01-2-3015 In the Matter of Petition of Time Warner Cable Inc., N.J. Super. App. Div. (per curiam) (10 pp.) This appeal related to the Board of Public Utilities’ approval of a merger between Charter Communications, Inc., and Time Warner Cable, Inc. Appellants National Association of African American-Owned Media and Entertainment Studios Networks Inc sought review of the final agency decision approving the merger. Appellants were not parties and did not comment upon or complain until after the agency voted to approve the merger. Appellants asserted that Charter had engaged in discriminatory practices and complained that the merger would further foster those unlawful practices. Nearly a month after the Board executed its final agency decision, appellants wrote to Rate Counsel, asking Rate Counsel to stay the Board’s order and schedule a hearing. A week later, appellants wrote to the Board requesting a stay of the merger order. In seeking a stay, appellants argued that, if given a hearing, they would be able to establish the merger would be detrimental to 100 percent African American-owned media companies. Thereafter, appellants filed a notice of appeal of the final agency decision. The Board denied appellants’ application for a stay, persuaded by appellants’ failure to bring their concerns to the Board during the eight months that the matter was pending. Appellants did not thereafter seek a stay from the court, nor did they file an amended notice of appeal seeking reversal of the Board’s decision. The merger participants have since consummated the transaction approved by the Board through the final agency decision. The appellate panel found the Board acted within its discretion in denying appellants’ motion for a stay and affirmed. Appellants never asked to be heard during the public comment period and never complained about the merger until after it had been approved. The Board cannot be faulted for its refusal to reopen the proceedings and consider issues never properly or timely raised.
07-2-3038 Lai v. Metuchen Borough, N.J. Super. App. Div. (per curiam) (15 pp.) Plaintiff’s consolidated appeals challenged the dismissal of her complaints against borough and law firm that represented defendants and the order sanctioning her for filing a frivolous complaint. Plaintiff was ordered to appear in Municipal Court in connection with an apparent code violation. She wrote to the judge objecting to having to appear and demanding damages if she fell in the courthouse. She went to court, fell in the bathroom and filed a tort claim notice against the borough which denied her claim. Plaintiff filed an eight-count complaint against borough and law firm accusing them of negligence and violations of the ADA, the law against discrimination and the federal and state constitutions. Her complaint was dismissed for lack of prosecution and failure to file proof of service. Plaintiff appealed and filed further complaints against the law firm, accusing firm of lying and getting the state police to contact plaintiff’s family threatening to remove her computer. The trial judge found no possible cause of action against the lawyers and granted firm’s motion for sanctions. The court found that plaintiff’s claims were completely devoid of merit. However, the court denied the monetary sanctions because, under Rule 1:4-8, sanctions for fees were not available to lawyers who represented themselves.
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