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Columbia Presbyterian Anesthesiology v. Brock

July 5, 2005

COLUMBIA PRESBYTERIAN ANESTHESIOLOGY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
MICHAEL BROCK, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Monmouth County, DC-7403-02.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Graves, J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMITTEE ON OPINIONS

APPROVED FOR PUBLICATION

Argued June 1, 2005

Before Judges Stern, Wecker and Graves.

This is a Special Civil Part collection case. Plaintiff appeals from three separate orders, each denying plaintiff's application to enforce a stipulation of settlement. We reverse.

Plaintiff rendered anesthesiology services to defendant, Michael Brock. When the balance due for services went unpaid, plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that the sum of $4,397.10, was due and owing, together with costs and statutory attorney's fees pursuant to N.J.S.A. 22A:2-42. In his answer, dated August 29, 2002, defendant did not deny the debt or dispute that plaintiff was entitled to be paid the sum of $4,397.10.

On the standard answer form, which was provided to defendant and which is "made available to litigants by the Clerk of the Special Civil Part," R. 6:1-1(g), defendant could have selected from a list of six possible defenses to plaintiff's claim. The standard form provides as follows:

Check the appropriate statement or statements below which set forth why you claim you do not owe money to the plaintiff.

(1) The goods or services were not received.

(2) The goods or services received were defective.

(3) The bill has been paid.

(4) I/We did not order the goods or services.

(5) The dollar amount claimed by the plaintiff(s) ...


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