May 22, 2008
BOB MEYER COMMUNITIES, INC. AND THOMPSON HOMES, INC., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
STONE HARBOR LAKES, LLC, TRIAD III, LLC, WILLIAM P. BOWMAN, APACHE DEVELOPMENT, LLC AND GORDON SHAFFNER, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cape May County, Docket No. L-000001-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted December 18, 2007
Decided January 22, 2008
Remanded by Supreme Court May 6, 2008
Resubmitted May 16, 2008
Before Judges Fuentes, Grall and Chambers.
In a decision issued on January 22, 2008, we dismissed, as interlocutory, plaintiffs' appeal from an order that dismissed their complaint. The dismissal was "without prejudice subject only to enforcement of [the] arbitration award." On May 6, 2008, the Supreme Court granted plaintiff's petition for certification and "summarily remanded to the Appellate Division to reconsider in light of Wein v. Morris," 194 N.J. 364 (App. Div. 2008).
In pertinent part Wein holds:
To avoid further uncertainty in this area, and to provide a uniform procedure, we find it appropriate to deem an order compelling arbitration a final judgment appealable as of right. That is, whether the court in compelling arbitration dismisses the action as part of a final order or stays the matter, the order will be deemed final and appealable as of right. In our view, that will provide uniformity, promote judicial economy, and assist the speedy resolution of disputes.
Rule 2:2-3(a) governs interlocutory and final appeals. That rule also delineates various orders that are deemed final. We exercise our rulemaking authority and amend Rule 2:2-3(a) to add an order of the court compelling arbitration to the list of orders that shall be deemed final judgments for appeal purposes. . . . Previously there was no uniform approach to the treatment of such orders. Because this is a new rule, we find it appropriate to apply it purely prospectively and not to the parties of this appeal.
[Id. at 380 (emphasis added).]
Because the Court has held that the new rule of finality established in Wein applies prospectively, it does not apply to this appeal, which was dismissed as interlocutory prior to the Supreme Court's decision. Accordingly, after reconsideration in light of Wein, we see no basis for modification of our decision.
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