A Motion for Summary Judgment sometimes also called a Motion for Judgment as to a Matter of Law is a relatively common motion that is heard in all types of civil cases in the Superior Courts of New Jersey. Generally speaking, a Motion for Summary Judgment requests that the court enter judgment in favor of the party that has filed the motion and decide the case then and there based on the law and certain undisputed material facts. Summary Judgment is a judgment entered by a court for one party and against another party summarily, i.e., without a full trial. The Motion can be seen as a way for the court and the parties to a lawsuit to potentially save time and money on a given case and have the entire case or certain legal issues decided by the court prior to trial. The party filing the motion (the "moving party") is essentially saying that, given these certain undisputed facts and the current state of the law, we should have this issue decided in our favor without the issue having to go to trial and having to be considered by the jury.
A clear identification of a defendant as the perpetrator of a crime is often an issue that is essential to the State proving its case in criminal court. In fact, the outcome of many criminal cases often hinges upon eyewitness identifications. A so-called pretrial Wade hearing (United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1967)) is usually required when an identification is crucial to the prosecution's case. See State v. Michaels, 136 N.J. 299, 319 (1994). A Wade hearing is conducted pursuant to Rule 104(a) of the New Jersey Rules of Evidence. In order to have a Wade hearing, a defendant must at least make a threshold showing that an arguable issue regarding identification exists in the case. See State v. Long, 119 N.J. 439, 487 (1990); State v. Rodriguez, 264 N.J. Super. 261 (App. Div. 1993), aff'd 135 N.J. 3 (1994).
There has been a fairly significant new development in the law with respect to the New Jersey Municipal Courts which will change how some cases are handled especially for first time offenders. A Conditional Dismissal Program has recently been enacted. The Conditional Dismissal Program is a supervisory treatment program similar to the Conditional Discharge ("C.D.") program and the Pre-Trial Intervention ("P.T.I.") program. All of these programs are diversionary in nature, meaning that the regular process of prosecution is diverted into a monitoring and/or treatment program for a set period of time. Typically, an individual in the C.D. program must avoid any new drug convictions and also be able to pass random drug screens. P.T.I. terms and conditions can vary, but generally are very similar to probation requirements, and require no new convictions and may even include restitution to victim(s). If the case involved drugs, then P.T.I. also would require random drug testing. If a defendant is successful in completing either the C.D. or P.T.I. program, then the charges are dismissed automatically. These types of programs are important and beneficial because they can keep an individual from accumulating a conviction on their record in cases that may be legally indefensible.
May 2014- Charles H. Nugent, Jr., Esquire recently settled a lawsuit for $290,000.00 on behalf of a client who suffered facial injuries after being struck by a baseball while pitching batting practice to a little league player. The Nugent Law client, a father who's son was on the little league team, was standing behind a protective "L screen" while pitching batting practice. The player to whom he was pitching hit a line drive toward the "L screen", and the ball struck the unpadded lower horizontal bar, near its intersection with a vertical bar, causing the ball to ricochet up into the face of the client.
June 2014- Charles H. Nugent, Jr., successfully settled a lawsuit against a large hotel and casino for injuries suffered by a Nugent Law client who suffered injuries resulting from the conduct of security guards. The case was aggressively defended, multiple security guards claimed that the Nugent Law client was aggressive and the instigator, and that they were trying to subdue him because he was a danger to himself and others.
June 2014- Charles H. Nugent Jr., successfully settled a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey and individual New Jersey State Troopers for injuries suffered by a Nugent Law client arising out of an automobile accident which occurred on Interstate 295. When the accident happened, the Nugent Law client was rear ended by an off duty Sargent of the NJ State Police, and suffered injuries. The off duty officer was driving a state owned car, and was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The NJ state troopers who arrived at the scene of the accident quickly took the off duty officer from the scene, took him to the hospital for his injuries, failed to perform any sobriety tests and failed to take a sample of his blood or urine, which would have been standard operating procedure with every other citizen in the state. The state police subsequently prepared a police report which identified the off duty officer and the owner of the car under fictitious names, which prevented the Nugent client and his original attorney from identifying the parties.