Decided: May 25, 1953.
ARTHUR M. SEITZ, JR., PLAINTIFF,
ISABELLE S. SEITZ, DEFENDANT, HELEN G. SEITZ, APPELLANT
For affirmance -- Chief Justice Vanderbilt, and Justices Heher, Wachenfeld, Burling, Jacobs and Brennan. For reversal -- None.
[12 NJ Page 370]
The judgment is affirmed for the reasons expressed in the opinion per curiam filed in the Superior Court, Appellate Division.
On appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court, Appellate Division, which filed the following opinion. "Mrs. Helen G. Seitz appeared personally before us and argued an appeal carrying the above title. She is not a party to the cause, but is the mother of the plaintiff and the grandmother of the children who are the subject of the litigation. We have examined the file and have found a lengthy document filed February 15, 1952, entitled 'Notice of Appeal by Helen G. Seitz.' The paper begins:
'Helen G. Seitz, as a member of the New Jersey State Welfare and numerous other Child Care Organizations, bases her appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey on the following precedents for a review of the Seitz Case and respectfully asks the intervention of this Honorable Court on behalf of the three infant Seitz children, Arthur Mac Gregor Seitz III, Pauline Seitz and Russell Seitz, but especially at this time, because his need is urgent, on behalf of Arthur Mac Gregor III.'
"Another paper entitled 'Notice of Appeal' was served by Mrs. Seitz on the attorney for the defendant Isabelle S. Seitz on March 25, 1952, and was filed March 31, 1952. It reads in part:
"Take Notice: That plaintiff, Helen G. Seitz residing at Arthelart Farm, Bernardsville, New Jersey, is appealing to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, to declare null and void certain warrants of arrest dated January 23, 1952.'
"Mrs. Seitz, in her so-called brief and in her oral argument, attempted to present both appeals. She is not entitled to any relief on her first appeal, or even to be heard thereon, for two reasons: She is not a party to the cause and she did not serve her notice of appeal on the parties and especially on the defendant.
"A word as to the proceedings that led to the second appeal: On January 16, 1952, on petition of the defendant Isabelle S. Seitz charging that one of the children had unlawfully been taken out of her possession, the court ordered Helen G. Seitz to show cause on January 18 why she should not be adjudged in contempt of court, because of the matters set forth in the defendant's petition. Thereafter a warrant issued, tested January 23, reciting that it appeared 'by satisfactory proof that there is good reason to believe that Helen G. Seitz is unlawfully in possession of an infant, Arthur M. Seitz, III, in violation of a judgment entered in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division.' Then follows the command to arrest Mrs. Seitz and to produce her in court on February 1. The return showed that the warrant had been executed and that Mrs. Seitz had been admitted to bail. There has been no adjudication that Mrs. Seitz is guilty of contempt. Indeed, on June 20 last, the trial court appointed Morris Spritzer, Esq., to prosecute the contempt proceeding. The warrant appears to have issued at the oral direction of the court so as to assure the appearance of Mrs. Seitz at the trial of the contempt charge. It is a mesne process and not final, and the order for its issuance was interlocutory. We do not decide whether or not appeal is the appropriate remedy. If it is, the appeal should have been taken within 10 days. The warrant issued January 23 and was returned February 1. The notice of appeal was not filed until March 31, 1952. It was too late.
"Both appeals are dismissed."