The Supreme Court Takes Up Two Published Appellate Division Decisions

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted certification in two new cases. Both cases were the subject of published opinions in the Appellate Division.

In 257-261 20th Avenue Realty, LLC v. Roberto, the question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “Is the Tax Sale Law, which authorizes the purchaser of a tax sale certificate to acquire title to real property by foreclosing the equity of redemption of all outstanding interests (N.J.S.A. 54:5-1 to -137), unconstitutional under the decision in Tyler v. Hennepin County, 598 U.S. 631 (2023); and if not, did exceptional circumstances otherwise exist in this matter that warranted vacating the final judgment under Rule 4:50-1(f)?” In an opinion reported at 477 N.J. Super. 339 (App. Div. 2023), and summarized here, the Appellate Division affirmed the ruling of the Chancery Division that found exceptional circumstances under Rule 4:50-1(f).

The other new case is In re Estate of Jones. The question presented there is “Under N.J.S.A. 3B:3-14, is the designation of a spouse as the pay-on-death beneficiary of United States Savings Bonds automatically nullified on divorce, and if so, is the statute preempted in this matter by federal regulations governing United States Savings Bonds, including 31 C.F.R. § 353.22?” The decision of the Appellate Division, reported at 477 N.J. Super. 203 (App. Div. 2023), summarized here, reversed the Chancery Division and held that federal law preempted state law regarding the savings bonds.