Supreme Court of New Jersey Decisions 2021

Meade v. Township of Livingston  
Date: December 30, 2021
Docket Number: a-52-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Michele Meade served as Township Manager for Livingston Township for eleven years, from 2005 until her termination in 2016 by Resolution of the Township Council. The Council cited a number of performance areas…

New Jersey v. Gerena  
Date: December 30, 2021
Docket Number: a-72-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In April 2018, a seventeen-year-old civilian called police and reported that she had saw a man, later identified as defendant William Gerena, exposing himself to a group of children at a playground. Police officers…

New Jersey v. Rivera  
Date: December 29, 2021
Docket Number: a-7-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Cynthia Rivera admitted to planning and participating in the armed robbery of Justin Garcia, resulting in serious injuries to Garcia and the murder of his friend, Andrew Torres. At the time of the offenses,…

New Jersey v. Carrion  
Date: December 27, 2021
Docket Number: a-14-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jose Carrion appealed his conviction by jury on weapons and drug offenses, as well as assault. Specifically he appealed the denial of his motion to suppress a statement that he made to law enforcement and for…

New Jersey v. Hedgespeth  
Date: December 27, 2021
Docket Number: a-22-20

Justia Opinion Summary: While surveilling a street corner in Newark, two detectives observed several men loitering in the area. A detective testified that one of the individuals, later identified as defendant Tywaun Hedgespeth, adjusted his…

Cooper Hospital University Medical Center v. Selective Insurance Company of America  
Date: December 22, 2021
Docket Number: a-46-20

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's review in this appeal was who bore the primary responsibility for the payment of Dale Mecouch’s medical bills arising from an automobile accident that took…

G.C. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services
Date: November 8, 2021
Docket Number: a-35-36-37-2
New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency v. J.R.-R.
Date: September 27, 2021
Docket Number: a-56-57-19 ALBIN, J., writing for a unanimous Court. In this appeal, the issue is whether, in a case where the Division of Child Protection and Permanency ...
New Jersey v. Melvin, Paden-Battle  
Date: September 23, 2021
Docket Numbers: a-13-20, A-44-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Mark Melvin was indicted on nine counts in connection with a fatal shooting in a restaurant, including charges of murder, aggravated assault, and weapon possession and drug offenses. At the conclusion of the trial, the…

State v. Mark Melvin
Date: September 23, 2021
Docket Number: a-44-19
Bozzi v. City of Jersey City  
Date: September 21, 2021
Docket Number: a-12-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Ernest Bozzi requested copies of defendant Jersey City’s most recent dog license records pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the common law right of access. Plaintiff, a licensed home improvement…

C.R. v. M.T.  
Date: September 20, 2021
Docket Number: a-58-19

Justia Opinion Summary: In June 2018, plaintiff “Clara” and defendant “Martin” had sex after a night of drinking. Plaintiff alleged she was too intoxicated to give consent, but defendant claimed the entire encounter was consensual. Plaintiff…

New Jersey v. Dangcil  
Date: August 16, 2021
Docket Number: a-56-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Wildemar Dangcil’s contended the hybrid jury-selection process implemented by the New Jersey Judiciary in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: (1) deprived him of his rights to presence and representation; and (2) failed…

Pritchett v. New Jersey  
Date: August 12, 2021
Docket Number: a-5-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Shelly Pritchett worked for the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC), which ran the state’s juvenile correctional facilities. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. When her second request for unpaid leave was…

New Jersey v. Anderson  
Date: August 11, 2021
Docket Number: a-15-16-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Bennie Anderson was employed by Jersey City in the Tax Assessor’s office. His position gave him the opportunity to alter property tax descriptions without the property owner filing a formal application with the…

New Jersey v. McQueen  
Date: August 10, 2021
Docket Number: a-11-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Rasheem McQueen was arrested after driving off when Piscataway police officers attempted to stop him for traffic violations. At police headquarters, McQueen was permitted to make a call on a landline in the “report…

In the Matter of Registrant J.D-F.
Date: August 9, 2021
Docket Number: a-24-20 FERNANDEZ-VINA, J., writing for a unanimous Court. In this appeal, the Court considers whether N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(g) (subsection (g)), a Megan's ...
Bonay Goldhagen v. Susan Pasmowitz
Date: August 5, 2021
Docket Number: a-17-20 PATTERSON, J., writing for a unanimous Court. The Dog Bite Statute, N.J.S.A. 4:19-16, establishes a strict liability cause of action that a ...
Estate of Hiram Gonzalez v. City of Jersey City  
Date: August 4, 2021
Docket Number: a-19-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In August 2014, at approximately 2:26 a.m., Hiram Gonzalez was involved in a one-vehicle accident. Officers Leon Tucker and Saad Hashmi of the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) were dispatched to the scene. They…

New Jersey v. Njango  
Date: August 3, 2021
Docket Number: a-79-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's review in this case was whether defendant Paulino Njango, whose time in prison exceeded the permissible custodial term authorized by his sentence, was entitled to…

New Jersey v. Carter  
Date: August 2, 2021
Docket Numbers: a-66-19, A-67-19

Justia Opinion Summary: In the twin cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court in consolidated appeals, officers engaged in pretextual stops: they stopped each defendant because part of the license plate was covered; as the arresting officer in…

State v. Darius J. Carter
Date: August 2, 2021
Docket Number: a-67-19
Gilbert v. Stewart  
Date: July 21, 2021
Docket Number: a-32-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, plaintiff Brenda Gilbert divorced her husband, Monroe Gilbert, who acquired sole possession of the family’s vehicle, which was still registered in plaintiff’s name. In April 2014, Monroe informed plaintiff that…

H.C. Equities, LP v. County of Union  
Date: July 19, 2021
Docket Number: a-1-2-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff H.C. Equities, L.P. asserted contract claims against its commercial tenant, the County of Union, after the County began to withhold rent payments in response to a dispute about the condition of the leased…

Coleman v. Martinez  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: a-3-20

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's consideration was whether, under the facts of this case, plaintiff Leah Coleman, the victim of a violent assault by social worker Sonia Martinez’s patient,…

New Jersey v. Andujar  
Date: July 13, 2021
Docket Number: a-6-20

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal centered on the selection process for F.G., a Black male from Newark, New Jersey. F.G. was questioned at sidebar for about a half hour; F.G. told the court he believed he could be a fair and impartial juror.…

New Jersey v. Chavies  
Date: July 12, 2021
Docket Number: a-25-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In connection with a 2014 shooting, defendant David Chavies was charged with murder, aggravated assault, and weapons offenses. In June 2016, defendant pled guilty to second-degree aggravated assault based on accomplice…

Borough of Carteret v. Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, Local 67  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: a-10-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, the Borough of Carteret and the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, Local 67 (FMBA) executed a collectively negotiated agreement (CNA) governing the terms and conditions of employment for the Borough’s…

Winberry Realty Partnership v. Borough of Rutherford  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Number: a-22-53-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs fell into arrears on the taxes on their home in the Borough of Rutherford, New Jersey. After the date of redemption but before entry of final judgment, plaintiff John Winberry called the Tax Collector to…

New Jersey v. Szemple  
Date: June 23, 2021
Docket Number: a-70-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Nicholas Mirov disappeared in 1975, and defendant Craig Szemple told members of Mirov’s family that he had driven Mirov to a bus station so that Mirov could go to New York City. Four months after Mirov disappeared,…

Simmons v. Mercado  
Date: June 17, 2021
Docket Number: a-18-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Baffi Simmons and the African American Data and Research Institute (collectively, AADARI) submitted a request under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) to defendants Millville City Clerk Wendy Mercado, the City…

Rios v. Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc.  
Date: June 16, 2021
Docket Number: a-23-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Armando Rios, Jr., a Hispanic male, was hired by defendant Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Meda) in May 2015. Defendant Tina Cheng-Avery was Rios’s direct supervisor. Rios claimed Cheng-Avery twice directed a…

New Jersey v. Ahmad  
Date: June 15, 2021
Docket Number: a-54-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's consideration was whether defendant Zakariyya Ahmad’s statement to police -- which occurred when defendant was 17 years old and without his being advised of his…

Pareja v. Princeton International Properties  
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: a-4-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In January 2015, plaintiff Angel Pareja was walking to work when he slipped on ice, fell, and broke his hip. The sidewalk area on which he fell was on property owned and managed by defendant Princeton International…

Richter v. Oakland Board of Education  
Date: June 8, 2021
Docket Number: a-23-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Mary Richter, a longtime type 1 diabetic and teacher, experienced a hypoglycemic event in a classroom. She sustained serious and permanent life-altering injuries. Richter filed a claim under the Law Against…

In re Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive Nos. 2020-5 and 2020-6  
Date: June 7, 2021
Docket Number: a-26-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In June 2020, weeks after George Floyd was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer, the New Jersey Attorney General issued two Directives calling for the release of the names of law enforcement officers who…

Baskin v. P.C. Richard Son, LLC  
Date: May 5, 2021
Docket Number: a-77-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed a putative class action on behalf of themselves and “[a]ll consumers to whom [d]efendants, after November 17, 2013, provided an electronically printed receipt” listing the expiration date of the…

Huggins v. Aquilar  
Date: April 21, 2021
Docket Number: a-78-19

Justia Opinion Summary: In September 2016, defendant Trend Motors, Ltd. (Trend), provided defendant Mary Aquilar with a loaner vehicle for her personal use while her vehicle was being serviced. Aquilar’s negligent operation of the loaner…

New Jersey v. Ramirez  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: a-59-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Raquel Ramirez and Jorge Orozco were charged with murder and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the death of their two-year-old daughter and tried jointly. The prosecution argued in part that…

Hager v. M&K Construction  
Date: April 13, 2021
Docket Number: a-64-19

Justia Opinion Summary: M&K Construction (M&K) appealed a workers’ compensation court’s order (the Order) making it reimburse plaintiff Vincent Hager for the ongoing costs of the medical marijuana he was prescribed after sustaining a…

New Jersey v. Lopez-Carrera  
Date: March 30, 2021
Docket Number: a-8-9-20

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals, the issue they presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's review centered on whether the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA) empowered judges to detain defendants who were non-citizens to…

New Jersey v. Maisonet  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: a-28-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Luis Masionet was charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in connection with a September 2016 shooting. After learning that his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, Christopher Romero, were…

New Jersey v. Dunbrack  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: a-27-19

Justia Opinion Summary: In June 2014, police officers pulled into a parking lot of an abandoned building and found defendants Andrea Dunbrack and Gabriel Rodriguez standing near an unoccupied vehicle. The police observed the victim, N.R., lying…

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of W.W.
Date: March 11, 2021
Docket Number: a-63-19
Goldfarb v. Solimine  
Date: February 18, 2021
Docket Number: a-24-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Jed Goldfarb claimed defendant David Solimine reneged on a promise of employment after Goldfarb quit his job to accept the promised position managing the sizeable investment portfolio of defendant’s family. The…

Anasia Maison v. New Jersey Transit Corporation
Date: February 17, 2021
Docket Number: a-34-19 ALBIN, J., writing for the Court. In this appeal, the Court considers whether, under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (TCA), the heightened ...
In the Matter of the Request to Release Certain Pretrial Detainees  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: m-550-20

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Jersey Office of the Public Defender and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU) jointly sought two forms of relief: (1) the release of all defendants detained for six months or longer whose most…

New Jersey v. Desir  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: a-43-19

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's consideration was whether defendant Herby Desir was entitled to discovery regarding the controlled purchase of narcotics by a confidential informant…

Goulding v. NJ Friendship House, Inc.  
Date: February 8, 2021
Docket Number: a-48-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Under New Jersey’s Worker’s Compensation Act, an employee injured during a social or recreational activity generally cannot receive compensation for those injuries unless a two-part exception is met. Here, the New Jersey…

The Bank of New York Mellon v. Marianne Corradetti .)
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: a-81-19
New Jersey Transit Corporation v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London  
Date: January 27, 2021
Docket Number: a-72-73-19

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal involved an insurance coverage dispute arising out of water damage caused by Superstorm Sandy to properties owned by plaintiff New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit). At the time Sandy struck in October…

New Jersey v. Brown  
Date: January 25, 2021
Docket Number: a-39-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Consolidated appeals presented a common issue: whether state or federal constitutional ex post facto prohibitions permitted the defendants in these cases to be charged with and convicted of the enhanced third-degree…

New Jersey v. Singh  
Date: January 21, 2021
Docket Number: a-37-19

Justia Opinion Summary: In January 2015, a man entered a gas station store wielding a machete and told the cashier to give him the money. The man took the money and fled. The events were captured on the gas station’s surveillance video, which…

State v. Damon Williams
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: a-46-19 SOLOMON, J., writing for the Court. In this appeal, the Court considers whether the prosecutor's comments and use of a particular PowerPoint ...
Branch v. Cream-O-Land Dairy  
Date: January 13, 2021
Docket Number: a-29-19

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Elmer Branch brought a putative class action against his employer, defendant Cream-O-Land Dairy, on behalf of himself and similarly situated truck drivers employed by defendant, for payment of overtime wages…

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