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NJ Landlord Tenant

Landlord Tenant Issues Renting an Apartment With Roommates When two or more people sign the same rental agreement or lease, they are cotenants and share the same legal rights and responsibilities. The problem with this situation is that one roommate's bad behavior affect them all.  Cotenants may decide to split the rent equally or unequally between themselves. However, this agreements amongst roommates don't affect the landlord. Each cotenant is independently liable to the landlord for all of the rent. Landlords often remind cotenants of this obligation by inserting into the lease a that says that the tenants are "jointly and severally" liable for paying rent and adhering to terms of the agreement. A landlord can legally hold all cotenants responsible for the negative actions of just one, and terminate everyone's tenancy with the appropriate notice.  For all sorts of reasons, roommate arrangements regularly go bad.   Roommates make lots of informal agreements ab…
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Car Service Contracts

An automobile service contract is similar to a warranty as they both promise to pay for certain repairs to your car. In order to determine if a service contract is worth paying for, you should consider; the cost, the services covered, and whether this a duplicate coverage from your car warranty.  Often times, the coverage in a service contract is duplicated by a warranty that already covers your car.Some of the issues you should look to are:Cost and Length of the Service Contract.   The initial price can range from several hundred dollars to more than $1,000. There may be a deductible each time your car is serviced or repaired. If the length of the service contract is similar to the warranty then it is not worth purchasing a similar contract. Repairs and Services Are Covered:  Not all service contract cover all repairs. Check for all the exclusion applying to the policy.Who will make the repairs: Some contracts allow you to choose among several service dealers or authorized repair cen…

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…

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 …