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Woolf v. Demarco

November 12, 2008

JENNIFER M. WOOLF, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT
v.
SUSAN L. DEMARCO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Warren County, FV-21-318-08.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 7, 2008

Before Judges Winkelstein and Chambers.

Defendant Susan DeMarco appeals from a final domestic violence restraining order dated November 15, 2007, prohibiting her from committing future acts of domestic violence against plaintiff Jennifer Woolf, and granting plaintiff additional relief. On appeal, defendant claims that the trial court erred in finding that plaintiff was more credible than she was and by not granting her adjournment request. We reject these arguments and affirm.

Plaintiff is defendant's daughter. Since the summer of 2007, she and her husband and four children had been living with defendant at defendant's home in Phillipsburg. On October 22, 2007, defendant's mortgage company informed her that she had fallen behind in her mortgage payments. It was defendant's understanding that plaintiff had been paying the mortgage, and she blamed plaintiff for her falling into arrears. Defendant also believed that plaintiff had spent "thousands of dollars" of defendant's money without her consent.

According to plaintiff, that evening, defendant, who suffers from a psychological disorder that requires daily medication, and whose husband, plaintiff's father, died the previous December, approached plaintiff and derided her care of her father before he died. Plaintiff, who assisted defendant in taking her medication, believed that defendant failed to take her medication that day. Plaintiff testified as follows:

And [defendant] got up and she started slamming cabinets, hit the doors on the cabinets and the wall. And then she got a hold of the medicine cabinet and ripped it off the hinges. It fell on the counter and then hit the floor. By that time I had moved around the kitchen table to where you go out to the living room, and she got more angry, picked up the cabinet door and threw it toward my right.

Q: How close did the . . . cabinet door that she threw at you, explain to the Judge where the cabinet was thrown at you, what part of your body.

A: When it went past me, if I didn't move I would have gotten hit with it.

Q: In what part of your body? . . .

A: In the head part.

Plaintiff further testified that earlier in October, defendant had become angry at plaintiff's son, J.O., who was bipolar. She grabbed him by the hair, picked him up off of a chair, placed him on the kitchen floor on his knees, and grabbed a cooking utensil and "smacked him with that," while calling him names. Plaintiff also claimed that on another occasion that month, defendant struck another of her sons with a vacuum cleaner attachment. Susan Markle, a witness offered by plaintiff, corroborated a number of plaintiff's allegations. As a result of the October 22 incident, defendant told plaintiff to leave the home. When plaintiff returned two days later, after receiving a temporary restraining order that allowed her ...


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