The Appellate Division in the Second Half of April- A Partial Recap

Until yesterday, when the Supreme Court issued this opinion, the Court did issue any decisions in the time following the last post on this blog on April 13. The Appellate Division, on the other hand, pumped out nine published opinions. Here are summaries of some of two of those rulings, with apologies that time did not permit me to address all seven of the other decisions, all of which are significant:

Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Co., Inc., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2022). The question in this opinion by Judge Sabatino was whether the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance “may pursue an administrative action against two out-of-state companies and their two New Jersey affiliates for engaging in alleged improper insurance-related practices in this State—or whether the Commissioner must instead rely on the Attorney General to bring a lawsuit against those companies in the Superior Court.” Interpreting N.J.S.A. 17:32-20, the Appellate Division ruled that “Section 20 does not restrict the Commissioner to the path of a Superior Court action. Based on the text, legislative history, and public policies of the statute as a whole, as well as principles of primary jurisdiction, the Commissioner has the authority to pursue an administrative complaint against these companies instead of a lawsuit brought by the Attorney General.” Accordingly, the panel reactivated a previously stayed administrative law hearing.

A.A.R. v. J.R.C., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2022). This was an appeal from the entry of a final restraining order under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq., based on a predicate act of assault. The trial court ” did not inform defendant of his right to retain counsel, or of the serious consequences that could ensue if an FRO was entered against him prior to trial. did not advise ” In an opinion by Judge Mitterhoff, the Appellate Division found that failure to be a denial of due process, vacated the FRO, and remanded for a new trial.