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Avon Sheet Metal Co. v. Heritage House Associates

Decided: December 1, 1969.

AVON SHEET METAL CO., A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HERITAGE HOUSE ASSOCIATES, A PARTNERSHIP CONSISTING OF EUGENE KLEINWACKS, MELVIN TOBIAS AND MAX DRILL, DEFENDANTS



Yanoff, J.d.c.

Yanoff

Plaintiff seeks a contract recovery in two counts, one for the sum of $868.73, the other for the sum of $247.20, aggregating more than $1,000. Plaintiff refused to waive the excess over $1,000. The action was instituted prior to enactment of L. 1969, c. 177, effective October 14, 1969, and tried subsequent thereto. The testimony impels the following findings of fact and conclusions.

Defendant Heritage owns and operates an apartment house, known as Heritage House located in Morristown, New Jersey. The structure was built by Max Drill, Inc., which had employed Keith Crossman as project superintendent in the construction of Heritage House. Leaks appeared in the roof after the building was occupied.

Heritage notified Philip Drill, who was both vice-president of Max Drill, Inc., and the person who "ran the job" on Heritage House, about the leaks. Drill, in turn, communicated with plaintiff and asked it to patch the roof as best it could. Crossman lived in the building at the time

and it was expected that he would handle a portion of the job, as agent for Drill. As a result, Leonard Tobias, an engineer employed by plaintiff, met Crossman on the roof and received from him specific instructions as to the areas to be repaired. Count I seeks recovery for the cost of doing this work. Crossman also asked Tobias to construct and install scuppers and leaders in another portion of the house for purposes not connected with the leaks. Count II seeks recovery for the price thereof. The scuppers and leaders were constructed but not installed because the price for the other work was not paid.

Heritage denies that Crossman was its agent for the purpose of ordering the scuppers and leaders, but does not dispute that Drill was authorized to order the roof repair on its behalf. The major defense to Count I is that the repairs did not remedy the leaks.

With respect to the scuppers and leaders, the defenses are that the order was not authorized, that the materials were not installed, and that the contract was not part of the roof repair conract, but a separate one.

Preliminarily, the attention of the court is called to the fact that plaintiff's claim exceeds the sum of $1,000, leaving it to the court to determine whether it has jurisdiction.

I

The jurisdictional issue will be considered first.

Clearly, County district court jurisdiction over the subject matter is restricted by the monetary and other limitations specified by statute. Friedman v. Podell , 21 N.J. 100 (1956); Andriola v. Galloping Hill Shopping Center, Inc. , 93 N.J. Super. 196 (App. Div. 1966); Besser v. Krasny , 114 N.J.L. 146 (E. & A. 1934). The ...


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