Gebhardt & Kiefer Family Blog http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ recent posts en-us Fri, 26 May 2017 00:25:47 -0500 City’s Delay in Abating Dangerous Condition Deemed Not Unreasonable http://www.gklegal.com/blog/city-s-delay-in-abating-dangerous-condition-deemed-not-unreasonable/ The Appellate Division recently held that a delay of more than one year in abating a “dangerous condition” was not “palpably unreasonable” because the municipality was required to publicly bid a contract for such repairs.

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2017-05-23 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/city-s-delay-in-abating-dangerous-condition-deemed-not-unreasonable/
Court Finds That Uncooperative OPRA Litigant is Not Entitled to Attorney’s Fees http://www.gklegal.com/blog/court-finds-that-uncooperative-opra-litigant-is-not-entitled-to-attorney-s-fees/ Typically, a prevailing party in a lawsuit seeking disclosure of records under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) is entitled to attorney’s fees.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.  However, the Court held in Grieco v. Borough of Haddon Heights, No. L-2876-15 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. Oct. 19, 2015) that an uncooperative litigant who rushed into Court instead of alerting the municipality to an obvious mistake in its production of documents was not entitled to attorney’s fees.

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2017-05-22 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/court-finds-that-uncooperative-opra-litigant-is-not-entitled-to-attorney-s-fees/
The Right of First Refusal for Parenting Time…a Blessing or a Curse? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-right-of-first-refusal-for-parenting-time-a-blessing-or-a-curse/ Many parents want to include a right of first refusal provision in their custody and parenting time or marital settlement agreements.  Such a clause requires a parent to contact the other parent if they are going to be unavailable to the children for a certain period.  This requires the parent to do so before contacting a third party to watch the children. 

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2017-04-24 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-right-of-first-refusal-for-parenting-time-a-blessing-or-a-curse/
Appellate Division Confirms that Personal Information on OPRA Requests Is Protected from Public Disclosure http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-confirms-that-personal-information-on-opra-requests-is-protected-from-public-disclosure/ The Appellate Division recently upheld a trial court’s determination that telephone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses of OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requestors could be redacted in response to a request for public documents.  Wolosky v. Somerset Cty., et al., Docket No. A-1024-15T4 (March 30, 2107).

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2017-04-07 09:24:35 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-confirms-that-personal-information-on-opra-requests-is-protected-from-public-disclosure/
Seventh Circuit Rules Civil Rights Law Covers LGBT Bias http://www.gklegal.com/blog/seventh-circuit-rules-civil-rights-law-covers-lgbt-bias/ In a long-awaited decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, an eight to three ruling was rendered on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

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2017-04-07 09:14:30 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/seventh-circuit-rules-civil-rights-law-covers-lgbt-bias/
Why Is Divorce So Painful? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/why-is-divorce-so-painful/ In our society, there is a great emphasis on relationships.  This includes relationships with friends, with family, and romantic relationships with significant others.  Most of us like to spend time with other people, whether it be seeing a movie, eating a meal, going to a concert, attending a sporting event, or just socializing.  Even many forms of entertainment are based on relationships.  Think about the TV shows we watch, the movies we see, the music we listen to, and even many of the sporting events we watch…they are popular because of the way the characters interact with one another, and/or the way the stories connect with us. 

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2017-03-24 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/why-is-divorce-so-painful/
Premarital Agreements For People Over 50 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/premarital-agreements-for-people-over-50/ The rate of divorce for first marriages is approximately 40-50%[i]; that number jumps to an estimated 73% for second marriages[ii].  Now consider that the majority of New Jerseyans divorcing are over the age of 50[iii].  If you are over age 50 and considering a second (or third) marriage, how can you adequately protect yourself and your family?

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2017-03-13 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/premarital-agreements-for-people-over-50/
Employer Takeaways From First Official Affordable Care Act Repeal and Replacement Proposal http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employer-takeaways-from-first-official-affordable-care-act-repeal-and-replacement-proposal/ On March 6, 2017, House Republicans offered their first official proposal for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) roll-back.  While much remains to be seen regarding the proposed draft, employers should be mindful of the following as matters unfold:

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2017-03-10 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employer-takeaways-from-first-official-affordable-care-act-repeal-and-replacement-proposal/
Can a Court Force You to Pay For Your Child’s College, Even If You and Your Former Spouse Agree Not to Do So? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/can-a-court-force-you-to-pay-for-your-child-s-college-even-if-you-and-your-former-spouse-agree-not-to-do-so/ Approximately 35 years ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an often-cited opinion in which it held "the privilege of parenthood carries with it the duty to assure a necessary education for children." Newburgh v. Arrigo 88 N.J. 529 (1982). The Newburgh court established a series of factors for courts to consider when assessing whether to compel one or both parents to contribute to the costs of college and, in some cases, even graduate school. Generally speaking, these include the child's aptitude and educational interests, the parents' financial circumstances, and the relationship between the child and each parent.

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2017-03-03 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/can-a-court-force-you-to-pay-for-your-child-s-college-even-if-you-and-your-former-spouse-agree-not-to-do-so/
NJ Legislature Considers OPRA Amendment to Limit Access to Personal Information and Alter Fee-Shifting Provision http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nj-legislature-considers-opra-amendment-to-limit-access-to-personal-information-and-alter-fee-shifting-provision/ In February 2017, New Jersey Assembly Bill 4532 was introduced and subsequently voted out of the State and Local Government Committee.  The bill would amend the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) by exempting certain personal information from disclosure and narrowing the circumstances under which a successful litigant can be awarded attorney’s fees.

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2017-03-02 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nj-legislature-considers-opra-amendment-to-limit-access-to-personal-information-and-alter-fee-shifting-provision/
Employers: Anti-Discrimination Policies Can Help You Defend Against Vicarious Liability Claims http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-anti-discrimination-policies-can-help-you-defend-against-vicarious-liability-claims/ New Jersey Courts have recently acknowledged that an employer is entitled to an affirmative defense to a hostile work environment claim based on the employer having exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct any harassing behavior. To obtain the protection of this defense, an employer must prove that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and to promptly address and correct the alleged behavior, and that the plaintiff employee failed to avail him or herself of preventive or corrective opportunities available, or to otherwise avoid harm. Courts look disfavorably toward claims where there is a policy prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, with instructions on how to report harassment, yet the plaintiff fails to report any such incidents to his/her supervisors, and instead pursues legal action. 

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2017-02-27 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-anti-discrimination-policies-can-help-you-defend-against-vicarious-liability-claims/
Divorce, Tax Liability, and Innocent Spouse Relief http://www.gklegal.com/blog/divorce-tax-liability-and-innocent-spouse-relief/ Innocent Spouse Relief can be a strong defense for a spouse who discovers a tax liability during a divorce.  That is assuming the spouse qualifies as an “innocent spouse,” according to IRS guidelines.

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2017-02-23 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/divorce-tax-liability-and-innocent-spouse-relief/
Appellate Division Broadens Rice Notice Requirements http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-broadens-rice-notice-requirements/ The Appellate Division recently broadened the circumstances under which a Rice Notice is required to be given to an employee. New Jersey requires public entities to provide employees with notice of a meeting at which their employment status may be discussed and adversely affected.  N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b(8); Rice v. Union Cty. Reg'l High Sch. Bd. of Educ., 155 N.J. Super. 64, 73 (App. Div. 1977).  Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b(8), an employee is given the opportunity to request that such discussion occur in public session.   The Appellate Division broadened this category of notice in the decision Kean Federation of Teachers v. Kean University, Docket No. A-5481-14T3 (Feb. 8, 2017).

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2017-02-22 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-broadens-rice-notice-requirements/
Domestic Violence as Portrayed in Popular Music http://www.gklegal.com/blog/domestic-violence-as-portrayed-in-popular-music/ As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, I am reminded of the claims that Super Bowl Sunday has the highest domestic violence incident rate of any day each year.[i]  Domestic violence has been a societal problem for many, many years, long before the Super Bowl was an event, and most likely since men and women began having relationships.  For many years, domestic violence was often hidden and it was rarely discussed.  Unfortunately, domestic violence continues to be present in many relationships.  However, it is now coming out of the shadows and is discussed openly as we try to eliminate it from our society.  One medium in which domestic violence is sometimes addressed is music.

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2017-01-31 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/domestic-violence-as-portrayed-in-popular-music/
NJ Legislature Re-Considers Requirement for Municipalities to Publish Legal Notices in Newspapers http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nj-legislature-re-considers-requirement-for-municipalities-to-publish-legal-notices-in-newspapers/ On December 12, 2016, the New Jersey Legislature revived a six-year-old proposal to allow municipalities and other government agencies to forgo advertising legal notices in newspapers and, instead, post such notices on websites. 

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2016-12-20 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nj-legislature-re-considers-requirement-for-municipalities-to-publish-legal-notices-in-newspapers/
Supreme Court to Alleviate Confusion Over Whether Police Dash Cam Recordings are Subject to OPRA http://www.gklegal.com/blog/supreme-court-to-alleviate-confusion-over-whether-police-dashcam-recordings-are-subject-to-opra/ The Appellate Division currently has conflicting decisions on whether police dash cam videos are subject to OPRA (Open Public Records Act).  However, it is anticipated that this conflict will be resolved soon via a decision in the case of North Jersey Media Group v. Lundhurst.  

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2016-12-19 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/supreme-court-to-alleviate-confusion-over-whether-police-dashcam-recordings-are-subject-to-opra/
What Should I Expect from Family Law Mediation? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-should-i-expect-from-family-law-mediation/ Whether or not your family law case is involved in formal litigation, it is very likely that you will participate in some type of alternate dispute resolution, usually mediation.  Even the most acrimonious cases are required to participate in mediation through the Court’s programs relating to custody and financial issues[1].   As such, it is not uncommon to attempt mediation before filing a formal complaint for divorce and, in fact, it is sometimes preferable, as it allows the clients to maintain some control over their lives while not subject to the Court’s calendar and costly, unproductive appearances[2].   

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2016-12-02 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-should-i-expect-from-family-law-mediation/
NJ Supreme Court Clarifies “Plain View” Warrant Exception http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nj-supreme-court-clarifies-plain-view-warrant-exception/ 2016-11-21 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nj-supreme-court-clarifies-plain-view-warrant-exception/ Recent Decision Provides Guidance on Final Restraining Orders in Domestic Violence Cases http://www.gklegal.com/blog/recent-decision-provides-guidance-on-final-restraining-orders-in-domestic-violence-cases/ In A.M.C. v. P.B., an appeals court considered an appeal by an estranged wife of a denial of her request for the issuance of a Final Restraining Order (FRO) and the dismissal of her Complaint under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA).

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2016-10-27 13:09:42 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/recent-decision-provides-guidance-on-final-restraining-orders-in-domestic-violence-cases/
Dividing Retirement Accounts After a Divorce http://www.gklegal.com/blog/dividing-retirements-accounts-after-a-divorce/ Recently, I met several new clients who were each divorced more than twenty-five years, and whose divorce agreements called for the division of retirement accounts…divisions that never occurred.  No one followed up until they reached retirement age and realized their accounts had yet to be divided.  

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2016-10-11 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/dividing-retirements-accounts-after-a-divorce/
How is Job Loss Treated Under the Alimony Statute? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-is-job-loss-treated-under-the-alimony-statute/ Judge Jones of Ocean County recently interpreted amendments to the New Jersey alimony statute that were issued in 2014 regarding loss of employment/reduction to income.  This gives us new insight into how other courts may treat similar circumstances. 

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2016-09-15 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-is-job-loss-treated-under-the-alimony-statute/
Lyme Disease Is a Disability Entitled to Protection in the Workplace http://www.gklegal.com/blog/lyme-disease-is-a-disability-entitled-to-protection-in-the-workplace/ A recent Appellate Division case, Cook v. Gregory Press, Inc., determined that Lyme disease qualifies as a disability under the Law Against Discrimination (LAD). 

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2016-09-07 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/lyme-disease-is-a-disability-entitled-to-protection-in-the-workplace/
What Happens to Alimony When the Paying Spouse Retires? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-happens-to-alimony-when-the-paying-spouse-retires/ One of the fundamental tenets of New Jersey Family Law is that alimony payments are subject to modification based upon "changed circumstances." That alimony may change from time to time is provided for in our statute. The "changed circumstances" standard first arose and has since evolved over many years through our case law. Generally speaking, to be impactful, such changes are expected to be permanent, or at least long-term, and not within the direct control of the paying spouse. For example, a paying spouse who quits his job is highly unlikely to obtain any relief, while one who becomes disabled from working is almost certainly entitled to a modification of his obligation.

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2016-08-30 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-happens-to-alimony-when-the-paying-spouse-retires/
Child Support Arrears & Taxes May Impact Your Passport http://www.gklegal.com/blog/child-support-arrears-taxes-may-impact-your-passport/ If you are a U.S. citizen, do you think that your right to travel abroad is a given?  Many parents or former spouses who are obligated to pay child support are often surprised to learn that child support arrears may affect their ability to obtain a passport or travel.  And many people with a tax delinquency are also surprised to learn of possible travel restrictions.

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2016-08-29 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/child-support-arrears-taxes-may-impact-your-passport/
Seven Things You Should Know About Prenuptial Agreements http://www.gklegal.com/blog/seven-things-you-should-know-about-prenuptial-agreements/ If you are engaged and considering a prenuptial agreement, here are seven things you should keep in mind:

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2016-08-01 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/seven-things-you-should-know-about-prenuptial-agreements/