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Vol. 4, No. 162 – August 21, 1996 STATE COURT CASES FAMILY LAW 20-2-9894 Anna Buckman v. Charles Buckman, App. Div. (4 pp.) Since the court s projections of respective expenses and award of alimony were predicated upon a standard of living enjoyed for a small fraction of the parties marriage — already threatened by reason of defendant s involuntary income reduction at the time of the divorce — the judge s imputation of additional income to defendant is not supported and the alimony award is reversed. 20-2-9895 Mary Nell Ruley v. Michael P. Ruley, App. Div. (3 pp.) Nothing in the divorce judgment required plaintiff to divulge her place of employment or her work schedule to defendant, especially in light of the fact that a restraining order — entered pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act — prohibited defendant from having any contact with plaintiff, and therefore judge correctly denied defendant s motion seeking to compel plaintiff to provide this information. INSURANCE — P.I.P. 23-2-9896 Commercial Union Ins. Co. v. Rutgers Casualty Ins. Co., App. Div. (6 pp.) The trial court erred in declaring that the costs of processing benefit claims under N.J.S.A. 39:6A-9.1 included attorney s fees incurred by an insurer contesting PIP benefits paid to its insured. INSURANCE — U.I.M. BENEFITS 23-2-9897 Joseph Rose v. Cigna Property and Casualty, App. Div. (5 pp.) While the arbitrators may have informally agreed on the award among themselves, it was not formally rendered until after the decision of the Supreme Court in Aubrey v. Harleysville Ins. Cos., 140 N.J. 397 (1995) — holding that UIM coverage is personal to the claimant and linked to claimant s own insurance policy rather than to the UIM limits applicable to an insurance policy covering the vehicle which claimant drove — and therefore the award was clearly subject to the Aubrey limitation, and judge correctly set the arbitration award aside. PHYSICIAN/PATIENT — DENTISTS 29-2-9898 Eileen Bray, et al. v. Howard Strosberg, D.D.S., et al., App. Div. (14 pp.) In dental malpractice case where plaintiff s lingual nerve was damaged during a wisdom tooth extraction, verdict in favor of dentist is reversed since the error of judgment language found in the jury charge was confusing, prejudicial and led to a verdict against the weight of the evidence. FEDERAL COURT CASES BANKRUPTCY — SELF INCRIMINATION 42-6-9899 In re: A&L Oil Co., Inc., Debtor; Steven Teitelman, etc. v. Dale Petroleum Corp., etc., et al., U.S. Bankruptcy Ct. (9 pp.) Since individual defendant voluntarily revealed criminating facts during a deposition, he has lost the privilege against self-incrimination and may not invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid disclosure of further details, and the court grants the trustee s motion to compel defendant to continue to testify regarding the matters in question. [Filed Aug. 15, 1996.] CORRECTIONS — CIVIL RIGHTS 13-7-9900 Lorenzo Oliver v. William Fauver, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (10 pp.) Since inmate seeks to relitigate a claim that has been finally adjudicated in the state court system — regarding the due process of his being disciplined for disobedience of a prison official s order — his claim is dismissed, and his sour grapes regarding the state court system s decision do not abrogate the operation of claim preclusive doctrines. [Filed Aug.16, 1996.] A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions THIS WEEK IN THE … Welfare recipients and dozens of advocacy groups suffered a crippling loss this month when a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a controversial New Jersey law that denies benefits for children who are born while their mothers are receiving state aid. The ruling is the first by a federal appeals court on the Family Cap issue. See page 5 of this week’s Law Journal.

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