June 29, 2007
EVERGREEN PRINTING & PUBLISHING COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
CARBON MAGAZINE, D/B/A SURF NEWS, RESOLVE SKATEBOARDING, AND PLATINUM SNOWBOARDING MAGAZINE, AND DV8 MEDIA GROUP, LLC., DVA MEDIA GROUP, INDIVIDUALLY, AND MICHAEL FREIHOFER, INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A SURF AND SKATE MAGAZINE, AND CARBON MAGAZINE. DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County, Law Division, L-257-05.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted June 12, 2007
Before Judges Stern and Coburn.
Plaintiff filed a complaint seeking a judgment for a sum owed on a book account in January 2005. The case was arbitrated pursuant to R. 4:21A, and a $62,003.15 award was made in favor of plaintiff against all defendants on September 22, 2005. On November 2, 2005, plaintiff filed a motion to confirm the arbitration award. Defendants responded with a motion for trial de novo. By order of December 16, 2005, the motion for a trial de novo was denied and the arbitration award was confirmed. Defendants appeal.
After carefully considering the record and briefs, we are satisfied that defendants' arguments are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion, R. 2:11- 3(e)(1)(E), and we affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Todd in his thorough and well-reasoned oral opinion delivered on December 16, 2005, with this additional comment.
The excuses offered by defendants for not filing their de novo request on time were that it would have been timely if weekends were excluded from the computation; they were trying to settle the case; and their counsel had an unexpected illness that caused him to miss a few days of work. Since the motion was filed beyond the thirty-day time limit set forth in R. 4:21A-6(b)(1), and since none of the excuses are based on extraordinary circumstances, the judge rightly denied the motion for a trial de novo. Hartsfield v. Fantini, 149 N.J. 611, 616- 17 (1997); Mazakas v. Wray, 205 N.J. Super. 367, 372 (App. Div. 1985).
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