Supreme Court of New Jersey Decisions 2013

New Jersey v. Porter  
Date: December 19, 2013
Docket Number: a-91-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Oscar Porter was denied an evidentiary hearing on his petition for post-conviction relief. Charges against him stemmed from an armed robbery that ended with the shooting death of one man and the wounding of…

IMO Proposed Quest Academy Charter School of Montclair Founders Group  
Date: December 16, 2013
Docket Number: a-12-12

Justia Opinion Summary: In this matter, petitioner is one of the founders of the proposed Quest Academy Charter School of Montclair (Quest Academy), which sought licensure pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:36A-4 to operate as a charter school for high…

New Jersey v. Adnrews  
Date: October 28, 2013
Docket Number: a-105-11

Justia Opinion Summary: During jury selection in the criminal trial of defendant Amir Andrews, the prosecutor complained that defendant was impermissibly striking jurors based on race. The trial court found that the State established a prima…

New Jersey v. Hinton  
Date: October 24, 2013
Docket Number: a-3-12

Justia Opinion Summary: Until her death in March 2009, defendant Gene Hinton’s mother was the tenant in an apartment owned by the Newark Housing Authority. Although Hinton lived with his mother, he did not have a lease or any other documents…

Borough of Saddle River v. 66 East Allendale, LLC  
Date: October 21, 2013
Docket Number: a-126-11

Justia Opinion Summary: East Allendale, LLC owned a 2.13 acre parcel of land in the Borough of Saddle River. Part of the property was located in the office zone, which restricted improved lot coverage to 30 percent of the lot's total area. In…

Date: October 18, 2013
Docket Number: m-208-13 Decision on motion to stay trial court's order is denied. State officials shall permit same-sex couples, who are otherwise eligible, to enter into civil marriage beginning on October 21, 2013.
New Jersey v. Maloney  
Date: October 16, 2013
Docket Number: a-64-11

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from the armed robbery of the home of supermarket owner Syoma Shnayder (Sam) and his wife Rita. Igor Chichelnitsky planned the robbery when Sam turned down his offers to supply products to Sam's…

D’Agostino v. Maldonado  
Date: October 3, 2013
Docket Number: a-82-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Ricardo Maldonado owned a business purchasing homes from financially distressed owners, negotiating with lenders, and repairing and selling the homes. Anthony D'Agostino saw an advertisement for Maldonado's…

New Jersey v. Miller  
Date: October 2, 2013
Docket Number: a-35-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on drug charges. His privately retained attorney appeared at the initial trial court hearing, during which a trial date was set. The trial did not proceed on that day. Defendant continued pro se at…

In re Adoption of N.J.A.C. 5:96, 5:97 by N.J. Council on Affordable Housing  
Date: September 26, 2013
Docket Number: a-90-10

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on the validity of the most recent iteration of regulations applicable to the third round of municipal affordable housing obligations (Third Round Rules) adopted…

Farmers Mut. Fire Ins. Co. of Salem v. N.J. Property-Liability Ins. Guar. Ass’n  
Date: September 24, 2013
Docket Number: a-42-11

Justia Opinion Summary: In two consolidated cases involving remediation of contaminated properties, the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (Guaranty Association) took over the administration of the claims of an…

New Jersey v. O'Driscoll  
Date: September 18, 2013
Docket Number: a-7-12

Justia Opinion Summary: A police officer observed defendant William O'Driscoll after watching him drive his SUV across the center line of the road twice. Defendant failed a number of field sobriety tests. Consistent with the implied consent and…

Date: September 18, 2013
Docket Number: m-1538-39
Green v. Morgan Properties  
Date: September 17, 2013
Docket Number: a-100-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs were tenants in apartment complexes owned or managed by the corporate defendants. Plaintiffs' leases included a provision providing that, if attorneys' service were required due to the tenant's failure to pay…

Potomac Ins. Co. of Ill. v. Pa. Mfrs. Ass’n Ins. Co.  
Date: September 16, 2013
Docket Number: a-2-12

Justia Opinion Summary: This case presented an issue of first impression for the Supreme Court: the allocation of defense costs incurred by the common insured of several carriers. Specifically, the issue was whether one insurer with an…

Perez v. Professionally Green, LLC  
Date: September 12, 2013
Docket Number: a-66-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs sued defendant Swim-Well Pools, Inc., and others alleging various claims arising out of the installation of a pool. The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on whether plaintiffs, whose…

In the Matter of John C. Johnson
Date: September 10, 2013
Docket Number: a-39-11
New Jersey v. Handy  
Date: September 9, 2013
Docket Number: a-68-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Prior to killing his uncle, defendant had a history of psychiatric problems for which he received in-patient treatment at several hospitals. Evidence derived from those hospitalizations reveals that defendant suffered…

New Jersey v. Micelli  
Date: August 19, 2013
Docket Number: a-1-12

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division in this case. The defendant appealed his 2010 conviction for third-degree eluding a police officer. The Court held that because the reliability of the State's evidence of…

Willingboro Mall, LTD. v. 240/242 Franklin Avenue, L.L.C.  
Date: August 15, 2013
Docket Number: a-62-11

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Franklin Avenue, LLC forwarded a letter to the trial court judge and its opponent, Willingboro Mall, Ltd. announcing that the case had been "successfully settled" and outlined the purported terms of the…

Cole v. Jersey City Medical Center  
Date: August 14, 2013
Docket Number: a-6-12

Justia Opinion Summary: Liberty Anesthesia Associates, LLC (Liberty), an independent contractor that provides anesthesia services at the Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC), contracted plaintiff Karen Cole to provide anesthesia services at JCMC.…

Waksal v. Director, Division of Taxation  
Date: August 13, 2013
Docket Number: a-103-11

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the deductibility of a worthless nonbusiness asset under the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act. The Waksals filed a complaint in Tax Court, challenging a deficiency assessed on their sale of the…

Emma v. Evans  
Date: August 12, 2013
Docket Number: a-112-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The divorced parents in this case had a dispute over changing their children's surname. Within months of the divorce, the husband discovered that the wife had modified the children’s surname from Emma to Evans-Emma on…

Hirsch v. Amper Financial Services, LLC  
Date: August 7, 2013
Docket Number: a-9-12

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Michael Hirsch, Robyn Hirsch, and Hirsch, LLP, claimed that they lost money invested in securities that were part of a "Ponzi" scheme. In 2002, plaintiffs' accountant, EisnerAmper LLP, referred them to Marc…

Norfolk Southern Railway Company v. Intermodal Properties, LLC  
Date: August 6, 2013
Docket Number: a-117-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Norfolk Southern Railway Company owned and operated Croxton Yard, a large intermodal freight facility. Business was expected to grow; the railroad's future plans included the Crescent Corridor project, which…

New Jersey v. Dabas  
Date: July 30, 2013
Docket Number: a-109-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Samandar Dabas worked part-time at a dollar store. One day in August 2004, he brought his wife, Renu, with him for his scheduled shift. At some point, Dabas left Renu stocking shelves while he went to a nearby…

New Jersey v. Sterling  
Date: July 29, 2013
Docket Number: a-93-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with multiple counts of burglary, sexual assault, and weapons offenses for his alleged assaults and rapes of four women. The State sought to have one trial of all matters on the theory that there…

Longo v. Pleasure Productions, Inc.  
Date: July 24, 2013
Docket Number: a-37-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Doreen Longo worked in the sales department for East Coast News Corp, a company involved in distribution of "adult products." At one time, plaintiff had a pleasant relationship with her co-worker, defendant…

TSI East Brunswick, LLC v. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment of Twp. of East Brunswick  
Date: July 23, 2013
Docket Number: a-124-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant New Vornado/Saddle Brook, LLC owned a tract of land that was located in East Brunswick's HC-2 (General Highway Commercial District) zone. The property included one vacant free-standing building which New…

New Jersey v. Lawless  
Date: July 22, 2013
Docket Number: a-89-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant John Lawless, Jr. was driving under the influence of alcohol. He struck ad killed another driver and seriously injured the other driver's wife and daughter who were passengers in the other vehicle. Defendant…

Battaglia v. United Parcel Service, Inc.  
Date: July 17, 2013
Docket Number: a-86-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Michael Battaglia worked for defendant United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) since 1985. He alleged he received a demotion in retaliation for making certain workplace complaints and comments. In suing UPS, he…

In re Plan for the Abolition of the Council on Affordable Housing  
Date: July 10, 2013
Docket Number: a-127-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this appeal was whether the Executive Reorganization Act of 1969, authorized a Chief Executive to abolish an agency such as the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), which the…

Shelton v., Inc.  
Date: July 9, 2013
Docket Number: a-123-10

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed a complaint in Superior Court alleging that's certificates violate the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA). removed the matter to the federal…

Borough of Harvey Cedars v. Karan  
Date: July 8, 2013
Docket Number: a-120-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Harvey and Phyllis Karan owned a beachfront home which had a panoramic view of the beach and ocean. Plaintiff Borough of Harvey Cedars sought an easement over more than one quarter of the Karans' property to…

New Jersey v. Earls  
Date: July 8, 2013
Docket Number: a-53-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on several charges, including third-degree burglary, third-degree theft, and third-degree receiving stolen property. Defendant filed a motion to suppress. The trial court found that defendant had a…

RobertSipko v. Koger, Inc.
Date: July 2, 2013
Docket Number: a-102-11
Sipko v. Koger, Inc.  
Date: July 2, 2013
Docket Number: a-38-11

Justia Opinion Summary: This case presented the issue of revocability of a gift of stock in one company and the validity of stock transfers in two other companies. George Sipko and his two sons Robert and Rastislav managed Koger, Inc. George…

Ruroede v. Borough of Hasbrouck Heights  
Date: July 1, 2013
Docket Number: a-95-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Kelly Ruroede, a police officer on temporary sick leave, was suspended without pay and ultimately terminated from his employment based on numerous charges originally stemming from an off-duty verbal and…

Kane Properties, LLC v. City of Hoboken
Date: June 26, 2013
Docket Number: a-96-11
Kane Properties, LLC v. City of Hoboken
Date: June 26, 2013
Docket Number: a-96-97
Kane Properties, LLC v. City of Hoboken  
Date: June 26, 2013
Docket Number: a-97-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Kane Properties, LLC contracted to purchase a piece of property in Hoboken zoned for industrial use. It applied for the necessary variances to construct a residential building. The Zoning Board granted the…

Price v. Himeji, LLC  
Date: June 25, 2013
Docket Number: a-46-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that in a case involving issues for zoning variances under the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), evaluation of the suitable standard is a fact-specific and site-sensitive matter requiring a finding…

New Jersey v. Tedesco  
Date: June 24, 2013
Docket Number: a-50-12

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted for the shooting death of Alyssa Ruggieri. Before sentencing, he signed a written waiver excusing him from appearing at the hearing. The victim's mother moved to compel defendant to be there. The…

Townof Kearny v. Brandt  
Date: June 20, 2013
Docket Number: a-60-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Kearny hired Brandt-Kuybida Architects to design and plan the construction of a new public safety facility. Construction began in 1994. The general contractor, Belcor Construction, signed a "Certificate of…

IMO The Liquidation of Integrity Ins. Co. v. Celotex Asbestos Trust  
Date: June 19, 2013
Docket Number: a-50-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Celotex Corporation manufactured and distributed products that contained asbestos. Thousands of asbestos-related claims were filed across the country against Celotex for bodily injury and property damage. In 1990,…

N.J. Dep’t of Children & Families, Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. I.S.  
Date: June 12, 2013
Docket Number: a-81-11

Justia Opinion Summary: I.S. and E.S. are the divorced biological parents of twin girls. Following a series of reported events, I.S. admitted she was overwhelmed and needed help, and acknowledged the children needed placement in a residential…

Angland v. Mountain Creek Resort, Inc.  
Date: June 6, 2013
Docket Number: a-57-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this appeal was whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to prove the statutory standard of care under the New Jersey Ski Act. Skier Robert Angland died from injuries…

Estate of Naitil Desir v. Vertus  
Date: May 20, 2013
Docket Number: a-03-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the shooting death of an individual by a criminal fleeing from a business gives rise to a cause of action sounding in tort on behalf of the decedent's estate…

New Jersey v. A.R.  
Date: May 16, 2013
Docket Number: a-63-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with sexually assaulting T.P., his nine-year-old great-niece, during a sleepover at a relative's house. Before trial, T.P. and defendant each gave a video-recorded statement to investigators. In…

In re Subpoena Duces Tecum on Custodian of Records  
Date: May 14, 2013
Docket Number: a-25-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted for financial crimes. He applied for public defender representation and provided information about his financial status that was collected by court staff on a UDIR form. Defendant's application was…

Northgate Condominium Association, Inc. v. Borough of Hillsdale Planning Board  
Date: May 13, 2013
Docket Number: a-5-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Caliber Builders, Inc., sought to develop a parcel of land commonly referred to as "Golden Orchards." A small portion of the parcel is in Washington Township, but the bulk of it is in the Borough of Hillsdale, where it…

New Jersey v. Rangel  
Date: April 29, 2013
Docket Number: a-88-11

Justia Opinion Summary: After attacking and sexually assaulting victim P.F., defendant Eric Clemente Rangel was charged with various crimes including first-degree aggravated sexual assault, and second-degree attempted aggravated sexual assault.…

New Jersey v. Rockford  
Date: April 23, 2013
Docket Number: a-54-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on the constitutionality of the execution of a knock-and-announce search warrant that included the use of a flash-bang device. The Manalapan Police Department…

New Jersey v. Walker  
Date: April 10, 2013
Docket Number: a-49-11

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, acting on a tip from a reliable confidential informant that an African-American male was selling controlled dangerous substances (CDS) from an apartment in a Newark public housing project, Detective James…

New Jersey Dept. of Env. Prot. v. Huber  
Date: April 4, 2013
Docket Number: a-116-10

Justia Opinion Summary: A civil penalty and restoration remedy was imposed on petitioners Robert and Michelle Huber, as a result of FWPA violations committed on their land, which had been developed subject to Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act…

New Jersey v. Cahill  
Date: April 1, 2013
Docket Number: a-47-11

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Defendant Michael Cahill was involved in an automobile accident after a night of drinking. Following his arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI), and after administration of an Alcotest, he was charged with…

New Jersey v. Vargas  
Date: March 18, 2013
Docket Number: a-56-11

Justia Opinion Summary: A landlord called the police because he had not seen or been able to contact a tenant for two weeks. During the two-week period, the tenant’s garbage was not placed curbside, his mail accumulated, his car remained…

D.D. v. Univer. of Med. & Dentistry of New Jersey  
Date: March 12, 2013
Docket Number: a-29-30

Justia Opinion Summary: During a meeting with staff members of defendants Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), plaintiff D.D. disclosed private health information that she requested be kept…

In the Matter of Advisory Letter No. 7-11 of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Extrajudicial Activities  
Date: March 6, 2013
Docket Number: a-12-11

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue before the Supreme Court centered on whether a chief municipal court judge whose son became a member of the police department in the same municipality could hear cases involving that police…

N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. A.L.
Date: February 6, 2013
Docket Number: a-28-11
PrimeAccounting Department v. Township of Carney’s Point  
Date: January 17, 2013
Docket Number: a-32-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The taxpayer, Bocceli, LLC, is the taxpaying sublessee of a commercial property owned by Penns Grove Associates in the Township of Carney's Point. The Township's tax assessment list incorrectly listed Prime Accounting…

New Jersey v. Sowell  
Date: January 14, 2013
Docket Number: a-27-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Bonita Pitt visited inmate defendant Ralph Sowell in a prison area monitored by security cameras. Sergeant Salvatore D'Amico of the Department of Corrections (DOC) observed Pitt and defendant lean forward. Defendant…

Headen v. Jersey City Board of Education  
Date: January 11, 2013
Docket Number: a-17-11

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Valeria Headen worked on a full-time ten-month basis as a food service worker for defendant Jersey City Board of Education (Board). She filed a complaint against the Board in 2009 alleging that because the…

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