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Service of Process in New Jersey: Court Allowed Service of Process by Facebook.

In the recent case of  K.I.A.  v. J.L. Docket No. C-157-15 (Ch. Div., April 11, 2016), the court held that when service of process cannot be done by traditional means the rules of civil procedure allow an alternate form of service, like Facebook.  Rule 4:4-4(b)(3) permits a court to enter an order permitting service by means other than those provided by rule “consistent with due process.” This is the case of an adoptive parents filed a cause of action against the defendant to enjoin him from contacting their adoptive son, remove information about their son from social media and to contact their family. Defendant an out of State individual contacted plaintiffs’ child through Facebook, disclosed that he was the biological father and contacted the family. In their attempt to serve the summons and complaint to the defendant, plaintiffs’ made reasonable, good-faith attempt to effectuate personal service but were unsuccessful.  The plaintiffs made a request for the court to order substitut…
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NEW JERSEY EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION

New Jersey is an Equitable Distribution State. This means that marital assets will be divided in a manner that is considered fair but not necessarily equal for the parties. Below we have developed an outline to give a general overview on Equitable Distribution in New Jersey. Equitable Distribution in New Jersey an Outline Overview. I.Assets subject to Equitable Distribution a. Assets that are Acquired During the Marriage b.Assets acquired in contemplation of marriage II.Assets Immune by Statute a.Premarital – except the increase in active assets value due to efforts of non-owner. b.Inheritances c. Gifts from third parties III.Specific Assets: Subject to Equitable Distribution a.Pensions and other retirement accounts that were acquired during the marriage. b.Real Estate as per I(a), (b). c.Automobiles, jewelry, inter-spousal gifts, house contents d.Stocks, bonds, etc. e. Insurance annuities and cash surrender value of life insurance policy f.Business and partnership interests g.Personal injury awa…

Harassment and Domestic Violence in New Jersey

Harassment can constitute a basis for the issuance of a restraining order if the statutory elements are satisfied. See N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. The statute defines harassment:
Except as provided in subsection e., a person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he: a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or c. Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person. [N.J.S.A. 2c:33-4 (emphasis added).]
As provided by the statute, a finding of harassment requires proof of an intent or purpose to harass. State v. Hoffman, 149 N.J. 564, 576-77 (1997). An assertion by a plaintiff that he or she felt harassed is …

Invalidating a Contract under the Doctrine of Economic Duress

The doctrine of economic duress has significantly developed and expanded, in recognition of the ever-increasing complexity of the business world. Claims of economic duress in business litigation are becoming more frequent. Several courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have acknowledged that there are situations under which financial pressure may cancel an otherwise enforceable contract. See 13 S. Williston, Contracts, § 1603 at 664 (3d ed. 1970); United States v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., 315 U.S. 289, 62 S.Ct. 581, 86 L.Ed. 855 (1942); Hartsville Oil Mill v. United States, 271 U.S. 43, 46 S.Ct. 389, 70 L.Ed. 822 (1926).The definition of economic duress is set forth in Williston:1. The party alleging economic duress must show that he has been the victim of a wrongful or unlawful act or threat, and2. Such act or threat must be one which deprives the victim of his unfettered will. [13 Williston, supra, § 1617 at 704 (footnotes omitted)]

The courts in New Jersey have defined eco…

Establishing Consumer Fraud Claims in New Jersey

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act purpose was to combat sharp practices and dealings that victimized consumers by luring them into purchases through fraudulent or deceptive means. It was expanded to allow a private right of action for consumers that are victims of violations of the CFA.
The private right of action included provisions that allowed for entitlement to treble damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and reasonable costs of suit. In a cause of action asserting a violation of the NJ Consumer Fraud Act a plaintiff must prove:

    1) unlawful conduct by defendant;
    2) an ascertainable loss by plaintiff;
    3) a causal relationship between the unlawful conduct and the ascertainable loss.
D’Agostino v. Maldonado, 216 N.J. 168, 183-184 (2013)(quoting Bosland v. Warnock Dodge  Inc., 197 N.J. 543, 557 (2009)).

If the plaintiff is successful in establishing his/her cause of action, the plaintiff is entitled to treble damages and an award of counsel fees under N.J.S.A. 56:8-19 as a …

Planning for Children in Case of Deportation

The current immigration climate is tense. Undocumented people fear not only for deportation but also for the care and wellbeing of their children.  It is important that people that are undocumented make plans in the event that this situation takes place. Among the first things to be planned is the provision of care and supervision of minor children while the parents are in the process of the deportation.

It is important to keep all detail information of the child. If the child is an American Citizen, having their passports updated should be a priority. In addition, it is often suggested to create a power of attorney limited to the event of deportation. In this power of attorney, the parents should assign a guardian to take care of the child and allow permission to travel with the guardian. The undocumented person should also consider leaving financial provisions for the care of the child.
It is often recommended that the undocumented person carries information of their attorney or a l…

Living Will

Living Will
A Living Will is vital in bringing out your end of life decisions. If at any point you’re unable to  communicate your wishes or a doctor has diagnosed you as being incapable of doing so, a Living Will allows your family and physicians to make sure your own personal choices are being respected.
When to Use a Living Will: You want to stipulate your needs so that it is more probable they will be carried out.You are facing the prospect of operation or a hospitalization.You want to make a comprehensive estate plan.You have been diagnosed with a incurable illness.
The Difference Between a Living Will from a Power of Attorney:
A living will and a durable healthcare Power of Attorney allow you to choose someone you trust to make certain medical decisions on your behalf. You must be at least 18 to create either document or you must be of sound mind. That means no one is allowed to coerce you into making a living will or healthcare power of attorney.  The main difference between the …