March 11, 2009
LUIGINA VLAD, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
SHELDON GRODSKY, DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Essex County, Docket No. FM-07-2524-00.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 25, 2009
Before Judges Payne and Newman.
Plaintiff Luigina Vlad appeals from the April 11, 2008, order appointing a new parent coordinator, Linda Schofel, Esq., and directing that the parties cooperate with Ms. Schofel in her efforts as parent coordinator. In deciding that a parent coordinator was needed, Judge Claude M. Coleman, made the following comments:
I tend to agree with you, Mr. Grodsky. I think you could use a parent coordinator. I look at the history of this case and it's been litigated from day one from the time you were divorced all the way up until now. The only difference is you're doing it yourself pro se. Before, as you pointed out, you were represented by attorneys, but it's been one continuous process.
It appears that you are unable to agree about anything. And you're both very inflexible, as pointed out by Dr. Hagofsky. That's the way it appears to the court. And I - - I'm persuaded by Mr. Grodsky that I think a third-party would be helpful since we are dealing with a child who's nine years of age.
And in order to smooth this process along since you two cannot agree we need someone to -- to help you to look at the -- [the child's] best interest as opposed to your own and to continue this hostility between the both of you -- so I'm going to appoint a coordinator.
I might say too that I do get the idea, Dr. Vlad, that you are not in agreement with a parent coordinator just as you pointed out, whether it's Dr. Montgomery or anyone else, but I think a parent coordinator could be helpful. And I'm going to ask you to cooperate with the parent coordinator.
And, again, the idea is to get you to look at the interest of [the child] as opposed to considering Mr. Grodsky. And that is -- it is in the best interest of [the child] that he has a good relationship with his father and there's not this constant litigation between the two of you.
On appeal, plaintiff raises the following issues for our consideration:
POINT I: THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN APPOINTING A NEW PARENT GUARDIAN.
POINT II: THIS COURT SHOULD EXERCISE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION AND REVERSE THE TRIAL COURT'S DECISION TO APPOINT A NEW PARENT COORDINATOR.
The arguments raised are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). We add only that we discern no abuse of discretion by Judge Coleman in appointing the parent coordinator.
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