Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC attorneys have filed a federal antitrust complaint asserting claims arising from the attempted monopolization of the gas station convenience store market in the Borough of Eatontown, New Jersey. The action was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey captioned Fidelity Eatontown, LLC and QuickChek Corporation v. Excellency Enterprise, LLC, Kennedy Auto Service, Inc., and Gas Of Eatontown, Inc., Docket No. 3:16-cv-03899-FLW-LHG.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants engaged in sham litigations and frivolous and pre-textual appeals of planning board, governing body, and State agency actions to prevent the development of competing gas station convenience stores thereby preserving their monopoly position. The Complaint further alleges that as a result of the series of sham petitions and legal actions filed by Defendants, Plaintiffs have been forced to pay thousands of dollars toward application fees, expert fees, and attorney fees to pursue land use approvals and have suffered lost profits and other costs associated with the delay in construction resulting from the Defendants’ willful and abusive tactics.
The action is predicated on a recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Hanover 3201 Realty, LLC. v. Village Supermarkets, Inc., 806 F.3d 162 (3d Cir. 2015), which upheld a developer’s antitrust claims arising out of the sham litigations and other anticompetitive acts undertaken by an objector — akin to those actions allegedly taken by Defendants here — to unlawfully block development.
We know that many of our developer clients face similar, frivolous opposition when seeking land use approvals for their projects — compelling them to incur significant expense and suffer interminable delay. While ANSELL GRIMM & AARON, PC attorneys strive to amicably resolve objector concerns, we also remain ready to challenge sham objectors in defense of our clients’ rights, as here.
* * *
For more than 85 years, ANSELL GRIMM & AARON, PC has been dedicated to providing excellent legal representation. In providing zealous advocacy and skilled legal advice to our diverse clientele, our attorneys all practice with a common philosophy… commitment to excellence and commitment to people. For additional information concerning this release, please contact Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. or Michael H. Ansell, Esq. at (973) 247-9000.
AGA Attorney Jessica Zolotorofe is a featured writer in the May 27 issue of the Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal. In her article “Mixed-use developments: Seemingly the perfect fit”, Ms. Zolotorofe discusses mixed-use projects, those having retail and residential components, and their growing popularity. The benefits and challenges are weighed by Ms. Zolotorofe, as well as items to think about prior to investment in this type of real estate development. The full article can be found here: Mixed Use Developments.
Ms. Zolotorofe is based in AGA’s Woodland Park office. Her practice is devoted to the areas of real estate transactions, including buying, selling, leasing, and financing commercial properties, as well as civil litigation matters. Ms. Zolotorofe can be reached at 732-643-5256 or at email@example.com
In the latest issue of Association Help Now, David Bryne, managing partner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Community Association Practice Group addresses the tricky question of vote counting when it comes to issues affecting the declarations and bylaws of homeowner’s associations.
“In New Jersey, the general rule is the amendment percentage is set by the document that is sought to be amended, except in certain situations” Byrne explains in the article, “A condominium can be terminated if 80% of everyone votes to terminate. That’s a provision set by statue.”
AGA’s Community Association Practice Group lawyers Richard B. Linderman and Mark M. Wiechnik will be providing a roundtable education session at the Select Property & Association Management Annual Symposium on Wednesday, May 25. Mr. Linderman and Mr. Wiechnik will discuss the topic of successful legal strategies for dealing with bankruptcy filings and foreclosures within condominiums and homeowners associations. The Symposium will take place at Eden Resorts and Suites in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and will run from 5 pm-9 pm. At the Symposium, Mr. Linderman and Mr. Wiechnik also will be available to discuss all of the Communication Association Practice group’s services.
If you are planning on attending, please visit AGA’s display or contact Mr. Linderman or Mr. Wiechnik to set up a meeting while you are at the Symposium. Mr. Linderman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 609-557-1032. Mr. Wiechnik can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 609-557-1033.
The long running litigation between the Borough of Harvey Cedars and some of its oceanfront residents has finally come to an end. The borough’s counsel for these matters, Lawrence Shapiro, Esq. of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC successfully petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court on appeal from a jury verdict of $375,000 in favor of the Harvey and Phyllis Karan. The July 2013 decision was a departure from legal precedent that had stood for more than a century and paved the way for the state to move forward with its shore protection project.
In his opinion, writing for a unanimous court, Supreme Court Justice Barry T. Albin wrote, “When a public project requires the partial taking of property, ‘just compensation’ to the owner must be based on a consideration of all relevant, reasonably calculable, and non-conjectural factors that either decrease or increase the value of the remaining property. In a partial-takings case, homeowners are entitled to the fair market value of their loss, not to a windfall.”
In the aftermath of the Karan decision, another case where the jury had awarded $265,000 was retried under the legal standard. The result was a jury verdict of only $300.
In the final remaining case, the appeal of which was decided May 5, Shapiro was successful in having the property owner’s expert reports barred from presentation to a jury for using improper valuation methods. The Appellate Court recently affirmed that decision and, as a result, an agreed upon verdict of $7,500 was entered bringing the Harvey Cedars litigation to an end.
The Harvey Cedars cases were at the forefront of the State of New Jersey’s efforts to construct shore protection measures. The Karan case, which the Supreme Court agreed to hear before Superstorm Sandy struck and in which the State only intervened for argument before that Court, has resulted in a tectonic shift in how partial takings condemnation cases are valued and tried. Shapiro’s successful prosecution of that matter on behalf of the Borough means that other municipalities, the State, and Federal Government will save millions of dollars in easement acquisition and litigation costs as the shore protection project moves forward.
The Karan decision also will potentially save the state and tax payers millions of dollars in road improvement and other projects where a partial taking of property occurs and the positive benefit of the project can be quantified.
For additional information, please contact Lawrence Shapiro at (732) 922-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On May 26th AGA Partner Brian E. Ansell will be installed as First Vice President of the Monmouth County Bar Association. AGA Counsel Pamela A. Mulligan will be installed as President of the Burlington County Bar Foundation and as Treasurer of the Burlington County Bar Association on June 3rd.
Mr. Ansell, based in the firm’s Ocean Township office, has been very active with the Monmouth County Bar Association and has been a trustee since 2008 and officer of the Monmouth County Bar Association since 2012. Mr. Ansell focuses his practice in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, criminal defense, municipal court, DWI defense, as well as general civil, criminal and chancery litigation including litigation related to wills and estates. Mr. Ansell is Chair of the Civil Practice, Judicial Appointments and Municipal Court Committees and has served on multiple other committees throughout his tenure with the Monmouth County Bar Association. Mr. Ansell’s installation will take place at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, New Jersey.
Ms. Mulligan currently serves as Secretary for the Burlington County Bar Association and Treasurer of the Burlington County Bar Foundation and has been active with the Burlington County Bar Association and Foundation since 2007. In 2011 Ms. Mulligan was awarded the Robert W. Criscuolo Award from the Burlington County Bar Association for her contributions to the Association and to the Community. Ms. Mulligan is currently the Chair of the Corporate Networking Committee and a member of the Due Diligence, Debtor/Creditor/Bankruptcy, Budget & Finance, CLE, and Women in the Profession Committees. Ms. Mulligan was previously co-chair of the Debtor/Creditor/Bankruptcy and Young Lawyers Committees. She has presented CLEs for the Bar Association on the topics of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure and has moderated other seminars for the Bar Association. Ms. Mulligan focuses her practice in the areas of real estate, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and intellectual property limited to copyright and trademark. Ms. Mulligan’s installation will take place at Kings Grant Community Center in Marlton, New Jersey.
Mr. Ansell may be reached via email at email@example.com or via his direct line at 732-643-5230.
Ms. Mulligan may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her direct line at 609-557-1045
AGA’s Community Association Practice Group attorneys will be exhibiting at the Cooperator Expo on Wednesday, May 11 at the Meadowlands Expo Center, Secaucus, New Jersey. The Expo will run from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., admission is free, and registration is currently available here. In addition to the Exhibit Hall with more than 300 vendors, the Expo offers several educational seminars for attendees on subjects as diverse as marketing properties in a demographically changing market and savings and incentives available by upgrading energy systems.
If you are planning on attending the Cooperator Expo, please visit AGA’s CAP Group at Booth Number 700 or contact David J. Byrne Esq., to set up a meeting with one of our attorneys while you are at the conference. Mr. Byrne can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 609-751-5551.
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 May 3 seminar on Construction Defect Litigation at the Holiday Inn, Princeton, 100 Independence Way. Mr. Wiechnik will be speaking about what is covered and what is not covered by insurance policies, including the debates currently taking place regarding how insurance coverage is affected by building codes and standards, warranties and the Magnuson-Moss and Miller Acts.
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 and Pennsylvania. The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a 1 hour lunch break at noon.
Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C. is a proud sponsor of the 2016 GOTCC Business & Consumer Expo. Come visit our booth and the many other vendors, on Wednesday, May 11 between 5 pm and 7:30 pm at Jumping Brook Country Club, 210 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune. Admission to the expo is free and ample on-site free parking is available. For more information on attending or exhibiting at the expo click here.
Pamela A. Mulligan, Counsel at Ansell Grimm & Aaron, will be a featured speaker at the National Business Institute’s April 19 seminar on Advanced Collection Law at the Holiday Inn, Cherry Hill, 2175 Marlton Pike. Ms. Mulligan will be speaking about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) effects on collections and staying in compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
To register for the seminar please visit the NBI website at: Advanced Collection Law. 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 11:45 a.m.