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Anthony Disalvatore v. Doreen Disalvatore

December 30, 2011

ANTHONY DISALVATORE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DOREEN DISALVATORE, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT. IN THE MATTER OF THOMAS J. FORKIN, ESQ., APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Ocean County, Docket No. FM-15-1010-99.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued December 20, 2011

Before Judges Simonelli and Hayden.

Appellant Thomas J. Forkin appeals from the July 30, 2010 Law Division order, which denied his motion pursuant to Rule 4:50-1(f) to set aside a final judgment of divorce entered on October 17, 2000, and an amended final judgment of divorce entered on November 13, 2000.*fn1 We affirm.

Forkin represented plaintiff Anthony DiSalvatore in a matrimonial matter. He and defense counsel met with the court on September 21, 2000, and agreed to the terms of a settlement, which apparently included the equal division of the proceeds of plaintiff's stock arbitration award with defendant Doreen DiSalvatore. The parties placed the settlement terms on the record on September 22, 2000. Although Forkin initially disagreed with a division of the arbitration award, it was nevertheless included in the settlement without any further objection. Plaintiff acknowledged, under oath, that he heard and understood all of the terms of the settlement, believed they were fair and equitable under the circumstances, had no questions about them, and had urged Forkin to settle the case.

Following the settlement, Forkin submitted a proposed judgment of divorce, which did not include the equal division of the arbitration award. By letter to the court dated October 6, 2000, defense counsel*fn2 objected to Forkin's proposed judgment of divorce, and submitted a proposed judgment of divorce, which included the equal division of the arbitration award. Defense counsel apparently did not send Forkin a copy of this letter and the proposed judgment of divorce. However, he sent a second letter and his proposed judgment of divorce to the court and Forkin on October 6, 2000. This letter states as follows:

Enclosed herewith please find original and two copies of Final Judgment of Divorce in the above-entitled matter.

I am forwarding a copy of same to my adversary under the Five Day Rule and would ask if no objection is received thereto, kindly affix your signature to same, file and return two certified copies to me in the envelopes provided.

Forkin claimed that he did not receive this letter. On October 17, 2000, the court entered defense counsel's proposed judgment of divorce (JOD).

Defense counsel sent a third letter and a proposed amended JOD to the court and Forkin on October 30, 2000. This letter states as follows:

Enclosed herewith please find original and two copies of Amended Final Judgment of Divorce in the above-entitled matter.

I am forwarding a copy of same under the Five Day Rule to my adversary and would ask if no objection is received thereto, kindly affix your signature to same, file and return two certified copies to me in the envelopes provided.

Forkin claimed that he did not receive this letter as well. The court entered the proposed amended judgment of divorce on November 13, 2000 (AJOD). The AJOD also includes ...


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