The Supreme Court announced this afternoon that it has granted review in three more cases.  The first is an Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) case, Paff v. Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.  The plaintiff there, John Paff, is a frequent filer under OPRA, including (among many others) this case.  Indeed, the Supreme Court already has another Paff OPRA case on its docket, as discussed here. read more

Krzykalski v. Tindall, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2016).  This was an auto accident case.  At trial, the jury was allowed to consider in the comparative negligence mix not only defendant’s negligence but that of a John Doe defendant whose driving had a role in the collision.  The jury found Doe 97% negligent and defendant only 3% negligent, resulting in a molded damage award to the first named plaintiff of just $3,236.70.  No damages were awarded to the other plaintiff, his ex-wife.  Plaintiffs appealed, but the Appellate Division affirmed in an opinion by Judge Fisher. read more

J.S. v. D.S., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2016).  Normally, when parties agree to dismiss an appeal, the courts are only to happy to oblige.  This opinion by Judge Fisher yesterday in a domestic violence final restraining order case is a rare exception to that general rule. read more

Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO v. New Jersey Civil Service Comm’n, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2016).  Article V, section 4, paragraph 6 of the New Jersey Constitution, approved by the voters in 1992, gives the Legislature the power to “review any [administrative agency] rule or regulation to determine if the rule or regulation is consistent with the intent of the Legislature as expressed in the language of the statute which the rule or regulation is intended to implement.”  That provision, known as the Legislative Review Clause, was at the center of this appeal, which involved the Legislature’s rejection of a Civil Service Commission rule regarding “job banding,” which means “grouping certain job titles into one ‘band’ and allowing advancement of employees from lower to higher titles in the same band without competitive promotional examination.” read more

HUNY & BH Associates v. Silberberg, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2016).  This 2-1 decision of the Appellate Division, issued today, is a rare published opinion on a motion to dismiss an appeal.  Defendant Silberberg filed a motion to intervene in a multi-party lawsuit on behalf of himself doing business as “Right Time,” a New York sole proprietorship.  The Law Division denied that motion, and Silberberg filed an appeal as of right.  Other parties moved to dismiss the appeal, asserting that denial of a motion to intervene is not immediately appealable as of right.  Writing for himself and Judge Leone, Judge Ostrer agreed and dismissed the appeal.  Judge Fisher dissented, though he agreed that Silbergberg had no right to appeal.  He would have entertained the appeal on an interlocutory basis. read more

In re Robbinsville Tp. Bd. of Educ. v. Washington Tp. Educ. Ass’n, __ N.J. ___ (2016).  In Borough of Keyport v. International Union of Operating Engineers, 222 N.J. 314 (2015), the Supreme Court approved temporary layoffs of public workers where those layoffs were motivated by an economic crisis.  Importantly, as a backdrop those layoffs, “an emergency regulation was promulgated that temporarily authorized municipalities governed by the civil service system … to [temporarily] lay off employees when facing exigent financial circumstances.” read more

Governor Christie has nominated eighteen judges for tenure after their initial seven-year terms.  Two of those judges currently sit in the Appellate Division.  They are judges Gibbons Whipple and Vernoia.  Judge Gibbons Whipple has been serving on Part B, while Judge Vernoia has been a member of Part F. read more

The Supreme Court has announced that it has granted review in EQR-LPC Urban Renewal North Pier, LLC v. City of Jersey City.  The question presented in that appeal, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Do the 2003 amendments to the Long Term Tax Exemption Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 to -22, apply to these tax abatement financial agreements entered into in 2000 and 2001?” read more