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Bradford v. Gleason

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

November 6, 2013

DREW BRADFORD, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DIANE GLEASON, [1] Defendant-Respondent.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued telephonically November 6, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Somerset County, Docket No. L-0538-10.

Drew Bradford, appellant, argued the cause pro se.

Francis T. Gleason, Jr., argued the cause for respondent.

Before Judges Yannotti and Ashrafi.

PER CURIAM

On December 12, 2011, the trial court denied plaintiff Drew Bradford's motion to adjourn the trial and dismissed his malicious prosecution claim against defendant Diane Gleason without prejudice. Plaintiff appeals from orders entered on January 20, 2012, and August 14, 2012, which denied his motions for reconsideration. We affirm.

In the summer of 2005, plaintiff began planning a reunion for Summit High School's Class of 1965. Plaintiff asked fellow classmates Gleason and Renee Baran Hedges to assist him in the planning process, and they agreed to do so. Plaintiff's relationship with Gleason and Hedges soured soon thereafter. Among other things, plaintiff and Gleason disagreed as to the ownership of any excess monies collected from attendees, specifically the monies remaining after all reunion expenses were paid.

In October 2005, plaintiff withdrew $995.60 from a joint checking account established for the reunion. When Gleason learned that plaintiff had withdrawn the funds, she reported the matter to the Summit Police Department and demanded that plaintiff return the monies.

The reunion took place on October 15, 2005. Two days later, Gleason wrote to members of the Class of 1965 concerning what she described as the "unfortunate situation" that had developed. She said plaintiff had overdrawn the reunion's bank account. She said that the "entire matter" was being investigated by the local police.

On October 19, 2005, a detective with the Summit Police Department contacted plaintiff and told him he was investigating the withdrawal of funds from the reunion's bank account. He asked plaintiff to come to police headquarters to discuss the matter. According to the detective, plaintiff refused, claiming that he had been in charge of the reunion and the "overage" belonged to him.

The detective contacted the Union County Prosecutor's Office. An assistant prosecutor authorized the filing of a complaint charging plaintiff with one count of theft by deception. The detective then obtained a warrant for plaintiff's arrest. The warrant was executed and plaintiff was taken into custody. Plaintiff was questioned concerning his withdrawal of the monies.

Thereafter, an assistant prosecutor authorized the dismissal of the complaint and informed Gleason that plaintiff had agreed to give up any claim to the monies he had withdrawn from the reunion's bank account. The assistant prosecutor told Gleason the monies would be returned to her and she could dispose of the funds as she thought appropriate.

Plaintiff later filed a complaint in the Law Division, Union County, against Gleason and Hedges, asserting claims of malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional deprivation of prospective economic advantage and libel. Gleason and ...


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