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Gareeb v. City of Passaic

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


May 14, 2008

KALEEL G. GAREEB, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF PASSAIC, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.

On appeal from the New Jersey Tax Court.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 28, 2008

Before Judges Sabatino and Alvarez.

This pro se appeal is filed by plaintiff, Kaleel G. Gareeb, M.D., from an April 13, 2007, judgment dismissing his appeal of the 2006 tax assessment on real property he owns in Passaic. We affirm.

The judgment memorialized a March 23, 2007 written decision in which Tax Court Judge Bianco first quoted verbatim from plaintiff's brief:

In his motion the Taxpayer [] seeks:

(1) Burial of Kuskin's, Bianco's and Tannenbaum escape hatch = R. 4:6-2(e)

(2) Verify the virtues of Ruling of '94

(3) Quash the spuriously tailored '97 Ruling and the un-virtuous Kuskin & Tannenbaum

(4) Validate NJSA 2A-35A-10(b) that was discarded by Kuskin, Bianco & Tannenbaum

The judge went onto explain:

[Plaintiff] also asks the court to address the five years of office vacancy at the subject property, as well as the disputed office square footage and the dwelling rent utilized by the City's Assessor. According to [plaintiff], he is "seeking justice per NJSA 2A:35A-10(b) and Rules, 4:3-4(a), 4:5-1, 4:5-7 & 4:9-1."

[Plaintiff's] convoluted writing style makes it difficult for the court to make sense of the precise nature of the relief he is seeking. It is only through the court's thorough examination of [plaintiff's] motion papers and Complaint in whole that the true nature of his claims and the relief sought could be ascertained.

On appeal, plaintiff contends that the judge "has smeared and categorically ridiculed my position during each of the seven complaints." Plaintiff has disputed his tax assessment at least five times since 1997.

As Judge Bianco noted in his decision, plaintiff faced an April 1, 2006, direct tax appeal filing deadline for the 2006 tax assessment, which deadline he failed to meet. N.J.S.A. 54:3-21. The tax appeal was not filed until October 31, 2006, and was therefore properly dismissed by the court. If the taxpayer was seeking to correct errors in the assessment, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:51A-7, the claims were barred because, as the trial judge pointed out, "the claims are identical to those previously raised and fully litigated by the Taxpayer almost annually since 1997." See Atl. City Transp. Co. v. Dir., Div. of Taxation, 12 N.J. 130, 144 (1953) (stating that a tax determination "is res adjudicata as to subsequent years where the matter was fully litigated" and involved identical facts and common legal issues); see also Tarus v. Borough of Pine Hill, 189 N.J. 497, 520 (2007) (explaining the types of litigation barred by collateral estoppel and res judicata). Judge Bianco, in a respectful and entirely appropriate fashion, addressed plaintiff's claims. They are virtually unintelligible, and lack support either in fact or law, and do not warrant further discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11- 3(e)(1)(E). Because plaintiff missed the filing deadline, Judge Bianco had no choice but to dismiss. We concur and affirm substantially for the reasons expressed in his written opinion of March 23, 2007.

Affirmed.

20080514

© 1992-2008 VersusLaw Inc.



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