STATE COURT CASES
 
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION — ARBITRATION
03-1-9329 Borough of East Rutherford v. East Rutherford PBA Local 275, Sup. Ct. (LaVecchia, J.) (42 pp., including dissent by Patterson, J.) The arbitration award is sustained because it was not procured by undue means, the arbitrator did not exceed her authority, the award was not contrary to existing law or public policy, and the award was a reasonably debatable interpretation of the collective-bargaining agreement. [Decided March 19, 2013.]
 
CRIMINAL LAW — SEARCH AND SEIZURE
14-1-9325 State v. Vargas, Sup. Ct. (Albin, J.) (54 pp., including dissent by Patterson, J.) The community-caretaking doctrine is not a justification for the warrantless entry and search of a home in the absence of some form of an objectively reasonable emergency. [Decided March 18, 2013.]
 
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW — ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
17-2-xxxx In re N.J.A.C. 7:1B-1.1, App. Div. (Parrillo, P.J.A.D.) (54 pp.) We uphold the Department of Environmental Protection’s Waiver Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:1B-1.1 to -2.4, as against claims they are ultra vires, vague and ill-defined. We find the promulgation constitutes a valid exercise of the DEP’s implied authority incidental to the extensive powers vested in the agency by the Legislature. We also find the waiver rules establish appropriate and clear standards for the exercise of agency discretion. We invalidate, however, the documents on the DEP’s website, to the extent they go beyond the terms of the regulations, as de facto rulemaking in violation of the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. [Decided March 21, 2013.]
 
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
25-2-xxxx Silver v. Board of Review, App. Div. (Lisa, J.A.D., retired and temporarily assigned on recall) (21 pp.) We reversed the Board of Review’s finding of “severe misconduct,” a new intermediate level of misconduct added to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(b) by a 2010 amendment. Although some of the examples of severe misconduct specified in the amendatory provision, by their literal terms, could be satisfied by repeated violations of the employer’s rules occasioned by negligence or inadvertence, we held that deliberate conduct is required. The board did not find deliberate conduct in this case, and the record would not support such a finding. [Decided March 21, 2013.]
 
TORTS — MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
36-3-9315 Jacobsen v. Dara, Law Div. — Ocean Co. (Gizinski, J.S.C.) (9 pp.) This motion addressed the applicability of the offer-of-judgment rule in a multiplaintiff medical-negligence case. The issue is whether Rule 4:58-4 allows multiple plaintiffs to file a single, aggregate offer of judgment as to all of their claims. [Decided Sept. 16, 2011.]
 
FEDERAL COURT CASES
 
BANKRUPTCY
42-6-9317 In re Stoner, U.S. Bank. Ct. (Kaplan, U.S.B.J.) (20 pp.) The trustee filed a motion objecting to exemptions seeking to prohibit the debtor from claiming a homestead exemption under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1) in real estate previously owned by his father. The debtor opposes the trustee’s motion and contends that he is entitled to take the exemption because the real estate passed directly to him at his father’s death and because he is permitted to amend his bankruptcy petition and schedules at any time prior to the close of his case. In response to the trustee’s argument that the property passed to the fiduciary at the time of the decedent’s death, the debtor submits that as the executor, he held an interest in the property on the date of the bankruptcy filing, entitling him to an exemption. The debtor’s mere occupancy of the property at the time of filing, even when coupled with his expectancy under the will, does not entitle him to claim a homestead exemption. The court finds that the property was not the debtor’s “homestead” or “residence” within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1) at the time the debtor filed his petition. Therefore, he may not claim an exemption. The court grants the trustee’s motion. [Filed March 6, 2013.]
 
CONSUMER PROTECTION
09-8-9312 Maniscalco v. Brother International (USA) Corporation, Third Cir. (Barry, U.S.C.J.) (15 pp.) Walter Huryk appeals from the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Brother International Corp. (BIC) and dismissing his putative class-action claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA). The circuit panel finds the district court properly dismissed that claim — a claim for concealing or failing to disclose two design defects present in BIC’s line of Multi-Function Center (MFC) machines — on the ground that South Carolina law, not New Jersey law, is the applicable law. South Carolina, unlike New Jersey, would not permit the statutory consumer fraud claims to proceed as a class action. [Filed March 8, 2013.]