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Boulevard Clean-Ers, Inc. v. Liccardi Ford, Inc.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

July 18, 2013

BOULEVARD CLEAN-ERS, INC. and SAM D. HEO, Plaintiffs-Respondents,
v.
LICCARDI FORD, INC., and SEYMOUR JOHNSON and EDWARD CASTILLO, Defendants-Appellants.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 16, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Docket No. L-2699-04.

Cohn, Bracaglia & Gropper, attorneys for appellant Liccardi Ford, Inc., (Jill Sara Carlson, on the briefs).

Fruchter & Associates, LLC., attorneys for respondents (Harvey Fruchter, of counsel; Tejas S. Kapadia, on the brief).

Before Judges Waugh and St. John.

PER CURIAM

Defendant Liccardi Ford, Inc. (Liccardi), [1] appeals from the March 19, 2012 determinations of the Law Division requiring the parties to engage in binding arbitration and permitting defense counsel to withdraw from representation. Following our review of the arguments advanced on appeal, in light of the record and applicable law, we affirm.

I.

The record reveals the following facts and procedural history.

Sam D. Heo purchased a vehicle from Liccardi in May 1998, and thereafter transferred ownership of the vehicle to his business, Boulevard Clean-ers, Inc. In January 2000, Heo returned to Liccardi and purchased an extended warranty plan without informing Liccardi that the vehicle had been transferred. When Heo subsequently brought the vehicle to Liccardi for repairs, the warranty company refused to cover the costs because Heo was no longer the owner of record.

In August 2000, Heo and Boulevard (collectively plaintiffs) filed a complaint against Liccardi, the warranty companies, and John Does. In November 2001, following a proof hearing, the court entered a default judgment against Liccardi for $62, 178. However, the default judgment was vacated after Liccardi claimed it never received notice of the hearing. In March 2002, the court again entered judgment after Liccardi failed to attend arbitration. The court ultimately vacated this judgment as well because Liccardi did not receive notice of the arbitration date.

In June 2003, plaintiffs moved to compel arbitration and Liccardi moved to reinstate the matter to the active trial calendar. On February 20, 2004, the court restored the matter to the trial calendar.

In May 2004, plaintiffs voluntarily withdrew their complaint, but subsequently filed a new complaint in July 2004. In March 2005, Liccardi moved to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint, which the court denied. In April 2007, the court entered an order memorializing the parties' agreement to submit the matter to binding arbitration ...


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