June 25, 2012
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
2006 HYUNDAI SANTA FE, LAST FOUR OF VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NO. 1646, SEIZED FROM STEVEN B. TRAINER, TITLED TO ALMA AGBAYANI, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Bergen County, Docket No. DC-009109-11.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted June 19, 2012
Before Judges Fisher and Grall.
The State commenced this action for forfeiture, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:64-1(a), of a 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe allegedly used by Steven Trainer in the commission of criminal activity. Fe Alma Agbayani is the title holder to the vehicle. The State's complaint sought a judgment extinguishing the rights Trainer and Agbayani may have to the vehicle and vesting those property rights in the State.
Default judgment was entered against both Trainer and Agbayani. They both unsuccessfully moved for relief from the default judgment and thereafter separately appealed.*fn1 In response to these appeals, the prosecutor concedes there are significant questions regarding the sufficiency of service of process and that both Trainer and Agbayani are entitled to relief from the default judgment. We agree.
The orders under review in these appeals are reversed and the matter remanded to the trial court to provide defendants with the opportunity to file responsive pleadings and for further proceedings. We do not retain jurisdiction.