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Sukhendu Bhattacharyya v. Howard Johnson Express Inn and Howard Johnson International
September 23, 2011
SUKHENDU BHATTACHARYYA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
HOWARD JOHNSON EXPRESS INN AND HOWARD JOHNSON INTERNATIONAL, INC., DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division-Special Civil Part, Camden County, Docket No. DC-011601-10.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 14, 2011
Before Judges Cuff and St. John.
Plaintiff Sukhendu Bhattacharyya filed a complaint against defendants Howard Johnson Express Inn and Howard Johnson International, Inc. Plaintiff and his wife had reserved a room at defendants' hotel in Bellmawr for April 20, 2010. Plaintiff alleged that his wife had reserved a specific room for the evening. He alleged breach of contract when defendants assigned him a room in close proximity to, but different from the room plaintiff believed he had reserved. We also discern from the record that plaintiff sought damages for emotional distress. He appeals from an order awarding him $250.
On appeal, plaintiff argues he reserved a specific room; thus, defendants had no right to deny him occupancy of the reserved room or to assign him to a different room. Plaintiff also contends the actions by defendants' desk staff refusing to allow him and his wife to stay at the hotel that evening were unreasonable, embarrassing and humiliating. Those actions, he argues, entitle him to damages in excess of those awarded to him by the trial judge. Finally, plaintiff argues the matter should have been tried before a jury.
Having reviewed the brief and appendix filed by plaintiff, the brief filed by defendants, and the transcript of the trial conducted before Judge Lee Laskin, we are satisfied that the arguments presented by plaintiff are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). Plaintiff waived a jury trial when he did not request a jury as directed by Rules 1:8-1(b) and 6:5-3(a). Although defendants requested a jury trial, they waived that request when the matter proceeded without objection before Judge Laskin sitting without a jury. Van Note-Harvey Assocs., P.C. v. Twp. of E. Hanover, 175 N.J. 535, 541 (2003). In addition, the evidence submitted by plaintiff in support of his emotional distress claim fails to satisfy the elements of this cause of action outlined in Buckley v. Trenton Saving Fund Society, 111 N.J. 355, 366 (1988). Affirmed.
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