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A Police Officer’s Disposal Of Alleged Open Alcohol Containers Found In Defendant’s Vehicle Is Deemed A Violation Of Defendant’s Right Due To Process

March 11, 2019

Stelios Stoupakis reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, dealing with a police officer's handling of alleged open bottles of wine and vodka located in the vehicle operated by the Defendant, who was charged with driving while intoxicated ("DWI"). The Appellate Division recently maintained the importance of a Defendant's due process rights against the "policy" of a certain police department in matters involving open alcohol containers. The police allegedly found Defendant sleeping in his automobile with the engine running and vomit located within the interior of the vehicle. Upon being woken up, Defendant was speaking incoherently, had bloodshot/watery eyes, and smelled of alcohol. Notably, two open alcohol containers(...)

Appellate Division Affirms Trial Court’s Grant Of Summary Judgment To Movie Theater In Slip And Fall/Premises Liability Case

March 11, 2019

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. A recent New Jersey case involved a Plaintiff-Patron who sustained injuries after slipping and falling on the premises of a Defendant-Movie Theater. Plaintiff testified in his deposition that, as he was attempting to exit one of Defendant's theaters after seeing a 6:30 p.m. show, he "saw trash or debris on the floor, tripped over it, and fell right into the emergency exit door on a metal bar." Plaintiff also indicated in testimony that he had seen "litter" when he first sat down in the theater before the movie, but "paid it no mind." Plaintiff, however, was unable to precisely define what he had seen on the floor, further stating that the trash or litter "could(...)

Prosecutor’s Discretion In Denying Pretrial Intervention Applications Is Not Limitless

March 7, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, concerning the Prosecutor's discretion in denying Pretrial Intervention Program ("PTI") applications. Specifically, the Appellate Division slightly tightened the broad discretion originally provided to the Prosecutor in the decision making over PTI applications. PTI generally offers first-time offenders charged with indictable offenses an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction. Typically, only Defendants charged with non-violent crimes are eligible for PTI; however, as evidenced in this decision, that does not always hold true. The Defendant, in this case, was charged with second-degree aggravated assault and second-degree conspiracy to commit assault and(...)

Appellate Division Reverses Grant Of Summary Judgment To Design Engineers In Road Collapse Case

March 4, 2019

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. In a recent New Jersey case, a Plaintiff-County initiated two separate construction projects to repair and extend a road in a city (the "Road"), and the Defendants-Design Engineers were hired to, among other things, perform geotechnical evaluations for both projects. The first project, which was completed in 1998, extended portions of the Road near 12th and 14th Streets in the city and included a connector loop constructed on timber pilings. The second project, which extended portions of the Road near 15th Street in the city and connected it to the loop built in the first project, was built on preexisting steel pilings and concrete platforms. On July 2, 2001, after(...)

Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal Of Personal Injury Claims For Failure To Satisfy Threshold Requirements Of Tort Claims Act

February 20, 2019

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. In a recent New Jersey case, a Plaintiff-Tenant, who lived in a building owned and maintained by a Defendant-Housing Authority, fell through a hole in the floor of her apartment. After a hospital visit on the night of her fall (in December 2013), Plaintiff followed up with her primary care physician regarding lingering knee and back pain. Per her physician's recommendation, Plaintiff underwent physical therapy for several months, but, because her knee and back pain did not improve, Plaintiff subsequently sought treatment at a chiropractic center, and received twenty-nine chiropractic treatments between February and June 2014. Notably, in the midst of her chiropractic(...)