With the advent of oil replacing coal as the primary home heating fuel, someone had the questionable idea of creating underground storage tanks for the oil. Ultimately metal tanks rust/rot out and develop holes, permitting the oil to get out and water to get in. Not a good situation.
In a 3-2 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently barred accident victims from recovering their medical expenses from the negligent driver causing the injury. In this case, the victim had chosen a reduced personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of $15,000 but his medical expenses far exceeded that coverage. He therefore filed suit against the negligent driver to recover the excess unpaid medical expenses.
I was recently retained by a family to file a lawsuit to compel the State of New Jersey to amend their child’s birth certificate. This was a most unusual request. The child, a New Jersey college athlete, wished to establish dual citizenship with his country of origin in order to be eligible to try out for their national team. The country of origin rejected the initial application because the name of the birth mother on her national ID card did not match her name on her son’s birth certificate. The birth certificate would need to be amended.
In merry olde England, the King was the law. Whatever he said went. Eventually, a second branch of law developed around litigants bringing petitions to the King’s Chancellor, seeking exceptions to the King’s laws. This second branch is the precursor of our present day Chancery Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. The Chancellor was considered to be the “keeper of the King’s conscience”.
The Appellate Division recently upheld a summary judgment ruling which I obtained in a foreclosure case. The defendant claimed that her signature on the mortgage was a forgery.
Her late husband was the borrower and the defendant signed the mortgage to secure her interest in the property. We were able to locate the notary who witnessed her signature and obtain a certification that he had examined the defendant’s passport. We actually had a copy of her passport photo from the loan closing.
By statute, all municipalities in New Jersey are required to hold annual tax sales of their certificates of unpaid real estate taxes. Third parties and the municipality bid on the tax sale certificates at the sale conducted by the tax collector.. At the conclusion of the sale, the highest bidder pays the outstanding taxes and becomes the holder of the certificate. The certificate must be recorded with the County Clerk to become a lien against the real estate.
The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) is an important litigation tool for gathering information, whether prior to suit or during the litigation process. It is particularly helpful when the dispute involves a public entity, public property or public employee.