July 25, 2011
IN RE MAC TRUONG.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Docket No. DJ-137864-10.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted: July 5, 2011
Before Judges Axelrad and Lisa.
Mac Truong, a judgment debtor, appeals from an order of the Law Division denying his motion to "strike entry of judgment and/or stay of writ of execution or other enforcement process." We affirm.
We recite only those facts pertinent to the issue on appeal. By order of December l0, 2009, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey (Case No. 03-40283) entered judgment in favor of Steven Kartzman, Trustee, against appellant in the amount of $2632.50 plus interest as a sanction for appellant's willful violation of a February l4, 2008 filing injunction. Thereafter, the Trustee filed an exemplified copy of the judgment in the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of New Jersey in accordance with the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA). N.J.S.A. 2A:49A-25 to -33. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:49A-28, appellant was informed by letter that the Bankruptcy Court judgment was recorded in the State of New Jersey under the UEFJA on May 28, 2010.
Appellant filed a motion seeking to vacate the recordation and stay any enforcement. He argued the judgment should be vacated because the Trustee "egregiously violated the provisions of the New Jersey Criminal Code and Code of Ethics governing the conduct of an attorney because of a conflict of interest and he is advancing his own interest to the detriment of his client," appellant. Appellant further argued the Trustee could not collect the judgment against him because of the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C.A. § 362(a).
Judge Sumners denied the motion on the record on August 31, 2010, memorialized in an order of that date. He found the Trustee complied with the statutory requirements to docket the Bankruptcy Court judgment in New Jersey, appellant's conflict-of-interest challenge was rejected by the Bankruptcy Court, and the Superior Court lacked jurisdiction to review the decisions of that court.
Appellant renews the arguments on appeal. We affirm substantially for the reasons articulated by the motion judge. The conflict issue was previously adjudicated. We do not have jurisdiction to review orders or judgments of a bankruptcy court. See 28 U.S.C.A. § 158(a) (providing that district courts of the United States have jurisdiction to hear appeals of orders of bankruptcy judges). The Trustee followed the proper procedure for the ministerial act necessary to docket a judgment under the UEFJA.
The Trustee did not proceed to execute on the judgment. If appellant believes he has a statutory defense to execution, he may raise it at that time. We also note that N.J.S.A. 2A:49A-29 permits a court to stay enforcement of a foreign judgment pending appeal if the judgment debtor shows that an appeal is pending. Based on our review of the record, however, it does not appear there is a pending appeal of the underlying judgment.
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