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Reeves v. City of Jersey City

Decided: October 27, 1952.

ELIZABETH M. REEVES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE CITY OF JERSEY CITY, ET ALS., DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



McGeehan, Bigelow and Smalley. The opinion of the Court was delivered by Smalley, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).

Smalley

Plaintiff brought her suit in the Hudson County Court to recover a pension of $1,000 per annum, claiming that she was lawfully married to Edward C. Reeves, a pensioner, at the time of his death.

Plaintiff appeals from two orders of the Hudson County Court, Law Division, filed June 6, 1952. It may be helpful in understanding the facts if the orders are set forth:

"This suit having been stayed pursuant to opinion of the Court filed October 30, 1951 (16 N.J. Super. 231) to enable plaintiff to institute appropriate proceedings in the Hudson County District Court for the altering or correction, or both, of alleged clerical error in the form of judgment entered in that Court on September 24, 1941, in a suit entitled as above; and proceedings having been taken accordingly in the said District Court, resulting in the refusal of the said Court to alter or amend its judgment record aforesaid, and as a result whereof the said judgment record must, for the reasons set forth in the said opinion of this Court, be adjudged a legal bar to the present action; it is, on this 26th day of May, 1952.

ORDERED that judgment final be entered in this cause in favor of defendants and against the plaintiff on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth separate defenses set forth in the answers herein."

"Application having been made on behalf of plaintiff for an order to open the separate trial of the legal issues herein with leave to take proofs, and the court having listened to the argument of counsel, considered the matter, and good cause being shown;

It is thereupon on this 27th day of May, 1952 ORDERED that the application to open the separate trial of the legal issues be and the same is hereby denied."

There is no dispute that Edward C. Reeves was a member of the police force of the defendant city and that he qualified and met all of the conditions of the pension fund and received his pension during his life time. Neither is there any dispute that the plaintiff was married to the said Edward C. Reeves and that he passed away on December 15, 1940.

The defendants by their answer contend, in part, as follows:

"The Firemen's and Policemen's Pension Fund Commission of the City of Jersey City, were the real parties defendant in a certain suit in the Second District Court of the City of Jersey City, wherein the plaintiff herein was plaintiff, and which suit was for the same cause or causes of action as alleged in the complaint herein. In said suit in the Second District Court of Jersey City, judgment final in favor of the defendant therein and against plaintiff, for the same cause or causes of action as alleged in this complaint, was entered on the 24th day of September, 1941, and bars and precludes plaintiff from recovery herein."

The defendants contend that the judgment in the Second District Court of the City of Jersey City, rendered on the 24th day of September, 1941, in favor of the defendant Firemen's and Policemen's Pension Fund Commission and against Elizabeth M. Reeves, plaintiff therein, and herein, is res adjudicata of the cause of action herein alleged.

It will be unnecessary to recite the separate defenses set forth in defendants' answer except to say generally they are couched in the terms of ...


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