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Joseph William Grather

Joseph Grather’s Answers

10 total

  • Can an Amendment to Answer and Counter Claim be filed at any time before a trial date in New Jersey Superior Court?

    We filed an amendment to answer and counter complaint two months ago with the New Jersey Superior Court clerk. The plaintiff's attorney failed to answer the counter complaint after two months. We proceed with a request for default. In response, th...

    Joseph’s Answer

    So, it is assumed that a complaint was filed against you in the Superior Court of NJ, Law Division. You then filed an answer to the complaint. An "answer" is a "pleading to which no responsive pleading is to be served." (R. 4:9-1). Therefore, R. 4:9-1 would permit an amendment to the answer if it was made within 90 days of service, and the matter had not been placed on the trial calendar.
    That being said, did the court enter default? If not, why not? If you want to make sure that your counter-claim is filed, make an application to the Court - leave to file an amended pleading "shall be freely given in the interest of justice." Good luck.

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  • I am defending myself Pro Se in a commercial litigation matter, what costs can I expect to incur to take depositions?

    I want to depose at least 3 people

    Joseph’s Answer

    In addition to the above comments, it depends on who you are deposing. If you depose an expert, you have to pay their fees to appear at the deposition. Otherwise, the actual out of pocket cost is usually limited to the Court Reporters "appearance fee." You don't have to order a copy of the transcript.

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  • What is the difference between answering "I don't know." and "I can't recall." during a deposition?

    I am scheduled to be deposed on Tuesday, 9-25-12. I have not been prepped by my attorney at all. I have read to answer, yes, no, please rephrase the question and the aforementioned.

    Joseph’s Answer

    For the attorney questioning you, it means that he's going to have to follow-up with several additional questions every time you say, "I don't recall." One of the primary purposes of a deposition is to discover the facts known by the other side, so as to avoid a surprise at trial. So, if the lawyers asks, What color was the color of the car you saw? And the response is; I don't know. The questioner doesn't have to worry about that at trial. But, if the answer is, I don't recall. At trial the person who didn't recall at the deposition, may have remembered at trial. If you "don't recall" anything at the depo, it might be difficult to truthfully say, you remembered everything just before trial. You should speak with your attorney before the deposition.

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  • Is it consitutional to pray in school?

    i need to know wether it is consituation so i can take it to supreme court

    Joseph’s Answer

    There are many procedural steps that would be necessary prior to taking a case to the Supreme Court - assuming there are facts to support a case.

    First, there has to be a 'case or controversy' for a federal tribunal to take jurisdiction (or a State tribunal analyzing federal law). Second, yet tied to the first, there must be some action for which you seek a remedy; the school (or other governmental actor) must have taken some action adverse to your client/position; i.e. said, you cannot pray in school. Third, you have to file the case in a lower federal (district) or State court. Fourth, you have to "lose" in the lower court. Then, Fifth, appeal to Circuit Court of Appeals or the intermediate appellate court (if the State has one). Sixth, assuming you lose your appeal, then the Seventh step would be asking (petitioning) the US Supreme Court to hear your case. (there may even be more steps depending on whether any of the lower courts provide partial relief, or remands etc.)

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  • NJ Law Div. What would be better for Interrogatories. If you issued two sets of 100 questions each served three days apart...?

    Or if you sent a 200 question set of interrogatories in one set? When they don't answer questioins in each bunch is it two seperate motions or can it be fused into one?

    Joseph’s Answer

    I would refer you to the judiciary website, where the Rules of Court are found. Rule 4:17 sets forth the rules regarding interrogatories. It sounds like you want to propound 200 interrogatories. Not really sure what you're asking about whether its better to send two sets of 100 or one set of 200. Either way, there will be an objection. Again, refer to the court rules, but the questions should be focused, specific and design to "discover" information relevant to the claims set forth in the pleadings.

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  • What are the codes or statues to a judgement of possession of an apartment?

    is there a law in new jersey that states that no judgement for possession shall be entered if a tenant of the rental premises has notified the landlord of needed repairs due to life safety issues of warrant of hability? Also, if a landlord has fil...

    Joseph’s Answer

    The New Jersey judiciary website has a lot of information about landlord tenant situations that frequently arise. The statute which controls is, of course, the Anti-Eviction Act of 1971. N.J.S. 2A:18-61.1, et seq. If a landlord files suit for eviction, there will be a trial before a judge, and the tenant will be given notice and an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

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  • Deposition

    What happens after deposition? Do lawyers talk about settlement? or is that before?

    Joseph’s Answer

    Again, depends on what type of litigation. Personal injury, defense attorneys probably won't talk about settlement until after the deposition.

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  • If Plaintiff objects to my motion and attaches documents to their opposing answer, can I strike the documents as inadmissible?

    I filed a Motion to Dismiss a complaint. Plaintiff opposed and attached documents to their response. I want to respond to their opposition and I want to file a separate motion to strike the attached documents as inadmissible evidence. Not sure ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    In a pre-answer motion to dismiss a complaint, a judge in New Jersey is generally required to accept all the allegations in the complaint as true. The movant is requesting dismissal as a matter of law accepting the facts set forth in the complaint as true. If the judge examines evidence outside of the facts set forth in the complaint, it may indeed be converted into a summary judgment motion, which has its own set of particular procedural rules. Additional notice, pleading standards, etc. all of which are set forth in the New Jersey Court Rules, which are available on the New Jersey Judiciary website. With respect to the particular question, I don't think you would have to move to strike the evidence submitted in opposition in order to be successful in your motion. Your reply papers would certainly point out any evidential issues with the evidence submitted in opposition.
    Good luck.

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  • Filing an ethics complaint

    Do you file an ethics complaint in the county you reside or the county that the lawyer has his office?

    Joseph’s Answer

    An ethics grievance should be directed to the Office of Attorney Ethics and/or the District Ethics Committee. All of the forms, contact information, are available on the OAE website. http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/oae/index.htm

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  • Can I use a writ of error Coram Nobis if the law changes for the better.

    When can a Writ of Error Coram Nobis be used. Thanks

    Joseph’s Answer

    New Jersey Courts moved away from common law "writs" a long time ago. The particular writ you mentioned appears to have been a device used to obtain relief post-judgment to correct errors of fact only. So, that particular writ does not sound appropriate since your question suggests that the law - as opposed to the facts - changed. To the extent you're seeking relief post-judgment, the New Jersey Court Rules provide the detailed procedural rules governing any such application to the court.

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