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Coast Automotive Group, Ltd. v. Aspen Knolls Automotive Group

January 30, 2009

COAST AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, LTD., TAMIM SHANSAB, AND SHANSAB REALTY, INC., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
ASPEN KNOLLS AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, LLC, ASPEN KNOLLS CORPORATION, ROBERT MAZZUOCCOLA, 247 ROUTE 37 EAST HOLDING COMPANY, LLC, B&S LENDER, LLC, VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, AUDI OF AMERICA, VW CREDIT, INC., AND PORSCHE CARS NORTH AMERICA, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS, AND SALVATORE RUTIGLIANO AND PAUL REYNOLDS, DEFENDANTS.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Ocean County, Docket No. C-314-06.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 15, 2008

Before Judges Carchman, R. B. Coleman and Sabatino.

According to our most recent opinion addressing this contentious litigation between plaintiffs Coast Automotive Group, Ltd., Tamim Shansab and Shansab Realty, Inc. and defendants, Aspen Knolls Automotive Group, LLC (Aspen Knolls), Robert Mazzuoccola, 247 Route 37 East Holding Company, LLC, B&S Lender, LLC, Volkswagen of America (VW), Audi of America (Audi), VW Credit, Inc. (VW Credit) and Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (Porsche), this appeal represents the ninth or tenth appeal by these and related parties. Here plaintiffs appeal from a July 6, 2007 order of the Chancery Division dismissing plaintiffs' multi-count complaint seeking, among other things, relief under the New Jersey Fraudulent Transfer Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 25:2-20 to -34. The trial judge dismissed the action with prejudice. We affirm.

We need not overburden this record with yet another recitation of the extensive factual and procedural background of this litigation as it is described in its various stages in our earlier opinion in VW Credit, Inc. v. Coast Auto. Group, 346 N.J. Super. 326 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 172 N.J. 178 (2002), then in our later unpublished opinion in Coast Auto. Group v. Aspen Knolls Auto. Group, No. A-1769-03 (App. Div. July 29, 2005), certif. denied, 185 N.J. 391 (2005), and most recently, in our unpublished opinion in Coast Auto. Group v. Aspen Knolls Auto. Group, No. A-1348-06 (App. Div. April 1, 2008), certif. denied, 196 N.J. 347 (2008). In this latter opinion, we affirmed the September 27, 2006 final judgment entered on behalf of Coast obligating defendant Aspen Knolls to pay $251,302.09 plus interest to Coast and $324,092.60 plus interest to Shansab Realty, Inc.

Aspen Knolls appealed the judgment on November 1, 2006, and in response, plaintiffs filed two actions, the first seeking, among other things, injunctive relief pending satisfaction of the final judgment, and the second, the subject of this appeal, a fraudulent transfer action against Aspen Knolls, Porsche, VW, Audi and VW Credit. The action also sought an injunction against the transfer of franchises as well as the appointment of a receiver.

At the February 2, 2007 hearing on plaintiffs' various new claims, Aspen Knolls posted a supersedeas bond, R. 2:9-6, in the approximate amount of $720,000, representing the amount of the judgment plus two years of interest, which was approved by the judge as to form and substance. Thereafter, consistent with the applicable rule, the judge entered a stay of the judgment pending appeal. R. 2:9-5(a). Notwithstanding the posting of the bond and the stay, plaintiffs pursued its fraudulent transfer action and on July 6, 2007, the judge entered an order dismissing the action with prejudice. The relevant portions of the order provided:

1. The motions to dismiss are GRANTED.

2. This action is hereby DISMISSED in its entirety.

3. Except as set forth in paragraphs 4 and 5 below, this dismissal is with prejudice.

4. Plaintiffs may apply to vacate the with prejudice dismissal of this action only if:

(i) An order shall have been entered and is in effect vacating the stay of execution of the September 27, 2006 Judgment in OCN-C-171-02 (the "Judgment"), which stay was entered by this Court by Ordered dated February 2, 2007 (the "February 2, 2007 Order"); and

(ii) The Supersedeas Bond dated January 31, 2007 and posted in OCN-C-171-02, together with any other collateral posted with the Court or pursuant to Court order, is insufficient to ...


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