Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Car Care Depot, LLC

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 30, 2017

In Re CAR CARE DEPOT, LLC, et al. Debtor.
CHARLES FORMAN, as Trustee, Appellee. ALAN MEINSTER, Appellant,


          PETER G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter comes before the Court on appeal from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey (“Bankruptcy Court”). Appellant Alan Meinster (“Meinster” or “Appellant”) appeals from the four Orders of the Bankruptcy Court granting Trustee Barry Frost (“Frost”), in his capacity as Chapter 7 Bankruptcy trustee, authorization to continue the bankruptcy proceedings of Car Care Depot, LLC (“Car Care”) and Tiger Car Wash, LLC (“Tiger Wash”). After reviewing the record and arguments, this Court affirms the Orders of the Bankruptcy Court.


         This dispute concerns an alleged broker's commission that was never memorialized in writing due to intervening events. Consequently, several material facts in this case are disputed..

         Appellant Alan Meinster is a licensed real estate broker in the State of New Jersey with a principle office in Mercerville, NJ. (Joint Appendix (“Joint Appx”) at 250, Dkt 22-1). He is also a part owner of the restaurant “Rossi's” in Hamilton Township. Id.

         Appellee Charles Forman (“Forman”) is a member of Forman Holt Eliades & Youngman LLC, and served as the Chapter 11 Trustee during the Chapter 11 filings of Car Care and Tiger Wash. (Declaration of Charles M. Forman in Support of Trustee's Motion, Joint Appx at 92, Dkt 22-1).

         Barry Frost is an attorney who has served as the Chapter 7 trustee for Car Care and Tiger Wash after the Chapter 11 proceedings were converted into Chapter 7 liquidation. (Appellee's Brief at 1, Dkt 25).

         Interested Party Marvin Ginsberg (“Ginsberg”) was, at the time of the original bankruptcy filing, the majority owner of Tiger Wash and Car Care, owning ninety-five (95) percent of the business. (Appellant's Brief at 16, Dkt 21). Ginsberg's son, Marc Ginsberg, owned the remaining five (5) percent. Id.

         Interested Party Christopher Vernon (“Vernon”) is the buyer of Tiger Wash. (Certification of Christopher S. Vernon, Joint Appx at 487, Dkt 22-1). Vernon is the owner of Mercer Management, a real estate management firm that manages various types of properties, including commercial ones. (Examination of Christopher Vernon at 53-54, Dkt 17).

         Appellant Alan Meinster

         Per the certification submitted by Appellant, the relevant events occurred sometime around March 2015. (March 16, 2016 Certification of Alan Meinster, Joint Appx at 250, Dkt 22-1). As a part owner of Rossi's, Appellant knew Ginsberg as a result of his occasional visits to the restaurant. Id. During one such visit, Appellant engaged in conversation with Ginsberg, during which Ginsberg "very specifically described his need to sell two (2) of his carwashes . . . one of which was the Princeton Tiger Car Wash." Id.

         At this point, Appellant claims to have told Ginsberg of his occupation as a real estate broker in the State of New Jersey, and would be willing to find Ginsberg a buyer in return for a ten percent commission. Id. Appellant claims Ginsberg then "unequivocally agreed to pay the commission." Id.

         Appellant then "went right to work, " already having a prospective buyer in mind who "had a particular interest in the car wash business." Id. That prospective buyer was Christopher Vernon. Id. After Appellant made a phone call to Vernon to explain the situation and explained he was acting as a broker, Vernon expressed "an exceedingly high level of interest." Id. at 251. Appellant then called Ginsberg to arrange a meeting with Vernon at Tiger Wash the next day. Id. The meeting reportedly "went forward . . . and resulted in Mr. Ginsberg securing a ready, willing, and able buyer." Id.

         Appellant knew Vernon well enough to describe Vernon as a highly respected businessman and negotiator who typically handled his own negotiations without a broker. Id. Appellant admits he normally would have been more active in the transactional process; however, Appellant suffered a medical emergency which caused significant disability and a long recuperation period. As a result, Appellant did not follow-up on his prior discussion with Ginsberg. Id. More specifically, a medical emergency occurred soon after the discussions with Ginsberg and Vernon.

         "Within days of having made the introduction of [Vernon] to [Ginsberg], " Appellant was sitting at his kitchen table one night at 3:45 AM when he began to suffer from heart attack like symptoms, later identified as dissection of the ascending aorta. Id. at 251-52. Appellant was rushed to the hospital, underwent open heart surgery for eight to ten hours, and then spent two days in a medically induced coma. Id. Appellant reports not "even think[ing] about returning to work for a period of six [6] months." Id. Appellant reports that he has yet to fully recover. Id.

         Appellant certifies that "by matter of fate and fortuitousness" he became aware of the movement in the Ginsberg-Vernon deal. Id. Appellant reports that on March 8, 2016, he received a phone call from Vernon expressing enthusiasm about closing the deal. Id. at 252-53. Surprised by the lack of communication from either Vernon or Ginsberg regarding developments in the deal, Appellant phoned Ginsberg who allegedly informed Appellant that because his desired price was not met, there would be no commission. Id.

         It is as a result of these events that Appellant contends that he is a creditor to the Tiger Wash bankruptcy proceedings in the amount of $350, 000.00, or ten (10) percent of the final $3.5 million sale price. (Appellant's Brief at 1-2, Dkt 21). The bankruptcy proceeding has already paid out a substantial sum of the total fund, leaving ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.