Supreme Court of New Jersey Decisions 2016

Statev. Brandon T. Morrison
Date: December 14, 2016
Docket Number: a-36-15
In the Matter of Robbinsville Twp. Bd. of Education v. Washington Township Education Assn.  
Date: November 29, 2016
Docket Number: a-32-15

Justia Opinion Summary: The Washington Township Education Association was the major union representative for employees of the Robbinsville Township Board of Education. Relevant to the events in this matter, the Board and the Association were…

Gilleran v. Township of Bloomfield  
Date: November 22, 2016
Docket Number: a-15-15

Justia Opinion Summary: The Township of Bloomfield (Township) declined to release a day's worth of videotape footage from a security camera attached to the second story of Bloomfield Town Hall, adjacent to the police station. The request came…

New Jersey v. Gonzales  
Date: November 15, 2016
Docket Number: a-5-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Xiomara Gonzales appealed the denial of her motion to suppress evidence seized by police from the vehicle she was driving. Pursuant to an ongoing investigation of a drug-distribution scheme, the police learned…

New Jersey v. Bryant  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: a-2-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Officers were dispatched to a report of domestic violence when a woman called 911 to report that she had been assaulted and that she was outside in her vehicle. The woman did not give her name or that of the attacker,…

Ginsberg v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc.  
Date: October 26, 2016
Docket Number: a-33-34

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Tamar and Ari Ginsberg, now New Jersey residents, lived in New York during Tamar's pregnancy and at the time of the birth of their daughter, Abigail. Abigail tragically died from Tay-Sachs disease, a…

New Jersey v. Gorthy  
Date: September 28, 2016
Docket Number: a-51-14

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's review was whether a trial court that found a defendant competent to stand trial on criminal charges could compel her to assert an insanity defense,…

Cuevas v. Wentworth Group  
Date: September 19, 2016
Docket Number: a-30-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Ramon and Jeffrey Cuevas were brothers who were employees of defendant Wentworth Property Management Corporation (Wentworth). In May 2005, Michael Mendillo, president and chief executive officer of Wentworth,…

E&J Equities v. Board of Adjustment of Franklin Township  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: a-40-14

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, the Township of Franklin (the Township) adopted an ordinance revising its regulation of signs, including billboards. The ordinance permits billboards, subject to multiple conditions, in a zoning district…

New Jersey in the Interest of N.H.  
Date: August 10, 2016
Docket Number: a-4-15

Justia Opinion Summary: What began as a fight between two students, C.W. and D.W., ended in the death of one of them. N.H., who was seventeen years old at the time, attended the fight to support his friend, D.W. N.H. allegedly grabbed a handgun…

Meehan v. Antonellis  
Date: August 9, 2016
Docket Number: a-45-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sought treatment for sleep apnea from an orthodontist. Plaintiff used the appliance given to him for treatment but complained that it caused the dislocation of some teeth. Contending that the orthodontist did…

CypressPoint Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, L.L.C., et al.  
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: a-1314-15

Justia Opinion Summary: This dispute arose from the construction of Cypress Point, a luxury condominium complex in Hoboken. Co-defendants Adria Towers, LLC, Metro Homes, LLC, and Commerce Construction Management, LLC (collectively, the…

New Jersey v. Lunsford  
Date: August 3, 2016
Docket Number: a-61-14

Justia Opinion Summary: The police arrested defendant Gary Lunsford after they executed a search warrant at his home based on suspected criminal activity involving transactions in controlled dangerous substances (CDS). As part of its continuing…

New Jersey v. Cushing  
Date: August 3, 2016
Docket Number: a-68-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Cushing was indicted on five counts: first-degree maintaining a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) production facility (count one); second-degree possession of marijuana with intent to distribute ten…

IE Test, LLC v. Carroll  
Date: August 2, 2016
Docket Number: a-63-14

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from a conflict among the three members of IE Test, LLC (IE Test). After a dispute between defendant Kenneth Carroll and the other members, Patrick Cupo and Byron James, IE Test filed an action to expel…

Williams v. American Auto Logistics  
Date: July 28, 2016
Docket Number: a-10-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Lamar Williams worked and owned a car in Alaska. In February 2010, he arranged through his employer to have the car shipped to New Jersey by defendant American Auto Logistics. After the car arrived, Williams…

In the Matter of the Adoption of a Child by J.E.V. & D.G.V.  
Date: July 26, 2016
Docket Number: a-39-15

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review was one of first impression: whether an indigent parent who faces termination of her parental rights in a contested private adoption proceeding…

Rosenthal & Rosenthal, Inc. v. Benun  
Date: July 21, 2016
Docket Number: a-6-15

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1995, Jazz Photo Corp., one of several commercial entities (collectively referred to as the Jazz Entities), entered into a factoring agreement with Rosenthal & Rosenthal, Inc. Jazz Photo sold Rosenthal its accounts…

New Jersey v. Scriven  
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: a-11-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Officer Cohen observed a vehicle approaching from about a quarter-mile away. The vehicle was traveling with its high beams on at a normal speed in a well-lit, residential area. The vehicle obeyed the stop sign at the…

New Jersey v. Stein  
Date: July 19, 2016
Docket Number: a-26-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Robert Stein was charged with DWI and careless driving after a motor vehicle accident in Wayne Township. The municipal court found defendant guilty of DWI and careless driving. The court based its DWI finding…

In the Matter of the Revocation or the Suspension of the Provisional Accreditation of and/or the Imposition of Probation on Eastwick College LPN-to-RN Bridge Program  
Date: July 13, 2016
Docket Number: a-35-14

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, the State Board of Nursing invoked N.J.A.C. 13:37-1.3(c)(2) to deny accreditation to the Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse Bridge Program (Bridge Program), a nursing program instituted by Eastwick…

New Jersey v. Scharf  
Date: July 8, 2016
Docket Number: a-46-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Stephen Scharf was convicted of first-degree purposeful and knowing murder of his wife Jody, who fell to her death off a cliff at the Palisades. Defendant defended the charge by claiming the death was an…

Inthe Matter of the Application of the State of New Jersey for the Forfeiture of Personal Weapons and Firearms Identification Card Belonging to F.M.
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Number: a-60-14
GlobeMotor Company v. Igdalev  
Date: June 29, 2016
Docket Number: a-43-14

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal as of right arose from defendants' alleged breach of a settlement agreement executed by defendants and one of the plaintiffs in this action, Globe Motor Company (Globe), to resolve prior litigation between…

New Jersey v. Hernandez  
Date: June 28, 2016
Docket Number: a-39-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Lixandra Hernandez and Jose G. Sanchez were charged in a State Grand Jury indictment with second-degree conspiracy to distribute more than five ounces of cocaine, first-degree distribution of more than five…

Mortgage Grader, Inc. v. Ward & Olivo, L.L.P.  
Date: June 23, 2016
Docket Number: a-53-14

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on whether a law firm practicing as a limited liability partnership (LLP) failed to maintain professional malpractice insurance to…

Griffin v. City of East Orange  
Date: June 22, 2016
Docket Number: a-32-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Tonique Griffin, Virginia Best and Rosalyn Walker, employees of the City of East Orange, alleged that they were sexually harassed by a supervisor. In the wake of plaintiffs' internal reports of the alleged…

Smith v. Millville Rescue Squad  
Date: June 21, 2016
Docket Number: a-19-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Robert Smith was a certified emergency medical technician and paramedic associated with defendant Millville Rescue Squad (MRS), which provided medical transportation and rescue services. Plaintiff started off…

Morgan v. Sanford Brown Institute  
Date: June 14, 2016
Docket Number: a-31-14

Justia Opinion Summary: In May 2013, plaintiffs Annemarie Morgan and Tiffany Dever filed suit against defendants Sanford Brown Institute, its parent company, Career Education Corporation, and Sanford Brown's chief executive officer, admission…

Berg v. Christie  
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: a-71-72

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the New Jersey Supreme Court in this case was whether the 2011 suspension of State pension cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) contravened a term of the contract right granted under the earlier enacted…

Torres v. Pabon  
Date: June 1, 2016
Docket Number: a-116-13

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Sofia Torres alleged that she was seriously injured in a rear-end collision between her car and a garbage truck owned by defendant Suburban Disposal, Inc., and operated by defendant Javier Pabon. Plaintiff…

New Jersey v. J.M., Jr.  
Date: May 26, 2016
Docket Number: a-48-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a massage therapist, was charged with sexually assaulting a customer (E.S.) while giving her a massage. E.S. alleged that after defendant massaged her back, he lifted the privacy cover as E.S. turned beneath…

New Jersey v. Perry  
Date: May 17, 2016
Docket Number: a-34-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Bobby Perry was charged with sexually and physically assaulting a woman he had been casually dating. Prior to trial, defendant filed a motion under the New Jersey Rape Shield Law to admit DNA evidence of an…

New Jersey v. Willis  
Date: May 11, 2016
Docket Number: a-115-13

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on the admission of other-crime evidence, pursuant to N.J.R.E. 404(b), of an attempted sexual assault that occurred three years before the sexual…

New Jersey v. Funderburg  
Date: May 5, 2016
Docket Number: a-29-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Lee Funderburg had a romantic relationship with Terra Andrews, which resulted in the birth of a son. After the relationship ended, defendant and Andrews shared parenting responsibilities for their child. Later,…

In the Matter of Frank J. Cozzarelli, An Attorney at Law
Date: May 2, 2016
Docket Number: d-151-13
Innes v. Marzano-Lesnevich  
Date: April 26, 2016
Docket Number: a-16-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Peter Innes and his wife, Maria Jose Carrascosa, were involved in a contentious divorce and custody battle over their daughter Victoria. Innes was a citizen of the United States; Carrascosa was a Spanish…

In the Matter of the Estate of Adrian J. Folcher  
Date: April 26, 2016
Docket Number: a-3-14

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal centered on challenges to several documents and disbursements that were purportedly executed by Adrian Folcher in the closing days of his life. Petitioner Bernice Tambascia-Folcher, Folcher's wife and a…

New Jersey v. Cope  
Date: April 25, 2016
Docket Number: a-13-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Demetrius Cope lived in a second-floor apartment with a back porch adjacent to its living room. Three officers positioned themselves behind the building, while Sergeant Brintzinghoffer and two other officers…

John J. Robertelli v. The New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics
Date: April 19, 2016
Docket Number: a-62-14
New Jersey v. McFarlane  
Date: April 7, 2016
Docket Number: a-7-15

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted defendant Patrick McFarlane of first-degree murder, felony-murder, and armed robbery, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. During sentencing, the State requested an aggregate…

New Jersey v. Bass  
Date: March 7, 2016
Docket Number: a-118-13

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Jessica Shabazz was shot and killed, and James Sinclair was wounded at a motel. Defendant David Bass was arrested shortly thereafter. He admitted to police that, prior to the shooting, he had smoked crack…

Acoli v. New Jersey Parole Board  
Date: February 23, 2016
Docket Number: a-52-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Sundiata Acoli had been convicted for murder. He was denied parole twice. Acoli filed an internal administrative appeal, which entitled him to a review by the full Parole Board of the record that had been developed…

Templo Fuente De Vida Corp., et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co.  
Date: February 11, 2016
Docket Number: a-18-14

Justia Opinion Summary: The insured, who had been sued for damages by plaintiffs, entered into a settlement whereby it agreed to assign its rights and interests under the insurance policy to plaintiffs. However, when plaintiffs sought to…

New Jersey v. Baum  
Date: February 8, 2016
Docket Number: a-107-13

Justia Opinion Summary: While driving from his residence to his mother's home one night in 2006, defendant Eugene Baum struck and killed two teenage girls who were walking in a bike lane of a major thoroughfare in Kinnelon. The responding…

Silviera-Francisco v. Bd. of Education of the City of Elizabeth  
Date: January 28, 2016
Docket Number: a-28-14

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the New Jersey Supreme Court was a narrow one of appellate jurisdiction of an agency decision and the appropriate response by an appellate tribunal when it encounters on its calendar an interlocutory…

New Jersey v. Jones  
Date: January 20, 2016
Docket Number: a-112-13

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Howard Jones was charged with third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, arising from events that took place one morning in the spring of 2009 involving C.W., a…

New Jersey v. Goodwin  
Date: January 19, 2016
Docket Number: a-20-14

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury found defendant Robert Goodwin guilty of second-degree insurance fraud. In doing so, the jury concluded that defendant knowingly made or caused to be made false statements of material fact concerning an insurance…

In re Revocation of the Access of Block #613  
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: a-102-13

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on the standard governing revocation of direct access from a state highway to property used for commercial purposes pursuant to the State…

New Jersey v. Smith  
Date: January 13, 2016
Docket Number: a-62-13

Justia Opinion Summary: During an encounter that lasted ten seconds, a woman was robbed at gunpoint. She surrendered her purse with her cell phone inside it, and the robber drove away in a car. She later identified defendant Julius Smith as her…

Major v. Maguire  
Date: January 12, 2016
Docket Number: a-110-13

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs-grandparents filed an action under N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1 in the Family Part, seeking an order compelling defendant-mother to allow them periodic visits with their granddaughter. The trial court determined that in…

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