March 13, 2009
SHERRIE E. COLEMAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
MITZABETH GARAY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Ocean County, Docket No. FV-15-0824-08.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 9, 2008
Before Judges Collester and Grall.
Plaintiff Sherrie E. Coleman appeals from a judgment denying the entry of a final restraining order (FRO) against defendant pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (DVA), N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35, and from the dismissal of plaintiff's complaint and temporary restraining order (TRO). Plaintiff and defendant had a twelve-year relationship and lived together until June 2007. Subsequently, both plaintiff and defendant filed DVA complaints against the other and obtained a TRO pending a hearing on the FRO before Judge Francis R. Hodgson, Jr., which concluded on November 2, 2007. The judge granted an FRO to defendant, finding that plaintiff made harassing phone calls to defendant in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, an offense to substantiate a restraining order under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19. However, he denied plaintiff's application for an FRO, dismissed her complaint and dissolved the TRO against defendant.
In the course of his opinion, Judge Hodgson made detailed factual and credibility findings in favor of defendant and stated that plaintiff's testimony was not credible. After review of the record, we determine that the findings of Judge Hodgson were reached on substantial credible evidence in the record, giving due regard to the superior ability of the court to judge credibility of the witnesses. State v. Locurto, 157 N.J. 463, 471 (1999); R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(A) and (E).
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