUS 14-7-6448 Abdula A. Farrakhan v. Patrick Arvonio, U.S. Dist. Ct. (14 pp.) (1) Although the emphasis of the habeas corpus petition may be slightly different from the state claim, they are similar enough that petitioner has provided the N.J. Supreme Court an opportunity to address his alleged constitutional violations, and he, therefore, has exhausted his state remedies. (2) The petition is denied, however, because (a) petitioner s contention that his constitutional right to confront a hostile witness was denied, when the trial judge allowed the prior testimony of the witness to be read by the jury, is without merit since the testimony which was read by the jury included the cross- examination of the witness by petitioner’s counsel at the prior hearing, and (b) petitioner’s contentions that the state improperly questioned an alibi witness concerning her pretrial silence, that the trial judge erred in failing to instruct the jury on the issue of identification, or those about his sentence do not reach constitutional issues and are not appropriate for review on a habeas corpus petition. END

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