On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Docket No. L-2436-03.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Parrillo, Lihotz and Messano.
Following a bench trial on all issues presented, the court entered a judgment on February 29, 2008, which awarded damages to plaintiffs on the complaint in the amount $42,331.03, dismissed the counterclaim and cross-claims filed by defendant Samuel Ornstein, dismissed all claims against the third-party defendants, and awarded quantum meruit storage charges to defendant Branchburg Commerce Park, LLC, in the amount of $19,994.38. Ornstein appeals from the award of damages to plaintiffs and the dismissal of his counterclaim and third-party complaint.
As required by Rule 1:7-4(a), the trial judge rendered a comprehensive twenty-four page written opinion wherein he set forth detailed findings of fact, including credibility determinations to which we are obliged to accord deference in light of the judge's "'feel of the case' based upon his . . . opportunity to see and hear the witnesses." Division of Youth and Family Servs. v. R.L., 388 N.J. Super. 81, 88 (App. Div. 2006) (quoting Cesare v. Cesare, 154 N.J. 394, 411-13, (1998)) certif. denied, 190 N.J. 257 (2007); Rova Farms Resort, Inc. v. Investors Ins. Co. of Am., 65 N.J. 474, 483-84 (1974). We conclude the findings of fact by the judge are adequately supported by the evidence presented.
Additionally, the opinion clearly enunciates the trial judge's conclusions and the legal consequences that flow from the established facts. Although we owe no special deference to the trial court's legal conclusions, Shaler v. Toms River Obstetrics & Gynecology Assocs., 383 N.J. Super. 650, 657 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 187 N.J. 82 (2006), we nevertheless concur with the conclusions and determine no legal error was presented.
Thus, after review of the trial record, the arguments raised on appeal by the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment based on the findings made and substantially for the reasons expressed by the trial judge in his ...