August 1, 2007
DISCOVER BANK, BY ITS SERVICING AGENT DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. D/B/A DISCOVER CARD, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
MYRNA TAGAYUN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Passaic County, DC-11576-04.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted April 17, 2007
Before Judges Coburn and R. B. Coleman.
Defendant Myrna Tagayun appeals from a June 10, 2005, order of judgment in favor of plaintiff, Discover Bank. The judgment was entered in accordance with a unanimous verdict, rendered by a jury, awarding the sum requested by plaintiff in its complaint, $7,797.35. We affirm.
The facts of this case are straightforward and substantially uncontested. Defendant applied for and obtained a line of revolving credit through plaintiff. Defendant then used her Discover Card to make various charges, none of which she disputes. Initially, defendant made monthly payments, but ultimately ceased making payments and defaulted. On April 30, 2004, plaintiff closed the account, and referred the matter to a law firm for collection.
Plaintiff's complaint was filed on September 14, 2004, in the Passaic County Special Civil Part. Defendant answered, denying that she owed the amounts alleged and requesting a trial by jury. A jury trial was held on May 25, 2005, at the conclusion of which the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of plaintiff, from which defendant appeals.
On appeal, defendant seeks to have the verdict overturned due to a number of allegedly erroneous procedural and evidentiary rulings by the court. For example, defendant argues the court erred (a) in its denial of a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that plaintiff did not have standing to sue under the Corporation Business Activities Act (the Reporting Act), N.J.S.A. 14A:13-1 to -23, dealing with foreign corporations; (b) in its failure to take judicial notice of certain evidence; (c) in its preclusion of expert testimony by defendant's only witness, her husband; (d) in its allowance of evidence of other indebtedness incurred by defendant; and (e) in its demonstration of general bias against defendant and in favor of plaintiff, reflected in the court's examination of a witness and in the perceived prompting of additional questions by plaintiff's counsel.
In American Bank & Trust Co. of Pennsylvania v. Lott, 99 N.J. 32, 34 (1985), our Supreme Court held that the Legislature did not intend the Reporting Act to apply to foreign banks. See also Avco Fin. Serv. Consumer Disc. Co. One v. Dir., Div. of Taxation, 100 N.J. 27, 33 (1985). Hence, the standing argument asserted by defendant is devoid of merit.
Defendant's remaining arguments, likewise, lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). We note, however, that the trial court is afforded broad discretion in its evidentiary rulings and its determinations "should not be overturned on appeal 'unless it can be shown that the trial court palpably abused its discretion, that is, that its finding was so wide [of] the mark that a manifest denial of justice resulted.'" Verdicchio v. Ricca, 179 N.J. 1, 34 (2004) (quoting Green v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Co., 160 N.J. 480, 492 (1999)). We discern no such mistaken exercise of discretion in the court's rulings in this case.
Moreover, we perceive no miscarriage of justice under the law as a result of the jury's verdict. Dolson v. Anastasia, 55 N.J. 2, 6-8 (1969).
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