2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

NJ Laws Email Newsletter E295 February 12, 2009

NJ Laws Email Newsletter E295
Kenneth Vercammen, Attorney at Law

February 12, 2009

In This Issue
1. Herniated Disc
Not Always Permanent Injury.

2. Municipal Court cannot Access
Penalty for
Consumer Fraud.

3. Penalty cannot
be Enhanced if
Prior Statute was Ambiguous.

4. Failure of Owner
to Cooperate with Insurance Company can Void Coverage

5. February & March Community Events.

6. More Video & Legal podcast added to YouTube this week.


Main Website with 500 + articles and 1,000 + links
(732) 572-0500
Greetings Kenneth Vercammen,
1. Herniated Disc Not Always Permanent Injury.
Ames v. Gopal 12-09-08 A-2522-07T1

The Appellate Division held Plaintiff was not entitled at trial to an instruction that a herniated disc constitutes a permanent injury, entitling him to non-economic damages. The Appellate Division reduced Pardo v. Dominguez 382 N.J. Super. 489 (App. Div. 2006).

2. Municipal Court cannot Access Penalty for Consumer Fraud. State v. Tri-Way Kars, Inc. 402 NJ Super. 215 (App. Div. Decided August 5, 2008) A-1256-07T4

The court held that a municipal court had no jurisdiction under N.J.S.A. 56:8-14 to assess a penalty for an alleged Consumer Fraud Act violation in connection with the sale of a used motor vehicle because N.J.S.A. 56:8-14 only grants jurisdiction over penalty enforcement actions.

The court also held that the Central Municipal Court of Bergen County had no jurisdiction under N.J.S.A. 56:8-14.1 to assess such a penalty because that statute expressly limits jurisdiction over penalty assessment cases to municipalities "where the offense was committed or where the defendant may be found." Here, the offense was committed in South Hackensack where defendant conducted business and we concluded that this specific statute trumped the general power of the Assignment Judge to refer cases to the Central Municipal Court under N.J.S.A. 2B:12-1(e).

Finally, the court provided guidance for future actions respecting the insufficiency of the municipal court "Complaint-Summons SF-1 and SF-2" to adequately provide notice of the essential facts of a penalty assessment action, as opposed to a penalty enforcement action where the use of these forms has been approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

3. Penalty cannot be Enhanced if Prior Statute was Ambiguous. State v. Gelman 195 NJ 475 ( 2008) A-42

The current N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1 is insolubly ambiguous concerning whether a defendant can be charged with the fourth-degree crime of prostitution based on a prior petty disorderly persons conviction under the predecessor statute. The Court is thus compelled to apply the doctrine of lenity and dismiss the indictment.
4. Failure of Owner to Cooperate with Insurance Company can Void Coverage. Hager v. Gonsalves 398 NJ Super. 529 (App. Div. 2008) A-4293-06T1

The failure of both the operator and the owner of a motor vehicle to cooperate with the vehicle's insurer, thus preventing the insurer from ascertaining whether the operator was a permissive user at the time of the subject accident, may provide sufficient grounds for the insurer to disclaim coverage.
5. February & March Community Events:

Feb 21-Wrestling District Championships.
Brendan Vercammen made finals of Middlesex County Championships. Top record on team- 14 pins at 171, 189 & 215

Feb. 22 Irish Cocktail - K of C Avenel

Feb. 23 NJ Bar Municipal Court Meeting

MARCH - 2009

March 1 Belmar Parade (1st Sunday)

March 6 Friendly Sons Friday

March 8 St Patrick Parade - Woodbridge

March 28 NJSBA MUN 4-6

March 18 Middlesex Bar Awards Dinner - Sunny Palace, East Brunswick

March 23 Edison Chamber - Taste of Middlesex-Pines

6. More Video & Legal podcast added YouTube. We have added a weekly online podcast with a video/audio description of recent cases by the NJ Supreme Court and NJ Appellate Division and changes in Probate Law.

This week on the Kenneth Vercammen YouTube channel:

Inheritance Tax Returns

Federal Estate & Gift Tax changes

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