Official Business — With Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium only four months away, the National Football League is readying its defensive line to go up against businesses looking to capitalize on the Big Game sans permission.

Sports bars, casinos and even churches have been warned that using trademarked logos or the word “official” to advertise watch parties and other events will score them nothing but a cease-and-desist letter.

The NFL’s legal team is hard at work making sure Super Bowl signage is displayed solely by authorized businesses. While the league cannot challenge business owners’ use of the words “Super Bowl” to entice customers, associate counsel Dolores DiBella told The Star-Ledger that lawyers are on the lookout for information alluding to “NFL-sponsored” events taking place at unauthorized businesses.

Authorized marketing partnerships are available primarily for women and minority small-business owners through the Super Bowl XLVIII Business Connect, run by the NFL’s New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee. Opportunities for all types of businesses remain available through other NFL outlets.


Jeanine Pirro (Photo courtesy Fox News)

Block That Shot — North Jersey Media Group is suing yet another face of conservative politics for unauthorized use of The Record‘s iconic 9/11 photograph.

Jeanine Pirro, formerly Westchester County District Attorney in N.Y., and current host of Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News, was sued on Oct. 9 for using the image of three firefighters hoisting the American flag over Ground Zero wreckage on her Facebook page last month.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, echoes the suit filed last month against former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

NorthJersey.com reports Pirro was sent a cease-and-desist letter on Sept. 12, asking her to remove the image and pay an unspecified amount of money for using it. The photo was removed, but the letter went unanswered.

North Jersey Media Group claims the picture was used for personal gain, and seeks statutory damages, as well as an injunction to prevent Pirro from using the photo again.


Robert Reed (Photo: The Star-Ledger)

Longer in the Tooth — A Franklin Township man facing a lengthy prison sentence got a reprieve on Oct. 14 when a judge postponed his sentencing to let him visit his dentist.

Chris Hardley asked Somerset County Superior Court Judge Robert Reed whether he could put off going to jail, citing his need for dental work and his desire to spend the holiday season with his family. The judge compromised, moving the sentencing to Dec. 6 and allowing Hardley to be at home for Thanksgiving.

There will be no patience, however, for slow-goings at the dentist office. According to The Star-Ledger, Reed quipped that Hardley needed to tell his dentist “to accelerate the process.”

Hardley pleaded guilty after being arrested in June along with his wife, Kiesha, and another man on drug and weapons charges. He could spend six to 18 years in prison as the result of a plea deal.


Gloria Gaynor

Diva on Deck — New Jersey native and disco legend Gloria Gaynor has no praises to sing about the Piscataway landscaping company she claims left her with $120,000 worth of damage to her Green Brook home.

Gaynor filed a breach-of-contract suit on Oct. 16 in Somerset County Superior Court, alleging that a $38,000 job by Diaz Landscaping Design and Tree Service caused leaks and structural damage.

Diaz was commissioned by Gaynor to remove a second-floor concrete deck and install a replacement. Water allegedly began leaking into other parts of the house after the work was completed. Gaynor claims that Diaz’s attempts to correct the problem were unsuccessful and that a different company told her the only solution would be to fix the damage and install a new deck — at nearly three times the cost of the original.

Gaynor, represented by Somerville solo Drew Hurley, also accuses Diaz of consumer fraud, claiming his business isn’t registered with the state to perform home improvement projects and never secured proper permits for the deck’s construction.

Neither Hurley nor Diaz Landscaping returned messages.

Junk in the Trunk — A Basking Ridge man showed up at Hanover Municipal Court on Oct. 7 for a traffic case and ended up charged with a drug offense.

The Daily Record of Parsippany reports that 23-year-old James N. Davis was going through the court’s metal detectors when the alarm went off. A search revealed he was carrying 10 packets of heroin hidden inside a box of cigarettes.

Davis was charged with possession of a controlled substance and was sent to the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown after he was unable to post bail.

— By Jennifer Genova