April 15, 2009
RETAIL RECOVERY SERVICES OF N.J., INC., PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
JAMES P. CHO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division - Special Civil Part, Essex County, DC-017186-97.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted: March 25, 2009
Before Judges Axelrad and Parrillo.
Retail Recovery Services of N.J., Inc., as assignee of a certain book account, obtained a default judgment against James P. Cho in January 1998. On July 20, 1998, a wage execution was placed into effect and approximately $8,400 was garnished from Cho's wages through December 2002. In January 2004, Cho was successful in obtaining an order vacating the default judgment, and the case was thereafter dismissed.*fn1
In January 2007, Cho began filing a litany of motions and other proceedings for return of the money, to vacate dismissal of the complaint and counterclaim, for relief from judgment under Rule 4:50, for a motion for a new trial under Rule 4:49-1, and to "correct the error." All of these motions were denied and, in one instance, a monetary sanction was assessed against Cho for filing a fifth application without basis. His penultimate motion was denied on March 28, 2008, with the order expressly providing the application was without merit as there was no error to correct.
Regardless, on May 6, 2008, Cho sent an ex parte motion to Judge Codey, the presiding judge of the Civil Part, to "correct omission of documents and properly file documents not filed on the Court record," in which he specifically requested the judge to review and investigate and file pleadings relating to objections to the wage execution and motions to vacate the default judgment. He stated on the notice of motion that he did not serve it on his adversary "because this motion is [a] matter between I and Court." At Judge Codey's direction, the Assistant Civil Division Manager responded to Cho by letter of May 7, 2008, informing him that the "Presiding Judge feels there is no basis to have your motion heard. He advised that you should direct any disagreement to the Appellate Division." Cho filed this appeal.
Although we routinely only take appeals from formally entered judgments and not from opinions, informal written decisions, or written statements of reasons, Do-Wop Corp. v. City of Rahway, 168 N.J. 191, 199 (2001), we will treat the letter as a final judgment of the court for appeal purposes pursuant to Rule 2:2-3(a)(1), in the interest of justice and expeditiously disposing of this matter.
Cho's appeal and the arguments he advances in support are without sufficient merit to warrant further discussion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).