Abuse of Discretion Standard

Lucante v. Lucante, 2010 WL 4570211 (App. Div. Nov. 15, 2010).  This opinion contains a lengthy discussion of the concept of abuse of discretion.  There are a number of useful citations regarding that concept.

The court also found it necessary to disapprove the procedure that the Family Part had followed below.  That court had entered an order reducing child support and alimony on December 18, 2008, but no opinion giving reasons for that order was issued until January 14, 2009, and the opinion and order were not served on counsel until February 2, 2009.  Citing Rule 2:4-1(a), the Appellate Division emphasized that “[t]he time for appeal runs from the entry of a final judgment or order, not its service on counsel.”   Moreover, an “order is not to be entered until the judge has found the facts and stated his conclusions of law, either on the record or in writing, as required by Rule 1:7-4.”  As a result, “[s]service of an order must be made on the day of its entry in order to maintain the certainty that Rule 2:4-1(a) seeks ….”  The court nonetheless considered the appeal on its merits.