The Supreme Court Takes Up Five More Cases

The Supreme Court announced today that it has granted review in five more cases. In four of those matters, the Court granted certification. The fifth case will be before the Court as a result of a motion for leave to appeal.

Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc. was the subject of a published Appellate Division decision, reported at 458 N.J. Super. 416 (App. Div. 2019), and discussed here. There, the Appellate Division reversed a dismissal of plaintiff’s Law Against Discrimination case for failure to state a claim. The question presented to the Supreme Court, as phrased by its Clerk’s Office, is “Does the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act — which declares that ‘nothing in the Compassionate Use Act ‘require[s]’ an employer to accommodate a medical marijuana user, N.J.S.A. 24:6I-14 — preclude a claim by an employee against an employer based on, among other things, the Law Against Discrimination?”

In H.R. v. New Jersey State Parole Bd., the question presented is “Did the State Parole Board violate the rights of H.R., a sex offender, by subjecting him to continuous satellite-based monitoring under the Sex Offender Monitoring Act (SOMA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.89 to -123.95, or did the monitoring constitute a permissible ‘special needs search’?” The Appellate Division, in an opinion reported at 457 N.J. Super. 250 (App. Div. 2018), ruled that GPS monitoring, under the Sex Offender Monitoring Act, of convicted sex offenders after their release, was not an unconstitutional search as to a Tier III offender who was subject to lifetime monitoring, but it was an unreasonable search as applied to an offender who had completed the sentence imposed and was not subject to any parole supervision.

At issue in Lembo v. Marchese is the liability of defendant TD Bank, N.A., for a forgery scheme perpetrated by employees of the plaintiff dentist. The question presented is “Among other issues, did the trial court err in finding that plaintiffs’ claim against TD Bank could not be sustained as a matter of law because the Uniform Commercial Code bars ‘claims of non-customers against banks’ absent a showing of a ‘special relationship’?” The Law Division granted the bank’s motion to dismiss as to all claims, and the Appellate Division affirmed, except as to the Uniform Fiduciaries Law claim, which the panel allowed to go forward. The Appellate Division opinion was per curiam, by a two-judge panel.

An unpublished per curiam opinion of a three-judge Appellate Division panel is the subject of the appeal in Sanchez v. Fitness Factory Edgewater, LLC, a putative consumer class action, in which the Law Division granted a defense motion to dismiss, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The question presented on this appeal is “In this matter concerning a health club membership contract, did the imposition of an initiation fee violate the Retail Installment Sales Act (RISA), N.J.S.A. 17:16C-1 to -61?”

Those were the four cases in which the Court granted certification. Before the Court on leave to appeal is In re Civil Commitment of P.D. That case poses the following question: “Is an individual civilly committed under the Sexual Violent Predators Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38, entitled to discovery?”