On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Docket No. L-7226-05.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Sabatino and Alvarez.
Defendants*fn1 Anthony Van Riemsdijk and Estrella Van Riemsdijk appeal the denial by a Law Division judge of their motion to enforce the penalty provisions of a settlement agreement. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
Plaintiff, Lloyd Williams, signed a contract to purchase land from defendants for $179,777. The land was purchased so plaintiff could build a single-family home for resale. After closing, and "significant" investment in the project, plaintiff discovered an on-site septic system could not be installed on the site because of percolation problems. As a result, he filed against all the named defendants, including the Van Riemsdijks, for rescission of the contract, consumer fraud, and similar causes of action. Defendants filed an answer, and sought by way of counterclaim, payment of a $30,000 promissory note and second mortgage they had taken back as an accommodation to plaintiff in order to close on the transaction.
In time, defendants and plaintiff entered into a stipulation of settlement which called for plaintiff to pay defendants the $30,000 originally agreed to as a mortgage take back, upon the following terms:
Plaintiff shall pay to defendants Anthony and Estrella Van Riemsdijk, on their counterclaim, the sum of $30,000.00, without interest, as follows:
a. $10,000.00 on the earlier of October 9, 2006 or the date of execution of this Stipulation by Plaintiff.
b. $3,333.33 on or before November 9, 2006.
c. $3,333.33 on or before December 8, 2006.
d. $3,333.33 on or before January 9, 2007.
e. $3,333.33 on or before February 9, 2007.
f. $3,333.33 on or before ...