PAUL S. BEATTY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
GAIL GRUNDITZ HANEY, LOUIS PASHMAN, JULIANNE K. DECORE, RICHARD J. ENGELHARDT, MICHAEL J. SWEENEY, Defendants-Respondents.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted July 16, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Docket No. L-8083-11.
Paul S. Beatty, appellant, pro se.
John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondents (Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Kelly A. Samuels, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).
Before Judges Ashrafi and St. John.
Plaintiff Paul S. Beatty appeals from dismissal of his complaint pursuant to Rule 4:6-2(e) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. We affirm.
When deciding whether a cause of action was properly dismissed under Rule 4:6-2(e), we must "search the complaint in depth and with liberality to ascertain whether the fundament of a cause of action may be gleaned even from an obscure statement of claim, opportunity being given to amend if necessary." Printing Mart-Morristown v. Sharp Elecs. Corp., 116 N.J. 739, 746 (1989) (quoting Di Cristofaro v. Laurel Grove Mem'l Park, 43 N.J.Super. 244, 252 (App. Div. 1957)); accord Banco Popular N. Am. v. Gandi, 184 N.J. 161, 165 (2005). The court's role is simply to determine whether a cause of action is "suggested" by the complaint. Printing Mart, supra, 116 N.J. at 746.
Plaintiff is an attorney, originally licensed in 1967 to practice law in Maryland and admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1990. In 2008, his license to practice law in New Jersey was suspended by the Supreme Court for three months. The suspension resulted from plaintiff's plea of guilty to a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10, a fourth-degree charge of stalking a woman with whom he became acquainted while working as a security guard at the Monmouth Park Racetrack. See State v. Beatty, Docket No. A-0164-11 (App. Div. July 24, 2013).
Plaintiff filed a handwritten complaint in August 2011 in the Law Division against the following defendants: Gail Grunditz Haney, Deputy Clerk of the Supreme Court; Louis Pashman, Chairman of the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Review Board ("the DRB"); Julianne DeCore, Chief Counsel of the DRB; Richard Englehardt, former Counsel to the Director of the Office of Attorney Ethics (the "OAE"); and Michael Sweeney, First Assistant Ethics Counsel of the OAE.
In the first numbered paragraph of his complaint, plaintiff alleged:
The Supreme Court of New Jersey on July 11, 2008 Ordered that Plaintiff be suspended from the practice of law for a period of three months and until further Order of the Court, effective August 13, 2008. Plaintiff remains suspended, because the Defendants as individuals and collectively, have added their own provision, not part of the July 11, 2008 Order, requiring that Plaintiff submit, without a Court Order, to a mental examination, prior to being reinstated to practice law in New Jersey.
Six additional numbered paragraphs of the complaint alleged specific conduct as to each defendant that constituted the core allegation of the first paragraph. The concluding paragraph of the complaint stated plaintiff's request for "judgment against Defendants, jointly and severally, for compensatory and punitive damages, ...