June 11, 2012
STUDIO 6 PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
IRINA MOWERSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND I.M. EAGLE STAR CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Bergen County, Docket No. DC-030110-10.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted June 5, 2012 -
Before Judges Fisher and Nugent.
Plaintiff Studio 6 Photography, LLC, filed this action against defendant Irina Mowerson and Eagle Star Corporation, alleging that, in breaching their contract, defendants failed to pay for goods and services rendered by plaintiff. Plaintiff also sought damages based upon a quantum meruit theory.
During a brief non-jury trial, plaintiff's representative testified that, as agreed, he photographed numerous pieces of artwork for defendant Mowerson (hereafter "defendant") at the cost of $90 per item and thereafter provided defendant with a high-resolution DVD containing the photographs. Defendant denied the existence of an agreement and denied that plaintiff provided her with any goods that she either desired or requested. For reasons fully explained in a cogent oral decision, the judge found plaintiff's representative to be "very credible." The judge found that defendant was not credible in many respects and, as to the worth of the DVD, concluded that defendant did "not in any way, shape, or form give credible testimony," as demonstrated by her failure to bring the DVD to court for trial. Applying quantum meruit principles to the facts he found, the trial judge entered judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in the amount of $2250. In this appeal, defendant argues:
I. APPELLANT IRINA MOWERSON IS ENTITLED TO RELIEF FROM THE JUDGMENT AS SHE CAN DEMONSTRATE PLAIN ERROR WARRANTING RELIEF UNDER RULE 2:10-2.
II. IT WAS PLAIN ERROR FOR THE COURT NOT TO DISMISS RESPONDENT'S COMPLAINT, AS THE RESPONDENT COULD NOT DEMONSTRATE AN ENFORCEABLE ORAL OR WRITTEN CONTRACT.
III. THERE WAS NO BASIS FOR A QUANTUM MERUIT CLAIM, AS IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE PLAINTIFF DID NOT EXPECT REMUNERATION AT THE TIME PLAINTIFF CONFERRED AN ALLEGED BENEFIT.
The judge's findings were based on evidence determined to be credible and, therefore, command our deference. In re Trust Created by Agreement Dated December 20, 1961, ex rel. Johnson, 194 N.J. 276, 284 (2008); Rova Farms Resort, Inc. v. Investors Ins. Co. of Am., 65 N.J. 474, 484 (1974). In applying this standard of review, we are led to the conclusion that defendant's arguments are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).
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