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Vol. 3 No. 247 Decisions Released Jan. 2, 1996 STATE COURT CASES CIVIL PROCEDURE — PRO SE PLAINTIFFS — SANCTIONS 07-2-7451 Tarunlant N. Mithani v. Ramesh Shah, et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Trial judge correctly dismissed collection complaint and sanctioned the pro se plaintiff, finding that he never properly served a summons or complaint on any of the five defendants before he had default judgments entered against them. EDUCATION 16-2-7452 Virginia Gittleman v. Bd. of Education of the Twp. of Hamilton, etc., App. Div. (12 pp.) Where former director of elementary education — in a reduction in force after a budget defeat — was reassigned to the position of high school principal despite her tenure entitlement to the position of assistant superintendent for curriculum and instructional services, her tenure rights were violated since she was entitled to a preference in the reduction in force as against a non-tenured applicant with the same certification. FAMILY LAW 20-2-7453 Sharon Grenell, f/k/a Sharon Simmons v. Martin G. Simmons, App. Div. (10 pp.) Motion to vacate order declaring the parties’ daughter emancipated was correctly denied, since the daughter had been living independently since graduating from college, and medical reports indicating some psychological problems did not warrant a change in the emancipation decision; however, award of counsel fees to husband for defense of the motion is reversed. INSURANCE — VERBAL THRESHOLD 23-2-7454 Christopher L. Onweller v. Juan Roth, App. Div. (4 pp.) Complaint properly dismissed where there was no evidence that plaintiff’s post-traumatic stress disorder was causally related to the subject accident. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT 25-2-7455 Robert C. Brown v. Twp. of Old Bridge, App. Div. (14 pp.) Municipality’s failure to comply with the Special Compensation Statute, N.J.S.A. 40A:14-154, did not bar disability benefits payable to retired police officer under collective bargaining agreement. NEGLIGENCE — RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR — SETTLEMENTS 31-2-7456 Michael J. Wolfman, etc., et al. v. Weichert Realty of Aberdeen, App. Div. (9 pp.) Where plaintiff injured in auto accident settled with the individual defendant but not did not specifically preserve his claims against the realty company for whom the settling defendant was employed at the time of the accident, and where summary judgment had been granted in behalf of the company prior to the settlement, the court properly held that the settlement ended the litigation as to all parties. TORTS — FALSE ARREST — FALSE IMPRISONMENT 36-2-7457 Derrick Wright v. ABC Corp., Inc., etc., et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Defendant department store and its employee were properly granted summary judgment since store employee had probable cause to detain plaintiff for shoplifting, and the 45-minute period of detention was reasonable. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION 39-2-7458 Cecil Witty v. Fortunoff, App. Div. (5 pp.) Department store maintenance worker’s petition was erroneously dismissed as time-barred — on the grounds that it was not filed within two years of his last authorized treatment — since the employer lulled the employee into a false sense of security by sending him to a different doctor for “evaluation,” and it was not until he received a letter that his employer would no longer provide medical treatment after that “evaluation” that he was aware of the termination of medical care, and the petition was filed within two years of the date of the letter. [Approved for publication Jan. 2, 1995. Available online in NJ Full-Text Decisions.] 39-2-7459 Lawrence Whritenour v. Twp. of West Milford Bd. of Education, et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) There was sufficient credible evidence to support the finding of the compensation judge that former school custodian, afflicted with lung cancer, suffered a 100 percent compensable disability due to his exposure to asbestos in school basements. FEDERAL COURT CASES ATTORNEYS — ETHICS — EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS 04-7-7460 In re: The Prudential Insurance Co. of America Sales Practice Litigation (all actions), U.S. Dist. Ct. (16 pp.) In a proposed class action — alleging that The Prudential Insurance Company misrepresented certain insurance products — Prudential’s motion for a protective order restricting plaintiffs’ attorneys from ex parte contact with present and former Prudential employees is granted, subject to the guidelines of N.J. Supreme Ct. Opinion 668, including, inter alia, requirements that plaintiffs’ counsel provide a “script” to the court which counsel will follow in its initial contact with potential interviewees and provide advance notice of all ex parte interviews to Prudential. [For publication. Available online in 3rd Circuit - District Court.] BANKRUPTCY 42-7-7461 Thomas P. Winkler v. Midlantic Bank, N.A., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (14 pp.) Where bank was granted relief from the automatic stay to proceed with foreclosure and sheriff’s sale, motion by bank to dismiss debtor’s appeal of bankruptcy court’s order denying him a stay pending his appeal of that order is granted, since the underlying 1994 bankruptcy proceeding has already been dismissed, and the debtor’s right to an automatic stay has ceased to exist, and, in addition, the record supports the court’s conclusion that the 1994 petition was filed in bad faith and for the purposes of delay.

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