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Vol. 4 No. 116 – JUNE 18, 1996 STATE COURT CASES ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — PLUMBERS 01-1-9259 In the Matter of the Suspension or Revocation of the License of Joseph Fichner, Jr., etc., Supreme Ct. (21 pp.) The Appellate Division properly set aside the vote of the State Board of Master Plumbers — suspending a plumber s license — because of the statutory ineligibility of three of the seven voting members and because another member had not attended any of the hearings on the matter. CONTRACTS — FRAUD 11-2-9260 Lawrence I. Lerner, etc. v. Murray Stern, et al. v. First Fidelity Bank, N.A., N.J., App. Div. (6 pp.) Where investors allege that they were induced to part with investment funds by reason of the bank’s alleged promises to match those funds with additional loans to the subject company, bank was properly granted summary judgment on breach of contract and fraud claims, since, inter alia, investors could not show that the subsequently-bankrupt company would have remained financially viable even if bank had made the alleged loans. DEBTOR/CREDITOR — FORECLOSURE 15-2-9261 Hamilton Capital Holdings Corp., etc. v. James L. Kirby, et al. v. Bank of New York, etc., et al., App. Div. (12 pp.) Counterclaim and third-party claim in foreclosure action — alleging estoppel, fraud, negligence and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing against the creditors on the basis of a purported modification agreement — were properly dismissed since modification agreement was never signed by creditor and failed to meet the statute of frauds. FAMILY LAW 20-2-9262 Robert B. Crews, Jr. v. Barbara D. Crews, App. Div. (5 pp.) Although judge on remand attempted to explain the reasons for his child support order, he was hampered by the fact that wife/ custodial parent refused to participate in the trial and therefore judge had no meaningful information regarding the real expenses of raising the two children, and matter is remanded for reconsideration after both parties have submitted case information statements. 20-2-9263 Jane Zirulnik v. Mark Zirulnik, App. Div. (3 pp.) There was ample basis in the record for the judge to conclude, without holding a plenary hearing, that the increased income of the parties warranted a higher contribution towards child support, given the probable advancing costs to maintain the now-teenaged sons. INSURANCE 23-2-9264 Dharam Ramlogan v. Rent-A-Lift, et al. v. Leslie Rampersad, etc., et al. v. American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co., et al., App. Div. (12 pp.) In a forklift accident case, it was error to grant summary judgment for indemnification in favor of forklift lessee against insurer, because there were factual questions about the notice insurer received of the claim and about whether insurer was required to provide coverage in this case. LAND USE 26-2-9265 Earl Stillwell, et al. v. Hamilton Twp., Bd. of Adj., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where a letter was sent to landowners memorializing board s denial of confirmation of pre-existing non-conforming use, and that letter made reference to future publication of the decision, and where a subsequent letter was sent enclosing an actual copy of the board s resolution, there existed sufficient confusion regarding the date on which the time limit to appeal began to run such that the appeal — filed only two weeks late — should not have been dismissed as untimely. NEGLIGENCE — DOCKS 31-2-9266 Craig Good, et al. v. Jeffrey Hartman, et al. v. David Bishop, et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Where plaintiff was seriously injured on a piece of metal and wood submerged in the water off a dock: (1) lake property owners who held easement to dock but never used it, maintained it or had anything to do with it other than being beneficiaries of the easement were properly granted summary judgment, however (2) with respect to those property owners who used the dock and shared maintenance thereof, there must be further discovery regarding work that had been done on the dock, the maintenance and use arrangement between the owners, and their knowledge of the dangerous condition, and summary judgment in favor of these owners is reversed. NEGLIGENCE — POLICE PURSUIT — IMMUNITY 31-1-9267 Maria J. Canico v. Orlando L. Hurtado, et al., Supreme Ct. (10 pp.) A police officer responding to the report of a crime is entitled to immunity from liability for the negligent operation of a police vehicle if the officer acted in good faith within the meaning of the N.J. Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:3-3, and the Appellate Division s judgment against the officer is reversed. PHYSICIAN/PATIENT 29-2-9268 Daniel H. Frohwirth v. Michael C. Alpert, M.D., App. Div. (11 pp.) Judge did not err in failing to give the jury a spoliation inference or an adverse-inference instruction based on the doctor s destruction of evidence — videotapes of his sessions with plaintiff — since the tapes would not have been relevant to the malpractice issues and since the doctor s detailed session notes — which constituted the best evidence on those issues — were available. TAXATION 35-2-9269 VSH Realty, Inc. v. Harding Twp., App. Div. (9 pp.) Considering what type of conduct at the county board level should reasonably preclude a de novo review by the Tax Ct., the court holds that, where taxpayer s attorney appeared at hearing at county board level and cross-examined local tax assessor, even though his evidence was not sufficient to sustain his appeal, there was sufficient effort put forth that the appeal should not have been dismissed for lack of prosecution at the county level. [Approved for publication Jun. 18, 1996.] A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions

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