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New Jersey Supreme Court Expands Expungement Opportunities

January 17, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS and ROBERT SPAWN report on a recent decision from the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed the Appellate Division's ruling on three consolidated appeals, and, in doing so, established greater expungement opportunities for drug court graduates involved with third and fourth degree drug sale offenses. Three individuals applied for expungement under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14 (m) upon their completion of drug court rehabilitation. Each had criminal records with various prior convictions and arrests, and all had successfully graduated the drug court program on May 17, 2016. Additionally, each was employed full-time and was current on payment of all fines, costs, etc. While a trial court granted the applications, on appeal the Appellate(...)

Barry A. Kozyra Mentored Students At The Nutley High School For The 2019 Mock Trial Competition Held At The Essex County Courthouse

January 17, 2019

Barry A. Kozyra acted as lawyer-coach with Chris Bradley as teacher-coach and mentors to students at Nutley High School for the 2019 New Jersey State Bar Foundation's Mock Trial Competition. Mr. Kozyra met with the student teams regularly to instruct on trial procedures such as opening and closing statements, preparing fact or expert witnesses for direct and cross-examination and introducing documents as evidence for use at trial. "I have been involved with the NJSBA Mock Trial program through the Essex County Bar Association since my days as a young lawyer. It is an opportunity for the students to have a hands-on involvement in what it is like to be a lawyer or witness in a trial in a real courtroom. The Nutley High School team exhibited the best traits to be good lawyers as they(...)

All Attorneys At Kozyra & Hartz, LLC Join In Donation To The Essex County Bar Foundation Gun Buyback Initiative

December 28, 2018

The Essex County Bar Foundation (ECBF) recently announced a cooperative initiative with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and other state and local law enforcement agencies to host a gun buyback event. Every attorney at Kozyra & Hartz, LLC (K&H) has joined in donating a total of $1,500.00 toward the ECBF gun buyback initiative in an effort to take 6 rifles and 6 handguns out of harm's way. Kozyra & Hartz, LLC has always been a strong supporter of the Essex County Bar Association (ECBA) and the ECBF's public service and fundraising efforts for the Essex County community. The gun buyback initiative is particularly close to the heart of K&H's founding member, Barry A. Kozyra, as he initiated the idea for the event to take place. "The surrender was proposed to bring awareness(...)

Appellate Division Affirms Trial Court’s Judgment Of Possession To Landlord In Eviction Action

December 17, 2018

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-Landlord sent a three-day Notice of Termination of Lease to a Defendant-Tenant on January 30, 2017. The Notice specified that Plaintiff was seeking termination of Defendant's lease due to a January 30, 2017 incident in which Defendant had allegedly entered the management office and assaulted both Plaintiff and another resident of the complex. After Defendant did not leave her apartment within three days, Plaintiff filed a summary eviction action on February 15, 2017, again citing the January 30, 2017 assault as justification for Defendant's forced removal from the premises. Following a two-day bench trial on March 23 and(...)

Appellate Division Affirms Trial Court’s Dismissal Of Lad Claim

December 10, 2018

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. A recent New Jersey case involved an incident in which an African-American high school student ("Plaintiff") was escorted off school premises by a security guard after classes had ended on April 28, 2015. According to Plaintiff, as the two parties approached the exit to the building, Plaintiff and the security guard got into a physical altercation, and the security guard then made a racially abusive remark directed at Plaintiff, which, in turn, caused Plaintiff a great deal of pain and suffering. Plaintiff further alleged that this episode discouraged him from returning to school in the future. The school ("Defendant") investigated Plaintiff's allegations by viewing(...)