Post-Judgment Appeal Is Rejected By the Court Because Too Much time Had Elapsed
- June 15, 2014
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In the post-judgment Appellate Division case, Bansal v. Bansal, the Plaintiff, Jane Bansal appealed from a Family Court Order denying her request for a default judgment against the Defendant, Ashwani Bansal, in which she requested that he be held in contempt for filing a fraudulent Case Information Statement (CIS) with the court and for seeking numerous enforcement requests of previous Court Orders regarding equitable distribution of their property – most of which were nine years old. The Appellate Court affirmed the lower court’s decision because the Plaintiff’s challenges were not made in a timely manner and because it found that her arguments lacked sufficient merit to warrant extended discussion pursuant to Rule 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). In its decision, the Appellate Court notes that a motion to vacate or modify a judgment should be “granted sparingly.” Fineberg v. Fineberg, 309 N.J. Super. 205, 215 (App. Div. 1998). Further, the trial court’s “determination under the rule warrants substantial deference, and should not be reversed unless it results in a clear abuse of discretion.” US Bank Nat. Ass’n v. Guillaume, 209 N.J. 449, 467 (2012). According to the court, an abuse of discretion arises when the court’s decision is made without a rational explanation or rests on an impermissible basis. Iliadis v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 191 N.J. 88, 123 (2007). In this case, the court held that the Plaintiff had ample time and opportunity to appeal the decisions that she believed were factually or legally incorrect and she failed to do so therefore the court’s consideration of these issues is precluded. If he Plaintiff believed that she would make new claims in an attempt to set aside previously judicial decisions the time to do so had long expired and she failed to offer any exceptional circumstances to justify the court’s review under Rule 2:4-2, which requires that an appeal as of right be filed within forty-five (45) days of the entry of a final judgment. Therefore, the Plaintiff’s attempt to “correct” provisions of a Judgment of Divorce that was issued nine years ago is legally unsustainable. If you anticipate that you may want to petition the court for a post-judgment modification of your divorce judgment, alimony award, or child support obligation it is critical that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before moving forward. For more information about post-judgment modifications, divorce, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit the DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.