Bauchner Representing Plaintiff in Civil Rights Case

Posted on July 1st, 2015

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq., a partner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., is representing Earl Galloway in his suit against Stafford Township and township officials for trying to intimidate him and violating his First Amendment rights. To read more on the subject, please visit the Asbury Park Press website.

 

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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Law Governing Association Elections & Board Member Removal Advances in New Jersey Assembly

Posted on June 30th, 2015

The New Jersey Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee recently favorably reported its Bill No. 3069. If adopted by the full Legislature, and signed by the Governor, New Jersey’s Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (PREDFDA) would be amended to further regulate the elections, and board of trustee service, of condominiums and homeowners’ associations.

More specifically, the boards of associations with less than 11 homes would be limited to only three (3) members. The boards of all other associations must have five (5) members unless that association’s bylaws provide otherwise. The law would mandate certain election-related procedures, including anonymous owner voting. It would also create a rather specific process by which member of an association’s board could be removed therefrom. The existing board would have certain powers to remove a board member, following the request of a small portion of the owners.

Further, regardless of the provision(s) set forth in an association’s bylaws, 10% of the owners could force the association to have a special owners meeting for the purpose of board member(s) removal. Not unexpectedly, this law would enlarge the existing regulatory powers of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs, empowering it to oversee associations’ compliance. If you have any questions about this pending law, about any other pending law and/or an existing law, relating to New Jersey’s community associations, please contact us.”

 – David Bryne

 The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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Court Validates Condominium Board’s Refusal to File Insurance Claim In Connection with a “Unit”

Posted on June 30th, 2015

Because of a faulty thermostat, John and Nancy Buchler unknowingly constantly ran the heat in their condominium unit at a very high temperature. The continuous heat resulted in ‘cracks in the dry wall, damage to the ceilings and woodwork, and damage to the furniture and floors’, as well as damage to the unit’s other thermostat.  The master deed includes within its definition of “Units” the following: “appliances …interior partitions, and other improvements located within or appurtenant to the UNIT on the interior side of all walls within the unit.’  It defines ‘common elements’ as ‘all land and all portions of the property not located within any UNIT’.

This condominium maintained insurance coverage ONLY to the extent required by New Jersey’s Condominium Act (the “Act”), its master deed and its bylaws. Since those documents mandate only coverage to include ‘all areas of the building not owned by UNIT OWNERS’, and the Act mandates only coverage for ‘all common elements and all structural portions of the condominium property,’ this condominium purchased a commercial property insurance policy covering only the condominium’s ‘common elements’.   The policy’s endorsement further clarified the scope of the condominium’s coverage, ensuring that there was/is no coverage for any portion of the condominium that is ‘reserved for’ a unit ‘owner’s exclusive use or occupancy.’

As is far too often the case, the Buchlers did not have personal insurance covering their unit.  The condominium refused to file a claim with its carrier with respect to the Buchlers’ interior damage.  The Buchlers sued the condominium arguing that it was obligated to file an insurance claim.  The court eventually dismissed the Buchlers’ complaint against the condominium. The court found that the condominium maintained insurance coverage to the extent it was/is required to maintain, and that said insurance provided coverage for only ‘common elements’ and those areas of the condominium not ‘reserved for’ an ‘owner’s exclusive use or occupancy’.

Since the Buchlers’ damage was limited to those things set forth above, the court found that there was/is no common element damage.  The court found the condominium’s refusal to make an insurance claim proper.

The court’s decision in John Buchler, et al v. Club Regatta Condo Association, et al, provides support to those condominiums seeking to manage insurance-related costs by limiting the scope of its insurance coverage to only that which is expressly mandated by the Act and the particular condominium’s master deed and bylaws.  It provides support as well to those condominium boards hoping to limit the nature, amount and scope of insurance claims that actually are filed by that condominium.

 — David Byrne

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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Supreme Court strikes down prohibitions on same sex marriage

Posted on June 26th, 2015

“Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.”

From Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion in OBERGEFELL v. HODGES

In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment requires states to license a marriage between people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.

“The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs,” Kennedy wrote. “When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.”

Kennedy cited as precedent Loving v. Virginia, in which the court invalidated bans on interracial unions, and Turner v. Safley which held that prisoners could not be denied the right to marry.

Concurring with the opinion delivered by Kennedy were justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Dissenting opinions were filed by Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr., and justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.

A PDF of the opinion can be found on the Supreme Court’s website.

 

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

 

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Wiechnik to Share Construction Defect Litigation Expertise

Posted on June 22nd, 2015

Mark M. Wiechnik, a partner in Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C.’s community association practice group, will be a featured speaker at the National Business Institute’s August 20 seminar on Construction Defect Litigation at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel. Mr. Wiechnik will be speaking about recent decisions that may affect pending and future cases.

To register for the seminar please visit the NBI website at: Construction Defect Litigation from A to Z. Attendance at the seminar satisfies state-mandated continuing legal education requirements for New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a 1 hour lunch break at noon. Discounted pricing is available through July 9.

AG&A Attorney Michael H. Ansell Quoted in Regional Journals

Posted on April 17th, 2015

Michael H. Ansell, Esq., an attorney with Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., has recently been quoted in the New York Law Journal, New Jersey Law Journal and the Brooklyn Eagle in regard to the ongoing case of Schoenefeld v. State of New York. The lawsuit challenges New York State’s long-standing requirement that attorneys who reside outside of New York State must maintain a physical office in New York State in order to practice in New York State Courts, while attorneys who reside in New York State have no such requirement.  Mr. Ansell is a non-resident attorney who practices law in New York and joined an amicus brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by the Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation. Mr. Ansell joined the amicus brief in support of the position that the distinction between resident and non-resident attorneys is unconstitutional.

For further information please visit:

Brooklyn Eagle

New Jersey Law Journal

New York Law Journal

 

The Linear Construct of a Negligence Claim

Posted on April 15th, 2015

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq., a Member of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., recently wrote an article that was published in the New Jersey Law Journal.  The article speaks about how lawyers can recite from memory the elements of a negligence cause of action, but how many fail to appreciate that the order of the elements is critical to any claims analysis.  For full article, click here.

TOP 10 Community Association Tips Seminar
to feature David J. Byrne, Esquire

Posted on April 15th, 2015

David J. Byrne, Esq., Chair of Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Community Association Group, will be a featured speaker at Association Help Now’s Top 10 HOA tips seminar on June 9 at Clifton Commons in Clifton N.J. Mr. Byrne’s presentation will focus on the ways associations fail to minimize risk and/or liability.

There is no charge for current community association board members and managers, and attendees will receive CEU credits provided by CAI- New Jersey. If you are interested in attending the seminar, please visit:

http://www.associationhelpnow.com or signup via the web here.

If you would like to contact Mr. Byrne directly please call 609.557.1031, or by email at djb@ansellgrimm.com

National Business Institute

Posted on March 31st, 2015

Pamela A. Mulligan, Esq., of our office will be a featured speaker at the National Business Institute CLE seminar, “Collection Law From Start to Finish” on April 21, 2015, at the Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Ms. Mulligan’s presentation will include: Developing defensive strategies to filing the lawsuit and tips on collecting the judgment. If you are interested in learning more on collections and wish to increase your chances of debt recovery, please attend.  To reach Ms. Mulligan directly, please contact her via phone at 609.557.1045 or via email at pam@ansellgrimm.com.

Link to seminar registration information – Collection Law From Start to Finish