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Triffin v. DeVry University

May 25, 2010

ROBERT J. TRIFFIN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
DEVRY UNIVERSITY A/K/A DEVRY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT, AND BRYON DEANE, DEFENDANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. DC-43723-08.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued April 20, 2010

Before Judges Carchman and Parrillo.

Plaintiff Robert Triffin appeals from an April 3, 2009 order of the Law Division, Special Civil Part, granting defendant DeVry University's motion for summary judgment and dismissing plaintiff's complaint with prejudice. We reverse and remand.

The factual underpinnings giving rise to the issues on this appeal are found in our decision in Triffin v. Automatic Data Processing, Inc., 411 N.J. Super. 292 (App. Div. 2010), wherein we affirmed a finding by the Law Division that plaintiff, a purchaser of dishonored checks who obtains assignments from sellers and then seeks to collect on such checks, had committed a fraud on the court by altering documents utilized to perfect his claims. As a result, the Law Division judge entered an order on July 1, 2008 (the order) requiring plaintiff, for a period of one year commencing September 1, 2008, to certify as to the authenticity of documents utilized to prosecute his various claims. The order provides:

a. Beginning on September 1, 2008 and, unless extended, ending on August 31, 2009, Triffin is hereby ENJOINED from filing with any pleading, motion, or other paper or submitting for admission into evidence at any trial or other proceeding in a trial court any document that contains a copy of a purportedly signed document UNLESS Triffin also attaches to each such document an original certification signed by him that states one of the following as set forth in subparagraphs b, c, and d. below and, where applicable, provides an explanation for the exception claimed.

b. If Triffin files with any pleading, motion, or other paper or submits for admission into evidence at any trial or other proceeding in a trial court any document that contains what purports to be a copy or facsimile of an original signature or signatures, Triffin must attach to each such document an original certification signed by Triffin that states the following and explains the exception claimed:

i. "I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I possess an original of this document that contains the original signature or signatures signed by the hand of the individual or individuals who are named as the signatory or signatories of the document and that the document was in the same form as it now appears before the court when it was signed except as follows:"

c. If Triffin files with any pleading, motion, or other paper or submits for admission into evidence at any trial or other proceeding in a trial court any document that actually contains original signatures, Triffin must attach to each such document an original certification signed by Triffin that states the following:

i. "I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that the attached document contains the original signature or signatures signed by the hand of the individual or individuals who are named as the signatory or signatories of the document and that the document was in the same form as it now appears before the court when it was signed."

d. If Triffin files with any pleading, motion, or other paper or submits for admission into evidence at any trial or other proceeding in a trial court any document that actually contains both copies of purported signatures as well as original signatures, Triffin must attach to each such document an original certification signed by Triffin that states the following and explains the exception claimed:

i. "I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that the attached document contains the original signature or signatures signed by the hand of the individual or individuals who are named as the signatory or signatories of the document and to the extent that any signatures are copies, I possess an original of this document that contains the original signature or signatures signed by the hand of the individual or individuals who are named as the signatory or signatories of the document and that the document was in the same form as it now appears before the court when it was signed except as follows:"

In the present action, plaintiff failed to comply with the order. Instead, plaintiff filed his own form of omnibus certification incorporating all three of the provisions set forth in the order together with exceptions and then a separate certification qualifying the authenticity of the documents appended to the complaint. On defendant's motion for summary judgment, the motion judge concluded that the ...


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