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Parsi Investment, LLC v. Township of Galloway

October 6, 2010

PARSI INVESTMENT, LLC, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
TOWNSHIP OF GALLOWAY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT, AND JOHN R. WEBER AND RONALD A. CURINI APPRAISAL COMPANY, INC., DEFENDANTS.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Docket No. L-1888-08.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 7, 2010

Before Judges Grall and Alvarez.

Plaintiff, Parsi Investment, LLC, appeals from a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant Township of Galloway.*fn1 Plaintiff purchased vacant land from Galloway Township at auction. After purchase, plaintiff learned that the percentage of unusable wetlands and buffer included in the parcel is greater than that reflected in the Township's appraisal and the wetlands map included in that appraisal. Claiming reliance upon the appraisal, plaintiff filed a complaint seeking rescission or reformation of the contract or damages based on equitable fraud and unjust enrichment.

On appeal, plaintiff claims to have established a prima facie case of mutual mistake that precludes a grant of summary judgment. After considering plaintiff's arguments in light of the record and giving plaintiff the benefit of all favorable inferences available, Brill v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 142 N.J. 520, 540 (1995), we have concluded that plaintiff's arguments lack sufficient merit to warrant more than the brief discussion that follows. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).

The appraisal report was made with the following general assumptions:

4. The information provided by others is believed to be reliable. However, no warranty is given for its accuracy.

5. All engineering is assumed to be correct. The sketches, plot plans and drawings included in this report are included only to assist the reader in visualizing the property.

6. It is assumed that there are no hidden or other unapparent conditions in the property, subsoil or structures which would render them more or less valuable. No responsibility is assumed for such conditions or for engineering which would be required to discover them. . . .

The appraised value of the "32.73 Acre[]" parcel was $982,000. The appraiser accounted for the fact that approximately fifty-five percent of the property was unusable due to wetlands and applicable buffer restrictions. He did that by reducing the per-acre value of the subject property below comparable sales involving properties with a smaller percentage of wetlands. Although the appraisal did not purport to represent the value of usable portions of the property, the appraiser acknowledged that the value he assigned was based, in part, on the size of the unusable area and would have varied if the wetlands map provided to him showed a larger or smaller area impacted by wetlands.

The wetlands map the appraiser used was included in the appraisal report. The map warns:

This map is for demonstration purposes only and was not developed in accordance with National Map Accuracy Standards. Any use of this product with respect to accuracy and precision shall be the sole responsibility of the user. The map was developed, in part, using New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Geographic Information System (GIS) digital data, in conjunction with the Atlantic County Office of Geographic Information Systems, but this secondary product has not been verified by NJDEP and is not state authorized.

The geodetic accuracy and precision of the GIS data contained in this map has not been developed nor verified by a professional licensed land surveyor and shall not be nor is intended to be used in matters requiring delineation and ...


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