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Simon v. King

April 17, 2009

DAVID SIMON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
JANET KING, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Morris County, Docket No. FM-14-1171-98.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued March 25, 2009

Before Judges Waugh and Newman.

David Simon appeals from an order of May 14, 2008, denying his motion for post-judgment relief, and from the order of July 3, 2008, denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. By way of relief, plaintiff sought, pursuant to the final judgment of divorce and order subsequent thereto, to enforce the Family Part's order that defendant Janet King, his former spouse, not interfere with plaintiff's relationship with the parties' son James and to provide updated financial documentation. Plaintiff further sought an order directing the parties to hire a different therapist and directing that the parties and their son James attend therapeutic counseling. In denying both motions, the trial judge decided the matter on the papers.

By way of background, the parties were divorced January 10, 2001. Two children were born of the marriage, Charles on December 9, 1986, and James on November 22, 1990. Charles will be graduating from the University of South Carolina this spring and will then enter the service. James is a senior at Morristown High School and is now eighteen years of age. Although he is not emancipated for support purposes, he has reached the age of majority. James does not have immediate plans for college and expects to work to help defray the cost of any college expense should he seek to go on to college in the future.

Because James is now an adult, we have concluded that the issues related to his relationship to his father are moot. Consequently, we express no opinion with respect to those issues or the propriety of the motion judge having decided them without oral argument.

With regard to plaintiff's motion to seek financial information from defendant, the court found the motion unfounded. The judge stated:

Individuals have a legitimate interest in the privacy of their financial information. Generally discovery of financial information is permitted only for good cause. See Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139, 158 (1980); Larbig v. Larbig, 384 N.J. Super. 17 (App. Div. 2006). Plaintiff has not provided any, much less sufficient, proof of changed circumstances bearing on the issue of support and/or payment of college expenses that would justify the exchange of financial information. Therefore, plaintiff's motion in that regard is DENIED.

On appeal, plaintiff raises the following points for our consideration:

POINT I: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO SCHEDULE ORAL ARGUMENT AND A PLENARY HEARING TO RESOLVE MATERIAL FACTUAL ISSUES REGARDING THE PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS OF DEFENDANT'S INTERFERENCE IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PLAINTIFF AND THEIR SON JAMES.

POINT II: THE TRIAL COURT BELOW ERRED BY FAILING TO SCHEDULE ORAL ARGUMENT AND A PLENARY HEARING TO ADDRESS THE PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS IN VIOLATION OF LITIGANT'S RIGHTS BY FAILING TO PROVIDE UPDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN GENERAL AND WITH REGARDS TO ROCHESTER INDUSTRIAL CONTROL, INC., IN PARTICULAR, SO THAT THE PARTIES CONTRIBUTION TO COLLEGE COSTS WOULD BE APPROPRIATELY ADDRESSED.

Plaintiff argues that oral argument, which was requested, should have been granted and that this matter should be remanded to afford the oral argument that was denied to plaintiff. Plaintiff made a timely request for oral argument. Defendant ...


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