Out-of-Work Employees Can Seek Unemployment Compensation Benefits in New Jersey

Posted in Employment

An individual who is out of work in New Jersey may qualify for unemployment insurance benefits through the state government. The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Unemployment Compensation Office is responsible for processing benefit requests and determining whether a former employee is eligible to receive benefits.

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The Timing of Your Divorce Could Impact Your Social Security Benefit

Posted in Divorce

The Social Security system permits a divorced person who is eligible for social security benefits to receive the greater of (a) a calculation based on 100% of his/her earned benefit amount, or (b) provided the parties were married for at least ten years, the claimant has not remarried, and the spouse is at least 62 years old, a calculation based on 50% of his/her ex-spouse’s earned benefit amount. This award does not negatively affect the ex-spouse—he/she will still collect 100% of his/her earned benefit.

New Jersey law generally holds that the marital partnership terminates upon a filing for divorce; however, the parties do in fact remain legally married until the subsequent entry of a Judgment of Divorce. For Social Security purposes the latter rule applies—the date of the judgement will be used to calculate benefit awards and adjustments.

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New Jersey Estate Tax Repeal

Posted in Trusts & Estates

On Friday, September 30, 2016, New Jersey lawmakers held a press conference announcing significant changes affecting the New Jersey Estate Tax. The video and transcript of the conference can be accessed by clicking here.

The New Jersey Estate Tax applies to the estates of New Jersey residents and currently has an exemption of only $675,000. Under the proposal, the New Jersey Estate Tax exemption will be increased to $2.0 million per person on January 1, 2017; and effective January 1, 2018, the New Jersey Estate Tax will be eliminated entirely.

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The Multi-Party Joint Deposit Account Act

Posted in Probate Litigation

In general, the funds within a joint account belong to the account holders and all account holders have the right to the entirety of the account. Should one of the joint account holders pass away, it is generally accepted law that the account would then pass to the surviving account holder(s). Under the Multi-Party Joint Deposit Account Act, this is typically what occurs should an account holder pass away; however, there are exceptions to this general rule of law.

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Loss of Employment and Alimony

Posted in Divorce

New Jersey’s recently enacted alimony statute deals with modification of alimony in the event the payor loses his/her job through no fault of their own.

Even though this law allows a payor to seek modification once the payor has been without employment for 90 days, there is not an automatic termination or reduction. The Court must consider many factors which are set forth in the statute, which include but are not limited to:

  1. The reasons for the loss of income;
  2. The payor’s efforts to replace his or her employment or find alternative employment;
  3. The payor’s health and how it affects his or her ability to obtain employment; and,
  4. Any severance award received from the previous employer.

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Common Pitfalls Made by Executors of Estates

Posted in Probate Litigation

Typically, the Executor of an Estate named by a Will has little or no prior experience in administering an Estate. As such, this somewhat complex process lends itself to the possibility of errors being made by the Executor or Executrix which could result in litigation. The purpose of this blog is to advise you as to some potential pitfalls to avoid if you are the Executor or Executrix of an Estate.

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Tenant’s Right to Legal Fees in a Successful Tax Appeal

Posted in Commercial, Retail & Industrial Real Estate, Litigation

In the United States, the general rule about legal fees is that each party to a lawsuit pays his or her own fees. However, like any rule, there are exceptions. In the event a contract specifically provides for the payment of legal fees, or a statute allows the recovery of legal fees, the prevailing party may apply to the court for reimbursement. There is no statute in New Jersey that allows recovery of legal fees for a successful tax appeal. The tenant may only recover the fees from a landlord if the lease expressly provides for such a recovery, or if the landlord separately agrees to pay them. As the parties learned in Crosspoint Developers v. Wegmans Food Markets, the express terms of the lease can lead to unforeseen results.

Lowes, as a tenant in a retail shopping center, filed a tax appeal and was successful in getting a reduction in the assessment. Since the appeal involved an entire retail center, all tenants received the benefit of Lowe’s efforts through a reduction in their pro rata shares of taxes.

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Commercial Tenants’ Rights to File and Control Tax Appeals: Size Matters

Posted in Real Estate Tax Appeals

Under New Jersey law, an “aggrieved taxpayer” has the right to file a real estate tax appeal in protest of a tax assessment. Tenants are eligible for this right in certain circumstances. As a general rule, a tenant under a triple net lease, one that requires the tenant to reimburse the landlord for real estate taxes, is an aggrieved taxpayer with the right to appeal.

Some leases prohibit smaller tenants from filing a tax appeal under contract law, but many leases are silent on whether a tenant must hold a threshold limit of leasable space in order to qualify. In such circumstances, the New Jersey Tax Court will generally utilize an “economic reality test” to determine not only if and when the tenant can file a tax appeal, but also who has the right to control and settle it.

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Renters and Owners: How Are They Treated by Community Association Board Members

Posted in Community Associations

Stark & Stark Shareholder Christopher Florio recently joined Ray Dickey from AssociationHelpNow to discuss treatment of renters and owners as it applies to homeowner association board members, community managers, and management companies. They discuss board meetings, parking, and access to the association recreation facilities. Check out the video below.

Another Sports Retailer Bankruptcy – Golfsmith International, Inc. Files for Chapter 11 Protection in Delaware

Posted in Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights, Commercial, Retail & Industrial Real Estate, Real Estate

Golfsmith International, Inc., a specialty golf retailer with 109 Golfsmith stores across the U.S. and 55 Golf Town stores in Canada, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. This case follows other large sports retailer bankruptcy cases, including Sports Authority and Eastern Mountain Sports, who both filed Chapter 11 proceedings in Delaware earlier this year.

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