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Trustees of Princeton University v. Friedmann

November 24, 2008

TRUSTEES OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
YOHANAN FRIEDMANN, DEFENDANT, AND ZAFRIRA FRIEDMANN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Mercer County, Docket No. LT-4843-06.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued November 13, 2008

Before Judges Fisher and Baxter.

Although this matter has had a convoluted history, with many procedural skirmishes, only the following circumstances are relevant.

Plaintiff commenced this landlord/tenant action in 2006 and, following a hearing, was awarded a judgment of possession of the leased premises. An appeal was filed but was amicably resolved through the execution of a settlement agreement, by the parties to that appeal, on March 21, 2007.*fn1

To bring the matter to a close, plaintiff moved for a dismissal of the appeal. Appellant opposed the motion. By order entered on April 17, 2007, we referred the matter to the Civil Appeals Settlement Program (CASP) and expressly gave the CASP judge the authority to "remand the matter to the trial court," if necessary, to place the settlement on the record.

A conference was scheduled by the CASP judge. When appellant failed to appear, the CASP judge entered an order on May 24, 2007, which both remanded the matter to the trial court "for the purpose of placing on the record the final settlement as set forth in the letter of March 21, 2007" and "dismissed with prejudice" the appeal then pending.

The trial judge scheduled a hearing in accordance with the CASP judge's order. Appellant failed to appear, asserting in a letter to the trial judge that the proceedings were in violation of one of our prior orders. The trial judge correctly rejected this assertion and entered an order on November 27, 2007, which incorporated the terms of the parties' written settlement agreement.

Appellant thereafter filed a number of motions in this court, which resulted in an order being entered on March 14, 2008. That order determined that one of appellant's motions should "be treated as a notice of appeal" from the November 27, 2007 trial court order. Following that, the parties filed their briefs on the merits.

In her brief, appellant raises the following arguments:

I. THERE WAS NO NOTICE AND THE COURT HAD NO JURISDICTION.

II. I WAS DEPRIVED OF DUE PROCESS AS I AM A TENANT AND SIGNATORY TO THE LEASE, THE LANDLORD IS REQUIRED TO NAME ALL TENANTS IN ...


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