July 29, 2013
LVNV FUNDING LLC, Plaintiff-Respondent,
TONY S. MIRMANESH, Defendant-Appellant.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted July 24, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Docket No. L-3102-11.
Tony S. Mirmanesh, appellant pro se.
Respondent has not filed a brief.
Before Judges Reisner and Yannotti.
Defendant Tony S. Mirmanesh appeals from a November 18, 2011 order granting summary judgment in favor of plaintiff LVNV Funding LLC. We affirm.
Plaintiff purchased from Chase/Washington Mutual Visa an assignment of defendant's credit card account, on which he owed $18, 534.73. Plaintiff filed a complaint on June 20, 2011, seeking to collect the debt. Defendant filed his answer on August 16, 2011, asserting a series of general denials. Plaintiff filed a summary judgment motion on October 5, 2011. The motion was supported by the certification of plaintiff's authorized representative, Tobie Griffin, who attested that the debt was reflected on the company's books and records. Attached to the certification was a Chase Freedom for Business credit card account statement for the period October 12, 2009 to November 11, 2009. The statement included the account number and the amount of the debt, and was addressed to defendant at World Class Auto Inc.
Defendant responded to plaintiff's statement of material facts with general denials, plus an objection that plaintiff had not yet responded to his interrogatories. However, defendant's opposition did not attach a copy of the interrogatories or explain what discovery he was seeking, other than "the contract" and "the account agreement." Significantly, defendant's certification did not deny that he had a Chase Visa account. Nor did he deny that he owed money on the account. He also did not attest that he had any good faith reason to question the amount of the debt.
In a brief oral opinion, the motion judge granted summary judgment, finding that plaintiff had submitted adequate proof of the debt, and that defendant's opposition had failed to "establish a genuine issue of material fact." Rather, the judge found that the opposition appeared to be "basically just a bit of gamesmanship" aimed at avoiding summary judgment.
In his appeal, defendant contends that summary judgment was premature because the time for discovery had not expired and he had not yet received plaintiff's answers to his interrogatories. However, defendant still does not deny that he had a Chase Visa account or that he owed money on the account. Nor does he state any good faith reason to question the amount of the debt. He complains that plaintiff's complaint did not provide "account numbers, reference numbers, etc." However, the summary judgment motion included an account statement with defendant's name, address, account number, and the amount he owed.
We review the grant of a summary judgment motion de novo, using the same legal standard employed by the trial court. Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins., Inc. v. Boylan, 307 N.J.Super. 162, 167 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 154 N.J. 608 (1998). Having reviewed the record, we agree with the trial judge that plaintiff submitted sufficient evidence to justify a judgment in its favor, and defendant failed to oppose the motion with legally competent evidence which would raise a material dispute of fact. See Brill v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 142 N.J. 520, 540 (1995). Further, in opposing summary judgment, it was not sufficient for defendant to state that discovery was incomplete, without explaining what discovery he was seeking and how it could have made a difference to the outcome of the motion. See Auster v. Kinoian, 153 N.J.Super. 52, 56 (App. Div. 1977). We conclude that summary judgment was properly granted.