On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Burlington County, Docket No. C-00122-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges A. A. Rodríguez and Payne.
Defendant, Theresa Diaz, appeals from the denial of her motion to vacate a settlement with plaintiff, Marlton Meadows Condominium Association, Inc. (Marlton) pursuant to Rule 4:50- 1f. On appeal, defendant makes the following arguments:
I. THE CONDUCT OF MEDIATION WAS SUCH THAT A BINDING SETTLEMENT WAS NOT ENTERED INTO.
II. THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE THE DISMISSAL.
III. THE MASTER DEED OF THE ASSOCIATION DEFINES THE WINDOWS IN QUESTION AS EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF THE OWNER.
IV. MISCONDUCT OF THE ASSOCIATION ATTORNEY IN FAILING TO CITE TO THE MASTER DEED PROVISION IN THE COMPLAINT, ALONG WITH THE DEFENDANT'S ATTORNEY'S SIMILAR FAILURE CONSTITUTES LEGAL MALPRACTICE WHICH JUSTIFIES THE APPLICATION OF R.4:50-1(f) SO AS TO VACATE THE DISMISSAL AND THE AGREEMENT.
V. THE FACT THAT DEFENDANT NEVER SAW THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WHICH WAS ALLEGEDLY APPROVED BY HER ATTORNEY DOES NOT ESTOP THE DEFENDANT FROM ASSERTING THE AGREEMENT WAS IMPROPER WHERE HER ATTORNEY HAD DEVIATED FROM PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS IN AGREEING TO IT.
VI. IT WAS AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION FOR THE TRIAL COURT TO DECIDE THAT THE PLEADINGS WERE NOT "OVERLY AMBIGUOUS, UNCLEAR OR INACCURATE" BASED ON THE RECORD.
VII. THERE WERE EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENT TO MAKE ENFORCEMENT OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT UNJUST, OPPRESSIVE OR INEQUITABLE.
Following our review of the record in light of the arguments presented and applicable precedent, we affirm.
The record discloses that defendant entered into a contract with Castle "The Window People," Inc. to install replacement windows in her condominium unit. The contract specified a price of $4,428, but "[i]f Association denies approval for grids, total project price [would become] $3,943.00 total." Defendant applied to Marlton for permission to replace the windows of her condominium unit with windows containing colonial grids. The replacement was authorized; the grids were not, since consistency with other units lacking grids was required. A copy of ...