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Natalie Talker v. Albert Talker

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


April 4, 2012

NATALIE TALKER, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ALBERT TALKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FM-13-974-08.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 28, 2012 -

Before Judges J. N. Harris and Haas.

Defendant Albert Talker appeals from the February 9, 2011 dual judgment of divorce entered by Judge Joseph P. Quinn. A fourteen-page written opinion summarizing the court's findings, which were orally placed on the record on February 7, 2011, followed a hotly-contested matrimonial trial described as "the highest conflict matrimonial case over which [Judge Quinn] [had ever] presided," accompanied the judgment.*fn1 Based upon our review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Quinn. We add only the following brief comments.

Although it has been stated countless ways, in innumerable appellate opinions, it is well-worth repeating the principles that cabin our review:

"The general rule is that findings by the trial court are binding on appeal when supported by adequate, substantial, credible evidence." Cesare v. Cesare, 154 N.J. 394, 411-12 (1998) (citing Rova Farms Resort, Inc. v. Investors Ins. Co. of Am., 65 N.J. 474, 484 (1974)). Consequently, we "should not disturb the factual findings and legal conclusions of the trial judge unless . . . convinced that they are so manifestly unsupported by or inconsistent with the competent, relevant and reasonably credible evidence as to offend the interests of justice" or when we determine the court has palpably abused its discretion. Id. at 412 (internal quotations omitted).

We are not bound by "[a] trial court's interpretation of the law and the legal consequences that flow from established facts are not entitled to any special deference." Manalapan Realty v. Manalapan Tp. Comm., 140 N.J. 366, 378 (1995). However, recognizing the special expertise of judges hearing matters in the Family Part, we accept the trial judge's conclusion when evidentially supported. Cesare, supra, 154 N.J. at 412. We reverse only to "ensure that there is not a denial of justice" because the family court's "conclusions are [] 'clearly mistaken' or 'wide of the mark.'" N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. E.P., 196 N.J. 88, 104 (2008).

[Parish v. Parish, 412 N.J. Super. 39, 47 (App. Div. 2010).] Mr. Talker's arguments concerning equitable distribution, reimbursement alimony, child support, and custody and parenting time -- in light of the record -- reveal nothing "so wide of the mark" that a clear mistake was made. N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. M.M., 189 N.J. 261, 279 (2007) (citation and quotation marks omitted); see also N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. R.D., 207 N.J. 88, 118 (2011). As for the balance of his arguments, they are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(A) and (E). Affirmed.


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