August 25, 2008
SCOTT DUBOYS AND JACQUELINE DUBOYS, PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS,
JAMES HEDDEN AND SCOTCH PLAINS BUILDERS A/K/A SCOTCH PLAINS BUILDERS, L.L.C., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Union County, Docket No. DC-11535-05.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted March 31, 2008
Before Judges A. A. Rodríguez and C. S. Fisher.
James Hedden and Scotch Plains Builders, L.L.C. (collectively "Defendants), appeal from a final judgment of the Special Civil Part in the amount of $12,999.85, plus $40 in costs and $275 in attorney's fees in favor of Scott Duboys and Jacqueline Duboys (Plaintiffs). The judgment was entered based on Judge Joseph P. Perfilio's September 12, 2006 written opinion. Following six days of trial of over a six-month period, the judge found Defendants liable for breach of contract and violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA). N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 to -20. On December 28, 2006, Defendants filed this appeal contending that: "there were no facts to substantiate a violation of the [CFA]" and "the plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient proof of their damages."
We decline to address the merits of the appeal because it was not filed timely. A party has forty-five days from the date the judgment is entered on the civil docket to file an appeal. R. 2:4-1(a); Hamm v. City of Clifton, 229 N.J. Super. 423, 428 (App. Div. 1990). The time to file may be tolled for a number of reasons enumerated in Rule 2:4-3, one such reason is:
In civil actions on an appeal to the Appellate Division by the timely filing and service of a motion to the trial court . . . for rehearing or reconsideration seeking to alter or amend the judgment or order pursuant to R. 4:49-2. The remaining time shall again begin to run from the date of the entry of an order disposing of such a motion.
[R. 2:4-3(e) (emphasis added).]
Here, Judge Perfilio entered judgment against Defendants on September 12, 2006. Twenty days later, on October 3, 2006, Defendants moved for reconsideration of the judgment. The judge denied this motion and entered an order to that effect on November 14, 2006. On December 28, 2006, Defendants filed their notice of appeal. Therefore, Defendants' appeal was filed sixty-four days after judgment, allowing for tolling during the pendency of the reconsideration motion. That is nineteen days beyond what is permitted by Rule 2:4-1 and -3. Accordingly, this appeal is out of time.
The appeal is dismissed.
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