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Palkoski v. Garcia

Decided: October 8, 1954.

DENNIS PALKOSKI, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOSE M. GARCIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



Clapp, Jayne and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Francis, J.A.D.

Francis

Appellant Jose M. Garcia organized three corporations, Northern Valley Builders Supply Company, American Home Builders and Brookview Gardens, Inc., and owned and controlled all of the stock of each one. Northern operated a lumber yard; American was a construction company and Brookview was the owner of a tract of land on which American was to build a large garden apartment. Apparently the three companies were established with the construction of that apartment as the primary object in view.

In the summer of 1946 respondent Palkoski was engaged by Garcia to manage the lumber yard for Northern Valley at a weekly salary, and his principal duty seems to have been to keep American supplied with lumber for the Brookview apartment.

Later, the testimony shows that sometime in June 1950, at Garcia's request, Palkoski took over the duties of superintendent of construction for American. It appears also that he did some work around the apartment project which he said was in behalf of Brookview. However, no additional salary arrangement was made for these extra efforts although the record shows that he received a $10 weekly increase at

some stage of the proceedings. His salary checks came from Northern Valley, but some evidence was introduced to show that a substantial portion of the sum involved was allocated to Brookview Gardens, although he said he was not aware of it.

The record shows that Palkoski became vice-president of all three corporations. Just when this occurred was not shown. He testified that he was to receive one share of stock of each company but it was never actually issued to him.

His services for all three companies terminated in June 1952 and a month later this action was brought for certain moneys due him.

The complaint sought recovery on four counts, one against Garcia and one against each of the three corporations. Recovery was sought against American Homes in the amount of $2,900 for moneys advanced to it on the promise of Garcia to make repayment; Northern Valley was sued for certain advances of the same type made to it; Brookview Gardens was charged with responsibility for commissions on rentals made on its behalf in the garden apartment by Palkoski under an agreement for payment thereof. Finally Garcia was sued on the charge that the advances referred to in the other counts were made to him personally and that the rental commission arrangement was likewise an individual responsibility.

Trial of the action resulted in a verdict of $5,209.63 against Brookview Gardens, Inc. on the rental commission agreement, one of $2,900 against Garcia for an advance which the jury found was made to him personally, and one of $2,743.38 against Northern Valley Builders Supply Company for advances made to it. The resulting judgments have been made the subject of this appeal.

The first point raised concerns the $5,209.63 judgment against Brookview Gardens, Inc., representing the balance due on the apartment rental commission agreement. The sole ground of attack is that since Palkoski was not a licensed real estate broker he cannot recover commissions for the rental of apartments.

In this connection reliance is placed upon R.S. 45:15-1, which provided at ...


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