May 21, 2010
LAURIE J. RIEGER (F/K/A LAURIE J. JOHANSON), PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
PETER VAN AULEN, ESQ., AND GLEN D. JOHANSON, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County, Docket No. L-485-09.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued May 12, 2010
Before Judges Axelrad, Fisher and Sapp-Peterson.
Plaintiff Laurie Rieger and her former husband, defendant Glen D. Johanson, have previously engaged in extensive matrimonial and domestic violence litigation.*fn1 In the wake of that litigation and other events, which we need not recount here, plaintiff commenced this action on February 10, 2009.
In her initial complaint, plaintiff alleged, among other things, that her ex-husband and his attorney, defendant Peter Van Aulen, engaged in fraud or other wrongful and tortious conduct with regard to: their use of an audiotape in the domestic violence litigation, which resulted in criminal charges brought against plaintiff; and their failure to serve plaintiff with her ex-husband's bankruptcy petition. Eight days later, plaintiff filed an amended complaint in which she provided greater detail to her allegations and asserted that defendants engaged in a malicious criminal prosecution and other careless, reckless, negligent and intentional acts.
Both defendants successfully moved for summary judgment and plaintiff appealed, raising the following arguments for our consideration:
I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY GRANTING DEFENDANT'S PREMATURE APPLICATION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.
II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WITH REGARD TO THE FILING OF THE BANKRUPTCY PETITION, NON SERVICE OF SAME UPON PLAINTIFF, AN AFFECTED PARTY, THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE DEBTS LISTED AND DISCHARGEABILITY.
III. EXPERT ANALYSIS OF DEFENDANT JOHANSON'S EVIDENCE SUBMITTED TO AND RELIED UPON BY THE COURT FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A FINAL RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST PLAINTIFF NEEDS REVIEW BY THE COURT.
We find insufficient merit in these arguments to warrant discussion in a written opinion, R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E), and affirm substantially for the reasons set forth by Judge W. Hunt Dumont in his thoughtful and comprehensive oral decision of June 28, 2009.