Supreme Court of New Jersey Decisions 2020

Delaney v. Dickey  
Date: December 21, 2020
Docket Number: a-30-19

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether the arbitration provision in the retainer agreement plaintiff Brian Delaney signed when he engaged the representation of Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. was enforceable in light of the fiduc...

State v. Louis V. Williams
Date: November 2, 2020
Docket Number: a-40-19
Estate of Brandon Narleski v. Gomes  
Date: September 17, 2020
Docket Number: a-9-10-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Nineteen-year-old Mark Zwierzynski permitted underage adult friends to consume alcoholic beverages in his home. Nineteen-year-old Brandon Narleski and twenty-year-old Nicholas Gomes left the home severely intoxicated. Sh...

Flanzman v. Jenny Craig, Inc.  
Date: September 11, 2020
Docket Number: a-66-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Jenny Craig, Inc. hired Marilyn Flanzman to work as a weight maintenance counselor in 1991. In May 2011, Flanzman signed a document entitled “Arbitration Agreement” in connection with her employment. In February 2017, wh...

Fraternal Order of Police, Newark Lodge No. 12 v. City of Newark  
Date: August 19, 2020
Docket Number: a-15-19

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal involved a challenge to the City of Newark’s authority to create by ordinance a civilian oversight board to provide a greater role for civilian participation in the review of police internal investigations an...

Skuse v. Pfizer, Inc.  
Date: August 18, 2020
Docket Number: a-86-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Pfizer’s Human Resources Department sent an e-mail to Pfizer employees at their corporate e-mail addresses announcing Pfizer’s five-page Mutual Arbitration and Class Waiver Agreement (Agreement) and included a link to th...

In the Matter of Ridgefield Park Board of Education  
Date: August 17, 2020
Docket Number: a-2-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The Ridgefield Park Board of Education (Board) and the Ridgefield Park Education Association (Association) negotiated a collective negotiations agreement (CNA) covering 2011-2014 that went into effect three days after th...

New Jersey Republican State Committee v. Murphy  
Date: August 12, 2020
Docket Number: a-82-19

Justia Opinion Summary: To make up for the tax revenue shortfall COVID-19 created and to maintain the State’s fiscal integrity, the New Jersey Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law a bill that authorized the State to borrow up to...

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of P.D.  
Date: August 11, 2020
Docket Number: a-94-18

Justia Opinion Summary: In August 2017, the State filed a petition to civilly commit P.D., relying on P.D.’s conviction for an offense that qualified as a “sexually violent offense” as defined in N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.26, and other offenses. The St...

New Jersey v. Andrews  
Date: August 10, 2020
Docket Number: a-72-18

Justia Opinion Summary: The target of a State narcotics investigation, Quincy Lowery, advised detectives that defendant Robert Andrews, a former Essex County, New Jersey Sheriff’s Officer, had provided him with information about the investigati...

In the Matter of Carlia M. Brady  
Date: August 6, 2020
Docket Number: d-10-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC) found by clear and convincing evidence that respondent Carlia Brady, formerly a Judge of the Superior Court, violated Canon 1, Rule 1.1; Canon 2, Rules 2.1 and 2.3(A); an...

New Jersey v. Cruz-Pena  
Date: August 4, 2020
Docket Number: a-3-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Juan Cruz-Pena was convicted by jury of first-degree kidnapping for confining C.M. for a “substantial period” for the purpose of committing various crimes against her. The Appellate Division reversed the kidnapping convi...

West Pleasant-CPGT, Inc. v. U.S. Home Corporation  
Date: July 8, 2020
Docket Number: a-1-19

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, U.S. Home Corporation entered into a contract to purchase two contiguous tracts of land, one of which was owned by West Pleasant-CPGT, Inc. Under the contract, West Pleasant and the other landowner were to gain...

New Jersey v. Jackson  
Date: July 2, 2020
Docket Number: a-11-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Jersey Supreme Court addressed whether a defendant facing the same charges as a cooperating witness should have been barred from exploring that adverse witness’s sentencing exposure. Tiffany Taylor, Javon Clarke,...

New Jersey v. Courtney  
Date: July 2, 2020
Docket Number: a-17-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Rahsjahn Courtney agreed to a negotiated plea agreement with the State, in which he pled guilty to a first-degree possession of heroin and a distribution charge in exchange for a fourteen-year prison sentence w...

Investors Bank v. Torres  
Date: July 1, 2020
Docket Number: a-55-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Javier Torres signed a promissory note (Note) secured by a residential mortgage (Mortgage). Torres defaulted on the Note. CitiMortgage, Inc., discovered that it had lost the original Note but had retained a dig...

Gourmet Dining, LLC v. Union Township  
Date: June 30, 2020
Docket Number: a-8-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the New Jersey Supreme Court in this appeal was whether a high-end restaurant operated by a for-profit entity, but housed in a building on the Kean University campus, qualified for a local property tax e...

City of Asbury Park v. Star Insurance Company  
Date: June 29, 2020
Docket Number: a-20-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The Third Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question of law to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The matter before the federal court involved a dispute between a workers' compensation insurance carrier and its insured, a...

Little v. Kia Motors America, Inc.  
Date: June 25, 2020
Docket Number: a-24-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Regina Little asserted claims on her own behalf and on behalf of other New Jersey owners and lessees of 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 Kia Sephia vehicles distributed by defendant Kia Motors America, Inc., alleging...

New Jersey v. Greene  
Date: June 23, 2020
Docket Number: a-96-18

Justia Opinion Summary: In the murder trial of defendants Cary Greene and Tyleek Lewis, the prosecutor opened to the jury that the State would present as a witness Greene’s grandmother, to whom he allegedly confessed his guilt in the shooting d...

Lembo v. Marchese  
Date: June 17, 2020
Docket Number: a-92-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Dr. Dominick Lembo employed Arlene Marchese in his dental practice as his office manager, and Karen Wright, a dental hygienist. Sometime before December 2011, Marchese and Wright unlawfully took possession of numerous ch...

New Jersey v. Horton  
Date: June 10, 2020
Docket Number: a-26-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court excused and replaced a juror who had a preplanned vacation and who had been part of deliberations after the jury announced that they had reached a partial verdict. The judge did not have the jury return a...

New Jersey v. Medina  
Date: June 9, 2020
Docket Number: a-67-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jose Medina was tried and convicted for offenses related to a non-fatal slashing that occurred outside of a bar in the Township of Belleville, New Jersey. Although no physical evidence linked defendant to the c...

An Order to Show Cause to Address the Release of Certain Individuals Serving Sentences in State Prisons and Juvenile Facilities  
Date: June 5, 2020
Docket Number: m-1093-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The Office of the Public Defender and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU) applied directly to the New Jersey Supreme Court for relief relating to the spread of the novel coronavirus in state prison an...

Whelan v. Armstrong International, Inc.  
Date: June 3, 2020
Docket Number: a-40-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Arthur Whelan filed suit against seven defendants, who allegedly manufactured or distributed products integrated with asbestos-containing components. Whelan claimed he was exposed to asbestos dust while working...

Township of Manalapan v. Gentile  
Date: June 2, 2020
Docket Number: a-14-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The Township of Manalapan challenged the condemnation award in favor of defendants entered after a jury trial. The issue was whether the trial court erred in admitting testimony that the condemned property’s highest and...

Sanchez v. Fitness Factory Edgewater, LLC  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: a-93-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Henry Sanchez filed a class action seeking relief based on the Retail Installment Sales Act, N.J.S.A. 17:16C-1 to -61 (RISA). He contended the “initiation fee” charged in defendant Fitness Factory’s gym member...

S.C. v. New Jersey Department of Children and Families  
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: a-57-18

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal involved the investigation into a claim that a mother, S.C., abused her seven-year-old son by corporal punishment. The New Jersey Department of Children and Families (Department) concluded, after its investig...

In the Matter of John F. Russo, Jr.  
Date: May 26, 2020
Docket Number: d-100-18

Justia Opinion Summary: A complaint issued by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC) alleged four counts of misconduct against a superior court judge, Respondent John Russo, Jr. The charges and findings related to four discrete inst...

New Jersey Transit Corporation v. Sanchez  
Date: May 12, 2020
Docket Number: a-68-18

Justia Opinion Summary: New Jersey Transit Corporation (New Jersey Transit) sought to recover workers’ compensation benefits paid to an employee, David Mercogliano, who sustained injuries in a work-related motor vehicle accident. It sued the in...

Shipyard Associates, LP v. City of Hoboken
Date: May 5, 2020
Docket Number: a-83-84-85-1
Morales-Hurtado v. Reinoso  
Date: April 16, 2020
Docket Number: a-5-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Juan Morales-Hurtado filed a vehicular negligence claim against defendant Abel Reinoso. The Supreme Court shared the Appellate Division's view that the cumulative effect of multiple errors deprived plaintiff of...

Nieves v. Office of the Public Defender  
Date: April 15, 2020
Docket Number: a-69-18

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from the representation of plaintiff Antonio Nieves by a state public defender, Peter Adolf, Esq. After his conviction, Nieves was granted post-conviction relief based on the ineffective assistance of cou...

New Jersey v. Bell  
Date: April 14, 2020
Docket Number: a-58-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Isaiah Bell was arrested after James Kargbo died from stab wounds apparently inflicted during an altercation that occurred when defendant and his partner arrived at Kargbo’s house to pick up her son. A Somerset...

State v. Mark Jackson
Date: April 1, 2020
Docket Number: a-18-19-19
Felix v. Richards  
Date: February 26, 2020
Docket Number: a-27-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Guerline Felix’s vehicle collided with Brian Richards’ vehicle in New Jersey. Richards was insured under a New Jersey automobile insurance policy issued by AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company (AAA). The policy provided bo...

Estate of Mary Van Riper v. Director, Division of Taxation  
Date: February 5, 2020
Docket Number: a-51-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Walter and Mary Van Riper transferred ownership of their marital home to a single irrevocable trust. Walter passed away shortly after transfer of the property to the trust. Six years later, after Mary passed away, the tr...

New Jersey Land Title Association v. Dana Rone
Date: February 4, 2020
Docket Number: a-82-18
The Plastic Surgery Center, PA v. Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc.
Date: February 3, 2020
Docket Number: a-78-18 PER CURIAM The Court considers the Appellate Division&#39s determination that the six-year statute of limitations for suits on contracts, N.J.S.A. ...
The Plastic Surgery Center, PA v. Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc.
Date: February 3, 2020
Docket Number: a-78-79-80-1 PER CURIAM The Court considers the Appellate Division's determination that the six-year statute of limitations for suits on contracts, ...
Melnyk v. Board of Education of the Delsea Regional High School District  
Date: January 30, 2020
Docket Number: a-77-18

Justia Opinion Summary: By calling a teacher’s instructional work in a specialized and separate school district educational program, provided outside of regular school instructional hours, an “extracurricular assignment,” the school district cl...

New Jersey v. Covil  
Date: January 22, 2020
Docket Number: a-35-36-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Roger Covil was convicted of first-degree possession with intent to distribute five ounces or more of cocaine. The Appellate Division reversed defendant’s conviction, and the New Jersey Supreme Court granted cr...

In the Matter of the Investigation of Burglary & Theft  
Date: January 21, 2020
Docket Number: a-61-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Police took a DNA sample from blue gloves discarded near the scene of a March 2015 burglary, and the sample was uploaded into CODIS. J.P. was later convicted of an unrelated felony, and a routine sample of his DNA was ma...

Pisack v. BC Towing, Inc.  
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: a-17-18-18

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal concerned consolidated putative class actions brought by plaintiffs whose vehicles were towed at the direction of local police and without plaintiffs’ consent. Each plaintiff was charged for the non-consensua...

State of New Jersey in the Interest of A.A.
Date: January 15, 2020
Docket Number: a-50-18 RABNER, C.J., writing for the Court. In State v. Presha, 163 N.J. 304, 316 (2000), the Court directed law enforcement officers to “use their ...
Moshe Meisels v. Fox Rothschild LLP
Date: January 9, 2020
Docket Number: a-20-18 LaVECCHIA, J., writing for the Court. This appeal involves claims of conversion and breach of fiduciary responsibility leveled at an attorney, ...
State v. Luis Melendez
Date: January 8, 2020
Docket Number: a-22-18 RABNER, C.J., writing for the Court. In this appeal, the Court considers whether a defendant's answer to a civil forfeiture complaint can be ...
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