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Source: Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase Agree to Erase Debts From Credit Reports After Bankruptcies – NYTimes.com

The two banks have agreed to update borrowers’ reports within the next three months to reflect that the debts were canceled.

Finally some relief to people caught up in the mortgage crisis.  These Banks, who received billions from the Government are finally doing something to help the poor consumer.  By updating credit reports, people can now afford to buy a new home.  Its about time.

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Pink concert didn’t harm N.J. girl, judge says

A new case recently decided by the New Jersey Courts deals with the situation where one divorced  parent disagrees with the other about attending cultural events such as a music concert.  While the artist Pink was the subject of this case, you can see how it could be problem with a Miley Cyrus concert or a Wrestlemania event.

This case presents issues involving divorced parents, an eleven year old girl, and rock music. The parties are in the midst of ongoing contested litigation over physical custody of the child, during which the plaintiff-father contends that the defendant-mother abused her parental discretion and made an age-inappropriate decision by taking their daughter to a rock concert performed by the singer, P!nk, on December 11, 2013 at the Prudential Center 1 Pseudonyms and initials are used in place of the actual names of the parties and child at issue. in Newark, New Jersey. 2 For the reasons set forth in this opinion, the court holds the following:

A) Following divorce, each parent serving as a joint legal custodian generally has a right to exercise reasonable parental discretion over a child’s activities while in his or her physical care, free from unreasonable interference, infringement, obstruction or attempted control by the other parent. B) Each parent has a constitutional right to exercise reasonable parental discretion in introducing and exposing the child to works and performances of the creative arts. C) While divorced parents may disagree on whether a child should or should not be exposed to certain works or performances of the creative arts, the court will generally not interfere with either parent’s freedom of personal discretion on the issue, or hold same as evidence of improper or inferior parenting skills in custody litigation, unless the evidence reflects that the artistic work or performance is so objectively age-inappropriate that no reasonable person could rationally disagree on same. D) Rock music is a valid and highly recognized form of creative artistic expression in the United States and world. E) Defendant’s decision to take the parties’ daughter to the Pink rock concert, during her own parenting time, was a reasonable and appropriate exercise of parental discretion.

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Dupuy: End the war on deadbeat dads

Interesting article from a women whose father was a deadbeat Dad but who is against putting men who do not pay their child support in Jail.  I have on a few occasions fought  for child support payments from delinquent fathers to the point of getting them in handcuffs in front of the Judge.  But invariably they pay a small amount of support and get out of jail.  On one hand, without threat of jail there is a possibility that a person would not take child support seriously, but on the other hand, what good does it do to put a person in jail for not paying his debts.  Nothing is simple.

 

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I represent a good amount of business in Hoboken, Liquor Licenses, Bar, Restaurants and a big problem with the sale of Hoboken retail store front business is that the Landlord’s rent scares away many buyers.   Hoboken  stores, outside of food places, have a hard time competing with malls and online sites.   I find it very important in negotiating commercial leases to limit the amount of bank rent the Landlord can recovery when a business goes bad.  A lawyer’s job has got to be limiting financial and legal exposure.

More NJ small businesses for sale for less

photo from Hoboken411.com

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I represent both sides in Hoboken Rent Control disputes.

Many condominium purchasers do not realize that their unit may be subject to rent control.  If you are buying a condo in Hoboken that was not built prior to 1986 it may be controlled by the Hoboken Rent Control Laws.

Opinion

PER CURIAM

Plaintiff Constance De Sena appeals the order of the Law Division dismissing her action in lieu of prerogative writs against the Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board of the City of Hoboken (the Board) and E. Thomas Lundgren and Pichu Yeh Lundgren (landlord), the owners of the residential property in which she rented an apartment. This case arises from the landlord’s application to raise plaintiff’s rent commensurate with increases in municipal property taxes over a specified period of years. This method of calculating rent increases is permitted under the Hoboken Rent Leveling Ordinance as a tax surcharge.

Suzanne Hetman, the Hoboken Rent Regulation Officer (RRO), approved the landlord’s tax surcharge application on August 14, 2012, resulting in a net increase of $161 in plaintiff’s monthly rent. Plaintiff appealed the RRO’s determination to the Board. Of the five Board members present, two voted to overturn the RRO’s determination approving the tax surcharge increase, two members voted to uphold the RRO’s determination, and one member abstained. Based on the advice of counsel, the Board concluded that a tie vote was legally insufficient to overturn the presumptively valid determination of the RRO. Stated differently, as the party seeking to overturn the RRO’s determination, plaintiff failed to persuade a majority of the members of the Board that the decision by the RRO to grant a tax surcharge in this case was erroneous or arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.

As provided in Rule 4:69–1, plaintiff filed an action in lieu of prerogative writs in the Superior Court seeking to overturn the Board’s ruling. After considering the record developed before the Board and the arguments of counsel, Judge Barry P. Sarkisian upheld the Board’s decision that a tied vote was legally insufficient to overturn the RRO’s presumptively valid determination. Judge Sarkisian explained his decision in a memorandum of opinion dated June 18, 2013.

On appeal to this court, plaintiff argues (1) the Board did not authorize the method of calculation used by the RRO in determining the tax surcharge; (2) the RRO’s interpretation and application of the tax surcharge provision of the ordinance was contrary to the intent and purpose of the ordinance; and (3) the Board’s tied vote should be deemed as a disapproval of the RRO’s determination. In response, the Board argues the RRO properly applied the tax surcharge provision in the rent control ordinance to grant the landlord’s application to increase plaintiff’s rent. The Board also urges us to uphold the trial court’s legal determination that in reviewing the determinations of the RRO, a tied vote of the Board leaves the RRO’s determination undisturbed because those seeking to overturn or modify the RRO’s decision have the burden to demonstrate the decision was erroneous or arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.

After reviewing the record before us, we discern no legal merit in plaintiff’s arguments and affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Sarkisian in his memorandum of opinion. In the interest of clarity, we will briefly describe the salient facts that informed Judge Sarkisian’s legal analysis and ultimate conclusion.

I

Plaintiff leased the apartment at issue here on September 12, 2010. The property is a three-family building that the landlord has owned since 1992. On July 26, 2012, less than two years after the commencement of the lease, the landlord filed an application with the Hoboken Rent Leveling and Stabilization Office seeking approval for a tax surcharge. Section 155–6 of Hoboken’s rent control ordinance provides:

A landlord may seek a tax surcharge from a tenant because of an increase in municipal property taxes if said taxes are in excess of those assessed for the 1988 tax year. The rental increase permitted for taxes is determined by the Rent Regulation Officer pursuant to a formula approved by the Rent Control Board. The rent increase for taxes that each tenant is liable to pay shall be paid in 12 equal monthly payments, 1/12 each month. The surcharge shall not be considered rent for purposes of computing cost-of-living rental increases. Determinations under this section shall be made by the Rent Regulation Officer.

[Hoboken N.J. Municipal Code § 155–6.]

Based on the information provided by the landlord, the RRO applied the standard described in Section 155–6 and approved the application on August 14, 2012, according to the following calculation:

Total Number of Units: 3 Difference: $5,8031

Base Tax: $3,199 Monthly Differential: $484

Current Tax: $9,002 Unit Surcharge: $161

Plaintiff appealed the RRO’s determination to the Board. The matter was heard by the Board on November 14, 2012. As the minutes of the hearing before the Board reflect, plaintiff’s counsel, who is also her father, argued plaintiff should not be held liable for twenty-four years of tax increases because she had only been a tenant at this property since 2010.

Plaintiff also noted that the landlord had received a hardship rent increase in 1992 and vacancy decontrols in 1993, 1996, and 2002. According to plaintiff, these increases should have been considered in determining whether the landlord was entitled to yet another increase in the form of a tax surcharge. In response, the RRO indicated that increases in rent based on the hardship provisions of the ordinance permanently increase the base rent of the apartment. By contrast, a tax surcharge does not become part of the base rent, and is not considered in calculating ordinary annual cost of living increases. Finally, in response to a Board member’s question as to the method used to grant this application, the RRO emphasized: “This is how the office has been doing tax surcharge calculations going back to when it was 1988.”

As framed by plaintiff’s argument, the discussion among the Board members centered around the fairness of passing along twenty-four years of tax increases to a tenant who had only occupied her apartment for the last two years. Two members argued approving this kind of tax surcharge was both unfair and contrary to the ordinance’s core purpose of protecting tenants from unreasonable increases in rent. Other members disagreed, arguing that denying the tax surcharge would harm landlords. These members noted that denying the increase would be akin to amending the plain language of the tax surcharge provisions, a power exclusively reserved to the City Council.

At the conclusion of this debate, a Board member moved to table the discussion to permit the Board to obtain additional information on a host of issues related to the hardship increase provision and resolutions concerning tax surcharge applications. The motion failed to gain a majority of the votes cast, with two members voting “no,” two members voting “yes,” and one member “abstaining.” One of the members who had voted “no” on the motion to table thereafter moved to approve the decision of the RRO granting the tax surcharge. Again the motion failed to carry a majority of the votes cast, with two members voting “no,” two members voting “yes,” and one member “abstaining.”2

Plaintiff filed an action in lieu of prerogative writs, which Judge Sarkisian decided in favor of the Board. Specifically, Judge Sarkisian found plaintiff did not demonstrate to a majority of the members of the Board that the RRO’s approval of the tax surcharge was erroneous or arbitrary and capricious. We agree.

As the party seeking to overturn the decision of the municipal officer, plaintiff has the “burden” to “demonstrate that the Officer’s determination was in error or arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” Hoboken N.J. Municipal Code § 155–23. When the trial court reviews a discretionary decision of a municipal agency, it must start by recognizing that the Legislature has vested the municipality with discretion to make the decision involved. Booth v. Bd. of Adj. of Rockaway, 50 N.J. 302, 306 (1967).

A rebuttable presumption arises that the municipality has properly exercised its discretion. Harvard Enter’s, Inc. v. Bd. of Adj. of Twp. of Madison, 56 N.J. 362, 368 (1970). The trial court may not substitute its judgment for that of the municipal body. The party appealing the decision must prove that the board’s action was arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious. Ibid. We use the same standard of review regarding decisions made by the trial court.

We owe no deference, however, in cases where the municipal body has merely interpreted an ordinance. Cherney v. Zoning Bd. of Adj. of Matawan Borough, 221 N.J.Super. 141, 144–45 (App.Div.1987). Our review of a municipal body’s interpretation of an ordinance is plenary. Osaria v. W. New York Rent Control Bd., 410 N.J.Super. 437, 443 (App.Div.2009). Our legal analysis may take us in any direction we deem appropriate under law, and our ultimate conclusion is limited only by how we apply the law to the facts before us. Ibid.

Here, the trial court correctly reviewed the Board’s decision according to an arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable standard. Relying on our holding and analysis in Columbro v. Lebanon Twp. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 424 N.J.Super. 501, 508–09 (App.Div.2012), Judge Sarkisian correctly noted “that the interpretation of an ordinance is primarily a question of law that is subject to de novo review.” Under the internal appellate review established by the Hoboken City Council, a party seeking to overturn a decision made by the RRO has the burden to “demonstrate that the Officer’s determination was in error or arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” Hoboken N.J. Municipal Code § 155–23.

The record shows plaintiff failed to satisfy this burden. Albeit, the motion before the Board was worded “to approve” the decision of the RRO. That motion failed to pass. However, the record clearly shows that the Board thereafter considered the matter closed. Thus, despite the anomalous manner by which the issue was presented, plaintiff did not demonstrate to a majority of the members present that the RRO’s approval of the landlord’s tax surcharge application “was in error or arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” Ibid.

We are in complete agreement with Judge Sarkisian on this issue. The plain text of the Hoboken Municipal Code supports the RRO’s approval of the tax surcharge and the legal conclusion that plaintiff did not carry her burden of proof. We incorporate by reference the remaining parts of Judge Sarkisian’s analysis as reflected in his memorandum of opinion. The balance of plaintiff’s arguments lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11–3(e)(1)(E).

Affirmed.

Footnotes

1

As provided in Section 155–6, the RRO used the base-year 1988 and the application year 2011 to determine the increase in municipal property taxes that occurred during this twenty-four year period. Plaintiff has not challenged the manner or mathematical calculations performed by the RRO to reach the tax surcharge figure of $161 per month.

2

The record reflects one member as “absent.

The Marciano Law Firm, attorneys for respondents E. Thomas Lundgren and Pichu Yeh Lundgren, join in the brief of respondent The Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board of the City of Hoboken.

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June 27, is Helen Keller day, and I just happened to watch “A Miracle Worker” on TV, which is a great, great movie about how Helen Keller was taught to understand the world by her teacher Ann Sullivan.  Well, the part of Helen Keller was played by Patty Duke and she played such a great part that I looked her up on good ol’ Google and come across another true family tale. 

‘A family law attorney sees and hears a lot of what might be called “ inconvenient truths”  but increasingly our culture, is more and more accepting of the truth.  What was scandalous years ago, is pretty much accepted, except for of course some people who don’t understand that there is no standard, average perfect family, and how  it’s the imperfections that we must all come to love and accept.

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Sean Astin’s Childhood With Patty Duke

In The Lord of the Rings he cheated death, fought enemies and helped bring a gold ring to its destruction. But before taking on the role as Frodo’s trusted sidekick, Sean Astin survived a struggle of a far more personal sort.

The rising star endured a childhood on the edge of destruction.

He grew up as the child of two Hollywood stars: Oscar winner Patty Duke who gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this month, and actor John Astin, who played The Addams Family patriarch Gomez. But his home life included Duke’s battle with manic depression — and the shocking news that Astin was not his real father.

When he was 14, his mother told him that John Astin was not his biological father.Instead, she explained, he was born when she was 23 and single, after she had a scandalous affair with Desi Arnaz Jr., who was only 17. His mother, Lucille Ball, disapproved of the relationship and the tabloids seized the story.

"It was a horror," said Duke, who as a teenager had played a chaste young lady on The Patty Duke Show. "I was little Patty Duke who came into the living rooms on Wednesday nights."

When a stranger named Michael Tell came to sublet her apartment and offered to marry her as a way out of the scandal, Duke agreed. The marriage lasted only 13 days, and ended long before Sean was born.

After his mother told Astin that Arnaz was his father, the two developed a relationship, but in his mid-20s he met a relative of Michael Tell who suggested they were related. Sean set out to find his own truth about his biological father, hoping that genetic tests would prove it beyond doubt.

The tests had a surprising outcome: they showed that Tell was Sean’s father.

"Desi Arnaz Jr. loves me, and I love him. We are so close," Sean says. "Science tells me … that he’s not my biological father. Science tells me that Mike Tell is."

Sean considers John Astin his father, since he was raised by the actor. But he also maintains relationships with all three men in question, and his step-father, Mike Pearce, who married Duke in 1986.

"I can call any of them on the phone any time I want to," says Sean. "John, Desi, Mike or Papa Mike … my four dads."

His mother prefers to believe that Arnaz is Sean’s biological father, in spite of the blood tests. So mother and son have agreed to disagree, and seem closer and more connected than ever.

"I think how we have survived it is that we are people who believe in forgiveness, and moving on," said Duke.

"Well, I don’t think there’s anything that much to forgive," said Astin. "I mean, not to me."

Duke says she is tremendously proud of her son’s acting career. But she’s most proud of his real-life character as he overcame a troubled childhood to become a mature adult. "He is at the core the decent, generous, loving, respectful man that I hoped he would be," she said.

She continues to work as an actress, most recently filming a series of mysteries for the Hallmark Channel which premieres Sept. 5.

In the end, the showbiz family is not so different from many others, with fights and forgiveness, illness and health, and ultimately enough love to survive it all.

"What I love the most about my mother is that she’s a survivor. She wants to live. She’s here. Because she wants to be," said Astin. "That’s a good thing."

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Just helped out a new business woman in Jersey City /Hoboken with a dog training business, Steph is great with Dogs and Roxy is already doing all sorts of polite things !!!!! The world needs good dogs, give Steph a try, especially those barking dogs in your apartment.

http://goodkarmatraining.com/

 

SPATIAL, VERBAL, AND PHYSICAL PRESSURE

My method of training is known as balanced training. The fundamental principle of dog training is pressure on, pressure off. Pressure can be spacial, verbal, and/or physical.

Spatial pressure is when you position your body strategically to claim space. I use spatial pressure to communicate as well as guide the dog into completing a command. There is a difference between intimidation and guidance. The idea when using spatial pressure is to keep the dog engaged in training, not scare the dog into compliance. Depending upon the personality of a dog, this can be a delicate balance, but I am happy to show you how this technique can be used safely and effectively when training your dog.

Verbal pressure is when you use the correction word “no.” Typically, as the training progresses into advanced obedience, you will be able to say “no” and have your dog respond without having to use either physical, or even spacial pressure.

Physical pressure is any kind of physical connection made between the handler and the dog. This can range from a correction with the training collar, to being distracted by receiving affection while in a down/stay.

During our training sessions together, you will learn how and when to apply pressure, and when to release pressure in order to achieve results. Our goal is to correct bad behavior and to train your dog impulse control. In short, I will show you and your dog how to calmly make better choices. I believe it is important to always correct bad behavior the instant it occurs. Dogs exist in the present moment, they require us to exist in the present with them. The virtue of correcting instantly is to prevent your dog from intensely acting out either by barking, lunging, growling, whining, etc. By consistently applying pressure, and releasing when better behavior is presented, your dog will learn to calmly make better choices. When you correct the subtle bad behavior, you will avoid having to be challenged with much more dramatic bad behavior.

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They say you learn new things everyday.  Well as a long time Hoboken resident and Attorney I thought I knew about most things the City Government did.    But there is always something new to learn and that is the wonderful and much needed Hoboken311, which is a website that provides a lot of information about Hoboken Laws and regulations and, which was new to me, you can give detailed requests to the City about problems that need to be corrected.  Me, I complained about a broken sidewalk near my office.  Here is a screenshot of my request:

ScreenClip

I will update this Blog about the response to this request, but I think it is just great that at lease there is a process in place to deal with Citizen requests and suggestions.  Check it out.

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http://narrative.ly/2012/11/fortunate-one/

Photos by Sophie Butcher

Fortunate One

A writer turned PR director turned stockbroker finds her calling among a deck of tarot cards.

By Jaclyn Einis

There is no wall of beads. No headscarf. And absolutely no crystal ball. Just a set of stairs inside a boho-chic bistro spiraling up to a tiny alcove near the bathroom. Tucked in the corner is a woman, sitting, hands folded on a floral tablecloth, cards stacked and ready. The din of loud music and a packed house floats up from below. In spite of the noise and the constant traffic of diners, her table feels intimate.

The woman’s high cheekbones belie her 62 years. Her face feels familiar—a slender oval with deep-set brown eyes and cropped golden blonde hair, sort of Susan Sarandon meets Angela Lansbury. Her manicure, vintage rose-shaped earrings and the shirt beneath her open blue button-down are a perfectly matched powder pink.

Janet Horton at Raoul’s Restaurant

Janet Horton tells me her story on a recent Friday evening at the crowded Raoul’s Restaurant, which has hosted psychics on Prince Street in SoHo for the past 24 years. Horton has been reading tarot cards professionally for some fifteen years, and at Raoul’s for the past three. Speaking in an animated, nonlinear narrative, stopping here and there to chat with an inquisitive passersby or to cater to a customer, Horton explains that she tapped into the “other side” long before she knew what it meant to be psychic.

“I’m five years old, and my mother takes me to go meet the woman who moved in down the street,” says Horton, who grew up in a quiet, lakeside Ohio suburb. “We’re sitting on the couch, and beyond this lady’s head,” she motions past me, “is a hall, and down the hall, there are bedrooms, and in that bedroom to the left, there’s an old German man who died there. He says to me, ‘Tell these filthy squatters to get out of my house.’”

The young Horton relayed the message from the deceased old man, and her mother bade the new neighbor a hasty goodbye.

read the entire article at

http://narrative.ly/2012/11/fortunate-one/

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A Paperless office is great when the Power is on !!!!

  • Not so great when the Power is off.
  • But the Power is back and we are open and ready for business.
  • For all my clients, all your files and papers and documents and emails were not touched by the Storm.  Everything is safe  We moved and protected them. 
  • Our Computer  servers were also protected and we are getting fully online this Sunday Nov. 4th.  Please call the office at 201 656-1000 if we don’t answer just leave a message.  Email is working.
  • We also are implementing a new Text to Office service, since it is clear that Texting is the way most people communicate.   We will be the first Law office that I know of that will have a Text Number for the office.   That should be up and running next week.

Now on to some Legal Advice for all.

  • At this point it is too early to know the exact process and procedure for people trying to recover money for all their damages.
  • Frankly, for most people and most damages, lawyers will probably be more of a problem than a means for a solution.  I have received  many calls already about property damage and my advice is this:
  • Use that Cell Phone Camera and take pictures and more pictures.
  • Take close-ups and far away shots.
  • Use your camera to take pictures of any relevant receipts or things you are replacing or fixing.
  • Make sure the photos are dated.
  • Use some system to take voice notes, like even calling yourself to document your thoughts

And now for some Spiritual Advise.

Break out the Bubbly and have a great time !!!!

Frank Marciano

(this was written short and sweet, more to follow.)