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Newton & Associates, LLC v. Innovative Solutions Systems

November 13, 2008

NEWTON & ASSOCIATES, LLC, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS SYSTEMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division-Special Civil Part, Middlesex County, Docket No. DC-11405-07.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 22, 2008

Before Judges Fisher and Baxter.

Defendant Innovative Solutions Systems appeals from a December 21, 2007 order that denied its motion, filed pursuant to Rule 4:50-1, to vacate a judgment entered in favor of plaintiff Newton & Associates, LLC on September 27, 2007. We reverse.

I.

Plaintiff is a collection agency hired by defendant to collect a debt owed to defendant by a third party, Syncro. When defendant failed to pay the fifteen percent fee, which plaintiff claimed it was owed as a result of collecting the underlying debt in full, plaintiff instituted suit to recover the "contingent/contractual fees" that defendant owed for plaintiff's collection services.

As we understand the record, there was never a contract signed by plaintiff and defendant setting forth the parties' respective understandings of the fee to be paid plaintiff for the collection work it performed. Instead, on September 13, 2006, plaintiff sent defendant a letter by fax that provided, in relevant part, as follows:

To: David Parks

RE: OUTSTANDING AMOUNT FROM SYNCRO TEC[H]NOLOGIES, INC. TOTAL OUTSTANDING $24,696.00 SENDING HEREWITH THE INVOICES FOR COLLECTION.

THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE: SONNY MUJUMDAR [PHONE NUMBER]. FACT[S] OF THE CASE: SYNCRO BOOKED OUR CONSULTANT . . . FOR A PROJECT. AS PER AGREEMENT, THEY WILL PAY US at $63.00 PER HOUR OF HIS WORK. HE HAS COMPLETED THE JOB. WE HAVE SUBMITTED THE INVOICE BUT TILL (SIC) DATE THREE INVOICES ARE PENDING FROM JUNE 2006 (ENCLOSED). IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION, SIDHARTHA@ISSSOFT.COM THANKS SID GUHA INNOVATION SOLUTION SYSTEMS, INC., ONE WOODBRIDGE CENTER, SUITE 435 WOODBRIDGE, NEW JERSEY 07095.

SEND YOUR OFFICIAL ADDRESS AND RESULTS OF YOUR FINDINGS AND THE TIME REQUIRED AS WE GO BY TIME. OUR FAX NUMBER IS 732 596 1115.

[(emphasis added).]

Plaintiff succeeded in collecting the entire $24,696 debt that Syncro owed to defendant, and sent defendant an ...


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