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Jules Jurgensen/Rhapsody, Inc. v. Farash & Robbins

August 5, 2008

JULES JURGENSEN/RHAPSODY, INC., PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
FARASH & ROBBINS, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Docket No. DJ-156603-03.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued February 27, 2008

Before Judges Wefing, Parker and Lyons.

Defendant Farash & Robbins, Inc. (Farash) appeals from an order entered on May 26, 2006 granting plaintiff's motion to vacate the judgment and temporary restraints entered on August 20, 2003 and entering judgment in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $22,293.32.

This matter initiated with a complaint filed in Pennsylvania on March 13, 2003. On May 2, 2003, plaintiff filed a notice of default. On May 20, plaintiff filed a "Praecipe for Default Judgment." The Pennsylvania judgment was docketed on June 24, 2003.

On October 7, 2003, defendant filed motions to strike (vacate) the default judgment. On June 22, 2004, the Pennsylvania court denied the motion to "open the default" but granted defendant's motion to strike and allowed defendant to answer. A bench trial followed, after which the court entered judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in the amount of $22,293.32. On August 20, 2003, the New Jersey court entered temporary restraints, staying any levy against defendant "pending full hearing on the issues of due process, service and personal jurisdiction."

On April 21, 2006, plaintiff moved in New Jersey to amend or vacate the temporary restraints and enter the judgment. Defendant responded to the motion and on May 26, 2006, after oral argument, the New Jersey court entered judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in the amount of $22,293.32.

Defendant appealed and on January 3, 2007, we temporarily remanded the matter to the trial court to determine whether Pennsylvania had jurisdiction over defendant. After a hearing, the trial court determined that Pennsylvania did have jurisdiction over defendant and properly entered the judgment against it.

This entire matter revolves around plaintiff's sale of wrist watches to defendant, but the merits of the transaction are not at issue here. We are concerned only with whether the judgment was properly enforced in New Jersey under the Foreign Judgments Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:82-4.1 to -4.7. In order to enforce a foreign judgment in New Jersey, a party must comply with the statutory requirements.

N.J.S.A. 2A:82-4.1 provides:

The recital in the record of any proceeding upon a foreign judgment, including a judgment in any court out of this State, that the defendant, or person sought to be affected by the judgment was summoned or appeared, shall not prevent or estop the defendant or person affected from proving that he was not summoned or did not appear.

N.J.S.A. 2A:82-4.2 provides:

In any proceeding upon a foreign judgment, including a judgment of any court out of this State, the plaintiff, or person seeking to enforce the judgment, shall have the burden of proving that the requirements, statutory and otherwise, of the foreign jurisdiction have been met, conferring jurisdiction of the subject matter of the foreign proceeding on the ...


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