February 22, 2012
RICHARD A. WARDELL, JR., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
GERTRUDE KISE, TERRY WILDERMUTH AND TIM WILDERMUTH, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Warren County, Docket No. DC-002739-10.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 14, 2012
Before Judges Skillman and Hoffman.
After a bench trial conducted on December 9, 2010, the trial court entered judgment in plaintiff's favor for $713 in an action for repayment of a loan for the expenses of the wedding of defendants Terry and Tim Wildermuth. Plaintiff appeals, claiming that the court should have entered judgment for the principal amount of $2092 plus "all interest, penalties and late fees required to pay off the outstanding balance on [his] credit card." Plaintiff presents the following arguments in support of his appeal:
THE APPELLANT ARGUES THE COURTS HAVE MADE A REVERSIBLE ERROR IN ISSUING JUDGMENT BASED ON THE DEFENDANTS' WORD ON THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF PAYMENTS MADE TOWARD AN OUTSTANDING LOAN MADE BY THE PLAINTIFF TO THE DEFENDANTS. THE PLAINTIFF SUBMITTED A COPY OF PAYMENTS TO THE COURTS WHICH WAS A COMPLETE RECORD OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF PAYMENTS AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED BY THE COURTS IN CALCULATING A TOTAL JUDGMENT AMOUNT. THEREFORE THE COURTS SHOULD ISSUE A CORRECT JUDGMENT BASED ON THE FACTUAL RECORD OF EVIDENCE AND NOT UNSUBSTANTIATED [HEARSAY] TESTIMONY GIVEN BY THE DEFENDANTS.
THE APPELLANT ALSO ARGUES THAT THE COURTS HAVE MADE A REVERSIBLE ERROR IN MISINTERPRETING THE TESTIMONY OF HIS WITNESS IN CONCLUDING THE WITNESSES' TESTIMONY CORROBORATED THE TESTIMONY OF THE DEFENDANTS REGARDING THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE ORIGINAL LOAN WAS MADE. THE COURTS RULED DUE TO SAID MISINTERPRETATION THE DEFENDANTS WERE NOT TO BE HELD LIABLE FOR PAYING INTEREST ON THE CREDIT CARD THAT PLAINTIFF USED TO MAKE THE LOA[N] TO THE DEFENDANTS. THEREFORE, THE COURT'S DECISION TO FIND THE DEFENDANTS LIABLE FOR ONLY THE PRINCIPAL LOAN AMOUNT AND NOT THE INTEREST DUE TO THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY SHOULD BE REVERSED.
On appeal from a judgment entered after a bench trial, our review of the trial judge's factual findings is limited to determining whether they are "supported by adequate, substantial and credible evidence." Rova Farms Resort v. Investors Ins. Co., 65 N.J. 474, 484 (1974). We are satisfied that the factual findings contained in Judge O'Connor's December 9, 2010 oral opinion are supported by substantial credible evidence in the record and therefore the judgment entered on the basis of those findings may not be disturbed.
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