On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Docket No. L-5823-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 22, 2010
Before Judges Rodríguez and Reisner.
Plaintiffs appeal from three orders of the Law Division: a December 7, 2007 order denying their summary judgment motion, a September 3, 2008 order of judgment, and a November 7, 2008 order denying their motion for reconsideration. We dismiss the appeal as untimely.
This is the pertinent procedural history. This action arises from a dispute over the terms of a commercial real estate lease. Plaintiffs sued defendants, alleging breach of contract, among other claims. Defendants answered and filed a counterclaim for unpaid rent. Plaintiff's moved for partial summary judgment. The judge entered a December 7, 2007 order denying the motion.
After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in plaintiff's favor. The judge entered a September 3, 2008 order of judgment in accordance with the verdict. This order was not served upon plaintiffs until September 29, 2008.
On October 20, 2008, plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration of the December 7, 2007 order and the September 3, 2008 order of judgment. The judge entered a November 7, 2008 order denying the motion. Plaintiffs then filed a notice of appeal on December 22, 2008.
Appeals from final judgments must be made "within forty-five days of their entry." R. 2:4-1(a) (emphasis added). While the filing of a timely motion for reconsideration will toll the time period for appealing, "the remaining time shall begin to run from the date of the entry of an order disposing of such a motion." R. 2:4-3 (emphasis added).
Here, more than forty-five days passed from the entry of the September 3, 2008 order of judgment to the filing of the motion for reconsideration on October 20, 2008. Even a more lenient calculation that begins the forty-five day period on the date of service of the order of judgment, rather than the date of entry, as Rule 2:4-1(a) requires, still renders the appeal untimely. Twenty-one days passed from the September 29, 2008 date of service to the filing of the motion for reconsideration. This left plaintiffs with a "remaining" twenty-four days to appeal after the November 7, 2008 order "disposing of the [the motion for reconsideration]." R. 2:4-3. However, plaintiffs waited forty-five days to file their December 22, 2008 notice of appeal.
Thus, we dismiss the appeal as untimely pursuant to Rule 2:4-1(a).
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