October 24, 2008
WESLEY MOON, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
HANNAH MOON, N/K/A HANNAH DOVE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FM-13-273-04.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 29, 2008
Before Judges Collester and Grall.
Defendant Hannah Dove appeals from post-judgment orders entered by the Family Part on January 17 and 31, 2007. The January 17 order denied defendant's motion for reconsideration of the amount plaintiff Wesley Moon owes for medical expenses she paid on behalf of their son. That amount was fixed by order dated August 29, 2006. The January 31, 2007 order awarded plaintiff counsel fees on the motions in the amount of $3575.
We affirm substantially for the reasons stated by Judge Coogan in his oral decisions of January 17 and 31, 2007. We add only a brief discussion of the arguments presented on appeal.
In the notice of motion for reimbursement that led to the August 29 order, defendant sought reimbursement for medical bills incurred prior to entry of the final judgment of divorce. A provision of the final judgment addressed plaintiff's responsibility for those bills. Defendant presents no legal argument based on the court's reading of the relevant provision of the final judgment, and the amount the court required plaintiff to pay is consistent with its interpretation of the provision.
To the extent that the papers defendant has submitted on this appeal suggest error in orders entered prior to August 29, 2006, those orders were not the subject of the motion for reconsideration and are not referenced in her notice of appeal. Accordingly, those orders are not subject to review. Sikes v. Twp. of Rockaway, 269 N.J. Super. 463, 465-66 (App. Div.), aff'd o.b., 138 N.J. 41 (1994).
The award of counsel fees in matters before the Family Part is left to the sound discretion of the trial court. Berkowitz v. Berkowitz, 55 N.J. 564, 570 (1970); Chestone v. Chestone, 322 N.J. Super. 250, 258 (App. Div. 1999). Contrary to defendant's claim, the order is based on Judge Coogan's consideration of all relevant factors and the record. Accordingly, we defer to his exercise of sound discretion.
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