October 5, 2012
PARK DEVELOPMENT WEST CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
MAL YON HONG, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Docket No. DC-32712-10.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 24, 2012 -
Before Judges Fasciale and Maven.
In this special civil part (SCP) case, plaintiff Park Development West Condominium Association, Inc. appeals from a November 16, 2011 order denying its motion for reconsideration of an order denying its motion in aid of litigant's rights. We affirm.
Plaintiff filed an SCP complaint against defendant Mal Yon Hong, one of its condominium owners, seeking compensation for unpaid maintenance fees. Plaintiff obtained default judgment against defendant in the amount of $10,991.54. Plaintiff then attempted to serve defendant at his condominium unit with a writ of execution against goods and chattels. Defendant, however, had previously rented the unit to Wang. As a result, plaintiff was unable to levy on defendant's personal property at the condominium unit.
Plaintiff then filed a motion in aid of litigant's rights. Plaintiff sought an order adjudging defendant and Wang to be in violation of its rights, and sought to compel Wang to pay his monthly rent to an SCP constable until its judgment against defendant was satisfied. Plaintiff requested, as part of its motion, that if Wang failed to satisfy its judgment against defendant, then the court should issue a warrant for the arrest of defendant and Wang. The judge denied plaintiff's motion without prejudice.
Thereafter, plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration. The judge conducted oral argument and entered the November 16, 2011 order under review, adjudging defendant in violation of plaintiff's rights. He ordered that if defendant failed to comply with plaintiff's writ of execution, then a warrant for defendant's arrest shall issue. Regarding the tenant, the judge asked:
Doesn't the Master Deed provide . . . that if there's a tenant in [the owner's premises, then] that gives you the right to go after [that tenant]? Did you check the Master Deed?*fn2
[Plaintiff's counsel]: Some of the Master Deeds provide that, Judge. Some of the . . . associations use a lease rider . . . .
[Plaintiff's counsel]: Here . . . there was no lease rider. It's not in the Master Deed . . . .
In denying plaintiff's request to hold Wang in violation of litigant's rights, the judge then asked, "How can I assess anything against [Wang] if he wasn't in the litigation in the first place?" This appeal followed.
On appeal, plaintiff argues that the judge erred by denying plaintiff's motion to hold Wang in contempt and issue a warrant for his arrest. Plaintiff contends that by denying its motion, the judge left it without a remedy against Wang.
We have reviewed the record and conclude that plaintiff's arguments are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). We add the following brief comments.
Plaintiff's judgment is against defendant, not Wang. The judge ordered correctly that defendant is in violation of litigant's rights and that an arrest warrant may issue against defendant. Under the facts presented, plaintiff is unable to collect its judgment against defendant from Wang.