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Trautwein v. Bozzo

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division


Decided: February 28, 1956.

RAYMOND TRAUTWEIN, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES J. BOZZO AND MODESTO BOZZO, HIS WIFE, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS

Clapp, Jayne and Francis.

Per Curiam

[39 NJSuper Page 268]

The judgment is affirmed for the reasons expressed in the opinion of Judge Goldmann reported in 35 N.J. Super. 270 (Ch. Div. 1955).

We feel constrained to add that the defendants sought for the first time in the litigation to invoke on this appeal the equitable doctrine of unclean hands adversely to the plaintiff's cause of action. While we believe that the presentation of that contention by the defendants is a "matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense" to be averred within the import of R.R. 4:8-3, we do not doubt the right of the trial or appellate court to recognize, sua sponte , the principle in the interests of justice and public policy where justified by the circumstances. Medical Fabrics Co. v. D.C. McLintock Co. , 12 N.J. Super. 177 (App. Div. 1951). We are not persuaded that the facts as resolved in the present action warranted the application of the principle.

19560228


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