Three More Cases for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that three more cases have been added to its docket.  State v. Carrero, Jr. is before the Court by virtue of a dissent in the Appellate Division.  The question presented there, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Did the evidence elicited in this trial for first-degree murder support a jury charge on passion/provocation manslaughter?”  The majority in the Appellate Division, Judges Yannotti and St. John, found a passion/provocation charge appropriate.  Judge Guadagno dissented.  Now the Supreme Court will resolve the dispute.

A.T. v. Cohen is a medical malpractice case.  The question presented there, as phrased by the Clerk’s Office, is “In this medical malpractice action filed on behalf of a child, did the trial court err in concluding that it lacked the discretion to grant plaintiff’s motion to voluntarily dismiss the complaint?”  This case too came to the Court as of right, due to a dissent in the Appellate Division.  It is relatively rare that the Appellate Division splits 2-1, and rarer still that two such cases are taken up by the Court on the same date.

In an opinion by Judge Currier, in which Judge Espinosa joined, the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal motion and upheld the grant of summary judgment to defendants.  Judge Fisher dissented.

The final case, Elazar v. Macrietta Cleaners, Inc., is one in which the Court granted leave to appeal.  The question there is phrased as “Under the circumstances presented, did plaintiffs file a timely notice of claim (pursuant to the New Jersey Tort Claims Act) against the Township of Cranford?”  In a per curiam opinion, the Appellate Division (Judges Ostrer, Haas, and Manahan) affirmed the Law Division’s ruling that plaintiffs’ notice of tort claim was untimely.