On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, L-1680-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 11, 2007
Before Judges Axelrad and Payne.
Plaintiff, Peter Kasperowicz (Peter), appeals from an order entered on July 18, 2006, dismissing the complaint that he filed in the Law Division on his own behalf and on behalf of his minor children, asserting causes of action against his former wife, defendant, Mary Ann Kasperowicz (Mary Ann) for tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage; false arrest and false imprisonment; intentional infliction of emotional distress; malicious abuse of process; defamation of character; child endangerment, abandonment and debauchery; conversion, theft, adverse possession, and malicious damage to real and personal property; perjury, false filings, errors and omissions; extortion and intimidation; restraint of trade and obstruction of the delivery of mail; obstruction of justice and due process; and profiting from bankruptcy. Granting a motion for dismissal filed by Mary Ann, the motion judge ruled that (1) Peter had improperly joined the children as plaintiffs in the action - a matter that is not appealed, and (2) the "complaint rehashes prior claims and appears to be a request to relitigate matters already resolved." On appeal, Peter claims that, as the result of the order, he has been unjustly deprived of his right to be heard. We affirm.
The relationship between Peter and Mary Ann has already been the subject of extensive litigation, which we briefly summarize. Mary Ann was granted a judgment of divorce by default from Peter on April 16, 2004.*fn1 Pursuant to that judgment, Mary Ann was granted full legal and physical custody of the three minor children of the marriage with a limited right of visitation granted to Peter, and provision was made for distribution of real and personal property, equitable distribution and child support. Alimony was waived. Peter appealed from the judgment on August 9, 2004, but his appeal was dismissed for lack of prosecution by orders dated January 7, 2005 and April 13, 2005. Peter's motions to vacate dismissal and reinstate the appeal and for reconsideration were denied on July 14, 2005.
Peter continued to pursue his grievances in the Family Part, resulting in an order, dated May 27, 2005, providing in paragraphs four and five that Peter "will be sanctioned for filing any new motions that lack merit and arguing repeatedly and continuously over issues that have been litigated to a conclusion," and that Peter "will be restrained from filing frivolous, baseless and false motions to this Court if Defendant cannot present credible new evidence."
Prior to the divorce, on August 20, 2003, a final restraining order was entered against Peter in the Family Part that prohibited him from contact with Mary Ann and the three children. On July 25, 2005, an amended final restraining order was entered that removed the restraints upon Peter's contact with the children. Nonetheless, Peter has repeatedly sought to raise issues that have their genesis in Mary Ann's complaints of domestic violence and alleged violations by Peter of the final restraining order entered on her behalf.
On May 20, 2005, Peter filed an action in the Law Division, Special Civil Part, against Mary Ann, alleging that she "filed a false police report, and swore out a false temporary restraining order, lied under oath before Superior Court causing [Peter] attorney's fees, loss from work, reputation and peace of mind, and false arrest." Damages of $15,000 were demanded. Suit encompassed acts occurring between May 20, 2003 and June 3, 2005. Mary Ann filed a counterclaim. A settlement of the parties' suit was reached on the day of trial, but Peter conditioned his assent to the settlement upon a three-day attorney review period, and he repudiated the settlement during that period. Although the trial judge nonetheless determined to enforce the settlement, in an opinion issued on April 23, 2007, we found it to have been validly vacated. We therefore reinstated both Peter's complaint and Mary Ann's counterclaim and remanded the matters for trial. Kasperowicz v. Kasperowicz, No. A-4783-05T5 (App. Div. April 25, 2007).
While appeal of the Special Civil Part matter was pending, Peter filed the present Law Division action. Mary Ann filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on June 5, 2006, the motion was granted on July 18, 2006, and this appeal followed.
Our review of Peter's pleadings, his supporting documentation, and the remainder of the record on appeal satisfies us that virtually all, if not all of his claims are barred by the entire controversy doctrine or the doctrines of collateral estoppel and res judicata. Brennan v. Orban, 145 N.J. 282, 290-91 (1996) and Mystic Isle Development Corp. v. Perskie & Nehmad, 142 N.J. 310, 323 (1995) (discussing entire controversy doctrine); First Union Nat. Bank v. Penn Salem Marina, Inc., 190 N.J. 342, 352-55 (2007) and Tarus v. Borough of Pine Hill, 189 N.J. 497, 520 (2007) (discussing res judicata, collateral estoppel and issue preclusion). The presently pending action in the Special Civil Part provides an adequate forum for consideration of any remaining claims. The law does not provide a limitless means of redress for the personal animosity that, unfortunately, continues to exist between Peter and Mary Ann, despite the severance of their marital relationship.