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20-2-6585 Schwartz v. Schwartz, App. Div. (per curiam) (37 pp.) On the parties’ cross-appeals regarding the divorce judgment, the court finds no abuse of discretion in: (1) the requirement that defendant maintain a $1 million life insurance policy to secure plaintiff’s future alimony award, and an additional $500,000 to secure his son’s future child support; (2) the award of counsel fees to plaintiff; (3) defendant’s college and unreimbursed medical expense obligations; and (4) the $6,500 monthly alimony award to plaintiff. Reviewing the facts and history of the matter to put the issues of equitable distribution, alimony and child support in context, the court rejects defendant’s arguments that the judge erred in certain asset valuations, in including his stock options in the equitable distribution award, and in failing to consider the tax consequences of his investments; however it does find that the award was not equitable, and exercises its original jurisdiction to modify the judgment. The court also recalculates the parties’ child support obligations and modifies the subsequent award.


20-2-6586 State v. Harris, App. Div. (per curiam) (4 pp.) The trial judge erred in finding that defendant’s conduct — in angrily chastising his ex-wife concerning the condition of the former marital residence, including use of profanity and calling his wife a “mental case” — constituted harassment; therefore, defendant was wrongly convicted of violating a domestic violence restraining order. Although the encounter was emotionally charged, perhaps vulgar and disrespectful, there was no finding of the requisite “purpose” to harass.


22-2-6587 Center for Outreach and Svcs. to the Autism Community, et al. v. Div. of Developmental Disabilities, App. Div. (per curiam) (39 pp.) The court agrees with appellants — an organization consisting of individuals with autism and their parents and guardians — in their challenge to certain regulatory amendments to N.J.A.C. 10:46C-1, “Waiting List Procedures” promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services for use by the Division of Developmental Disabilities in determining waiting list criteria for residential placement of persons with qualifying disabilities. The challenged regulations prescribe new age limitations for parents of a person with disabilities for placement on the priority category on the residential placement wait list, from fifty-five to sixty, but establishes exceptions for eligible disabled persons who require psychiatric, behavioral or physical support. The panel invalidates the amendments, concluding that this change in criteria for priority status lacked an adequate factual basis, and that the amendments were adopted without adequate notice to the public or affected families


23-2-6588 Gorin v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Co., App. Div. (per curiam) (19 pp.) Reviewing the case law on what constitutes a “collapse,” in light of the policy language in this case, the panel concludes that the Law Division judge aptly found that plaintiff’s homeowners’ policy covered the collapse of a cement wall or support in the basement of his home.


23-2-6589 White, etc., et al. v. Johnson, et al., App. Div. (per curiam) (11 pp.) The judge accurately found that, while plaintiff had submitted sufficient Polk comparative analysis proof of aggravation of her pre-accident condition to overcome the objective first prong of the verbal threshold, but she failed to make a showing to vault the second prong, that the injuries had a serious impact on her life, where her only real limitation on her customary daily activities was her inability to do sit-ups and toe-touches before bed, which she had not shown were an extremely important aspect of her life.


23-2-6590 Karcs, et ux. v. Natl. Wholesale Liquidators, et al., etc., App. Div. (per curiam) (7 pp.) In this case where plaintiff, an employee of a masonry subcontractor, was severely injured when he fell while assisting with a concrete pour, and was impaled on a protruding rebar, the trial judge erred in determining that plaintiff’s employer’s insurance carrier had no responsibility to the general contractor because there was no formal written construction contract or agreement between plaintiff’s employer and the general contractor; the agency which issued the certificate of insurance had the authority to bind the carrier, and the certificate mentioned both the specific construction job and the general contractor; to the extent that the agent erred in issuing the certificate without receiving a written contract, that omission cannot work to the detriment of the general contractor, which relied on same.


25-2-6591 Faulknor v. Bd. of Review, App. Div. (per curiam) (5 pp.) Although plaintiff could no longer obtain work as an independent consultant, and the corporation she had formed for her consulting business was no longer active, she was not “unemployed” and was properly denied unemployment benefits because the corporation was not dissolved or bankrupt, as required by law.


31-2-6592 Waldron v. Johnson, et al., App. Div. (R.B. Coleman, J.A.D.) (11 pp.) When the jury has determined the percentages of fault attributable to joint tortfeasors, the trial judge must exercise discretion to mold the judgment and should enter one comprehensive judgment, where practicable. The rate of prejudgment interest should be determined based upon the full damage award, not on portions or segments of the award. Thus, a recovering party whose full recovery exceeds the monetary limit of the Special Civil Part at the time of entry is entitled to receive the two percent increase in the rate of interest contemplated by R. 4:42-11(a)(iii) and (b), even though each apportioned share of the judgment was equal to or less than that monetary limit. [Approved for publication Apr. 23, 2004.]


31-2-6593 Jolly, et ux. v. Super Fresh Food Markets, Inc., App. Div. (per curiam) (6 pp.) Distinguishing Ryder and Nisivoccia, the panel concludes that, although the elderly plaintiff did slip and fall in defendant’s supermarket, the judge properly granted the defendant summary judgment, since there was nothing more than speculation to link plaintiff to the liquid later found in the vicinity of her fall on the supermarket floor.


28-2-6594 D.Y.F.S. v. M.A.L.; I/M/O Guardianship of J.N.L., et al., Minors, App. Div. (per curiam) (12 pp.) The court justifiably terminated the parental rights of appellant to her five children — four boys and one girl, aged two to twelve — based on a record which included appellant’s long history of drug and alcohol addiction, and her inability to successfully address those problems, despite DYFS’s efforts to provide her with services.


33-2-6595 Steelman v. Cape May Cy. Sheriff’s Dept., et al., App. Div. (per curiam) (8 pp.) (1) The Police Training Commission aptly rejected appellant’s claim that she was improperly dismissed from the Firearms Training Program, conducted by the Atlantic County Corrections Academy; and (2) The Merit System Board then justly upheld appellant’s removal from her position as a Cape May County Corrections Officer, based on her failure to satisfy the firearms certification requirement.


35-2-6596 Tri-State Investment Assets, LLC, etc. v. Talarico, et al., App. Div. (per curiam) (19 pp.) Agreeing with the holder of the tax sale certificates in this case, the panel finds that, under the circumstances here presented, the trial court erred in declining to enforce the Tax Sale Law, and abused its discretion in finding “exceptional circumstances” under the court rules to justify its order vacating the judgment of tax foreclosure entered against defendant.


14-2-6597 State v. Eldridge, App. Div. (per curiam) (6 pp.) The appellate court reverses the trial judge’s order admitting defendant into the pre-trial intervention program over the State’s objection, noting that, although her participation (with her police-officer fiancé in the forgery of her elderly father’s signature on his savings bonds and cashing them) was her first offense, and although she made a full confession and full restitution to her father, the prosecutor’s conclusion that she was not amenable to rehabilitation was not a patent or gross abuse of discretion, where defendant refused to testify against her now-husband; her poor judgment and misguided loyalty is indicative of her continued inability to make the right decision when called upon to do so.

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