The Supreme Court Will Review Three Published Appellate Division Decisions, and One Unpublished One

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted review in four more cases. In three of those appeals, the Court granted petitions for certification. In the fourth case, the Court granted certification and leave to appeal.

Three of the appeals involve published opinions of three-judge panels of the Appellate Division. In The Plastic Surgery Center, PA v. Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc., discussed here, the question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Does the two-year statute of limitations, applicable to claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act, apply to claims by medical providers for the payment of services rendered to injured employees?” In an opinion reported at 457 N.J. Super. 555 (App. Div. 2019), discussed here, the Appellate Division reversed the decision of a Workers Compensation judge that the two-year statute applied, and held instead that the general six-year statute of limitations governed.

The second published Appellate Division opinion that the Court will review is Friedman v. Martinez, in which the Court previously granted another petition for certification in January of this year, as discussed here. That appeal is A-37-18 on the Court’s docket. The new appeal is Docket No. A-81-18. The question presented in both appeals is the same: “Must plaintiffs demonstrate that their images were actually captured on a recording device or that they were present when recording devices were active in order to maintain a cause of action for invasion of privacy against an office building owner and property managers?” The Appellate Division’s opinion, reported at 454 N.J. Super. 87 (App. Div. 2018), ruled that plaintiffs need not make such a showing.

State v. McCray, which actually consists of two different cases, presents this question: “Where a defendant has been released pretrial under the Criminal Justice Reform Act and subsequently violates a condition of that release, can the defendant be charged with criminal contempt under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(a)?” This case is before the Court on both certification and leave to appeal. The Appellate Division’s published opinion, not yet assigned a citation in N.J. Super., can be found at 2019 WL 1412861. The panel there reversed orders of the Law Division and held that contempt charges were improperly dismissed.

The Appellate Division’s decision was issued on March 29, 2019, less than two months ago. The Supreme Court granted review very quickly, perhaps due to the importance of the issue under the Criminal Justice Reform Act.

The unpublished decision that the Court will hear is Melnyk v. Delsea Regional High School Dist. Bd. of Educ. The question presented there is “Did the District violate petitioner’s tenure rights when it terminated her assignment as a teacher in the District’s alternative education program?” A two-judge panel ruled that the teacher’s tenure rights were not violated. That decision upheld the final decision of the Commissioner of Education, which in turn had adopted the initial decision of an Administrative Law Judge.