2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Friday, July 20, 2007

NJ Laws Newletter E217 June 19, 2006

In this issue:
1- Inadequate Security and Liability for Criminal Attack
2. Recent cases
Domestic violence dismissed where no danger to wife.
Factual basis required prior to guilty plea.
State v. Tutolo
3. new webpages
Job related and work site injuries
Alimony and child support in New Jersey
4. Upcoming charity races

1- Inadequate Security and Liability for Criminal Attack

Many people are injured when attacked on a business property, when the property owner fails to provide adequate security. Injured persons may be able to recover damages plus payment of medical bills. The New Jersey Supreme Court in Kuzmicz v. Ivy Hill Park Apartments, 147 N.J. 510. (1997) reviewed liability for injuries suffered by people attacked. The duty of landowners for injuries that occur on their premises, the analysis no longer relies exclusively on the status of the injured party. Instead "[t]he issue is whether, 'in light of the actual relationship between the parties under all of the surrounding circumstances,' the imposition of a duty on the landowner is 'fair and just.'" Brett v. Great Am. Recreation, 144 N.J. 479, 509 (1996) (quoting Hopkins v. Fox & Lazo Realtors, 132 N.J. 426, 438 (1993)).
For off-premises liability, the issue is substantially the same. In both contexts, however, the analysis is fact-sensitive. Hopkins, supra, 132 N.J. at 439. Ultimately, the determination of the existence of a duty is a question of fairness and public policy. Snyder v. American Ass'n of Blood Banks, 144 N.J. 269, 292 (1996); Crawn v. Campo, 136 N.J. 494, 501 (1994); Dunphy v. Gregor, 136 N.J. 99, 108 (1994); Kelly v. Gwinnell, 96 N.J. 538, 544 (1984); Goldberg v. Housing Auth., 38 N.J. 578, 583 (1962). Foreseeability of injury to another is important, but not dispositive. Snyder, supra, 144 N.J. at 292; Carter Lincoln-Mercury v. EMOR Group, 135 N.J. 182, 194 (1994). Fairness, not foreseeability alone, is the test. Relevant to the determination of the fairness of the imposition of a duty on a landowner is the nature of the risk, the relationship of the parties, the opportunity to exercise care, and the effect on the public of the imposition of the duty. Dunphy, supra, 136 N.J. at 108; Hopkins, supra, 132 N.J. at 439; Goldberg, supra, 38 N.J. at 583.
More information at:

2. Recent cases
Domestic violence dismissed where no danger to wife.
Litton v. Litton (Appellate Division, A-2054-04T2, October 6, 2005, Not approved for publication.)
Order dismissing the plaintiff wife's domestic violence complaint against the defendant affirmed; the wife's complaint alleged that, on the date in question, her husband grabbed and threw her into a wall, that he kept her from leaving the house, and that he harassed and verbally abused her; the Family Part had concluded that, although the husband acted inappropriately, his isolated actions on the date in question did not endanger the wife's life, health, or well-being, and did not pose a danger of domestic violence; the Family Part's findings of fact and conclusions of law were supported by the evidence and did not offend the interests of justice. Source: Facts On Call Order No. 18627.

14. Factual basis required prior to guilty plea.
State v. Tutolo (Appellate Division, A-1825-04T1. November 3, 2005, not approved for publication.)
Law Division order that granted the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief, that vacated her guilty plea to driving while intoxicated, and that remanded the matter to the Municipal Court for trial affirmed; the plaintiff, appearing pro se, had pleaded guilty in the Municipal Court and the Municipal court later denied her petition for post-relief to vacate the plea due to a lack of a factual basis for the plea; the Appellate Division agreed with the Law Division's determination on de novo review that there was an adequate factual basis for the plea, but it disagreed with the Law Division's conclusion that the plea was not voluntary - for the Municipal Court's failure to advise the defendant of the fundamental rights that she was waiving - because that normally is not required in the Municipal Courts; nonetheless, although it disagreed with the Law Division's rationale, the Appellate Division concluded that the plea in this case did not satisfy constitutional requirements because the municipal Court had not elicited a knowing waiver of the defendant's right to counsel.


3. new webpages
Job related and work site injuries

Alimony and child support in New Jersey

4. Upcoming charity races [more details at http://www.raceforum.com]

6/19 PRESIDENT'S CUP NIGHT RACE, 5K, 8pm, Charlie Browns, Millburn, 973-376-6094, (NBGP-700pts) Free beer, big post race party

June 24- Frog Hollow 5k South Amboy- Free food, use swim club for entire day. Applications available in Ken V office.

6/25 Sunday, Pine Beach 5k [near Toms River] Very well run shore area event. 732-505-9554

June 27 Tuesday night Raritan Valley Road Runners RVRR cross-country 5k summer series


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Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
PHONE 732-572-0500 (Fax) 732-572-0030
website: www.njlaws.com

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