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Another Court Loss



$46,000 IN BOGUS



Request to pay fee out of Beach Utility denied!

Susko decision possibly Friday


From an eyewitness to today’s proceedings:

Superior Court Judge Katie Gummer rendered her decision on the Plaintiffs’ fee application this morning in the matter of DeSanctis v. Belmar.    By way of background, Judge Gummer had previously held that the Borough’s submission of an Explanatory Statement to the County Clerk, without adopting the statement by resolution at a public meeting, violated the election law.  Judge Gummer had also previously found that the statement was misleading and sought impermissibly to influence voters, which also violated the election law.   The Court had held that these actions by the Mayor and Council violated the Plaintiffs’ substantive rights under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, which entitled Plaintiffs to an award of their attorneys’ fees.

The issue before the Court this morning was the amount of fees to be awarded.

Judge  Gummer spent about 30 minutes reading her decision into the record, which consisted mostly of discussing the relevant case law governing the review of attorney fee applications, the fee application submission from Plaintiffs’ attorneys, Pringle Quinn Anzano, P.C., and Defendants’ objections thereto.   A transcript of the decision has been ordered, but here is the outcome:

Judge Gummer agreed that the hourly rates of the Pringle Quinn Anzano lawyers are reasonable and consistent with the prevailing rates of litigation attorneys in Monmouth County.  (Pringle – $300 per hour; Bonanno, $250 per hour; and O’Hara/$225 per hour.)   She then awarded Plaintiffs attorneys’ fees under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act in the amount of $36,940.00, plus $1,131.88 in costs (costs are out-of-pocket amounts advanced, such as court filing fees, transcript fees, etc.).   Judge Gummer also awarded a 25% enhancement of the attorney fee award.   Fee enhancements are permitted under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act in order to compensate attorneys who prevail in their cases for the risk of taking on a case that might yield no fee at all.   The enhancement increased the fee award from $36,940.00 to $46,175.00.

The Borough had indicated in their papers that they intended to pay any fee award out of the Beach Utility Fund, to which Plaintiffs’ counsel objected.  The Court ruled against Defendants and ordered that the fee award not be paid from the Beach Utility Fund.

The Court directed that Plaintiffs’ counsel prepare and submit an Order for the court to execute.   Because this Order will resolve the last outstanding issue in this case, the Order will be final.  Once the order is entered, the Borough will have 45 days to file a notice of appeal.

Judge Gummer advised that she is now hoping to put her Susko decision on the record on Friday morning.   She will let counsel for the parties know tomorrow whether that is still likely.


  1. OLD MAN wrote:

    Maybe Matt should go into hiding?

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
  2. Joan Corallo wrote:

    David, I am taking advantage of your blog to pass along an important message. Anyone planing on mailing in an absentee ballot needs to do it asap. I just got my ballot back because once again the post office is mailing the ballot to your address rather then Freehold. The machines that scan the mail don’t know they are reading the wrong side of the envelope. I called Freehold and there is nothing they can do about it for this election. They plan on redesigning the return envelopes for the November election. So, mail your ballot right away in case it comes back to you so you have enough turn around time.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Holy smokes, 10 out of TEN. LOSER= Doherty mismanagement administration!

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  4. OLD MAN wrote:

    JUST VOTE NO…………….

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink
  5. Sign says.... wrote:

    See the sign was right. You are a loser. Do us all a favor and resign before Belmar becomes more of a laughing stock than it is. Can’t wait to hear your blame game explanation on this one thanks Ken for standing up for what’s right #dohertyresign

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  6. Hoffa wrote:

    What the over under on legal expenses. $500,000 ?

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  7. Concerned wrote:

    A right without a remedy is no right at all.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink
  8. what he said wrote:

    #1 – isn’t he already in hiding? that’s why he’s never at meetings.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink
  9. OLD MAN wrote:

    #8 I mean for GOOD

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink
  10. anonymous wrote:

    #6….all in including Salt? paying both sides of the counsel table? I’ll take the over…Belmar taxpayers are going to have to swallow more of the mayors feces and some line item will have to give [or get pushed into 2017] or we will be looking at another borrowing to add to our 48/49/50[still looking for an honest number] k debt…are any of the people voting for this crowd paying taxes? and if so, can’t they see the headlight of that train coming at them?

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
  11. joe goofinoff wrote:

    $36,940.00 to $46,175.00.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink
  12. Belmar Dude wrote:

    But the council will just continue to blindly follow Lawless Matt and keep on fighting and appeal the ruling and cost us more $$$$.

    This mayor and council are a disaster.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink
  13. ALLTRUMPEDUP wrote:

    #10- your estimate of 48/49/50 is an m, not k, as in millions. People, we can post our beefs all night long. It is time to get serious, talk to your neighbors, friend and such. Get the word out to #1- vote NO on Sept. 27th, and most importantly #2- Get Blackie and Governless out of Office. These two are both part of the huge problem. Send a strong message and let Matt know his time is limited here
    in Belmar politics. One by one, two by two, out the door.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink
  14. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    It is nice to know the best attorneys are @ 7th Avenue in Belmar …. the good Judge Gummer awarded 25% fee enhancement for their work.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink
  15. anonymous wrote:

    correction to #10…..not 48/49/50 k [wishful slip]..that’s million

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink
  16. Aegon wrote:

    Honestly, would you show up for a council meeting if you were mcdirty? I think not. Why should he subject himself to any scrutiny before the elections? The wrath of the elements would befall him.

    Get your check off lists ready, he may show up who knows? Boy scouts are always prepared.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
  17. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    I am delighted to read here in Florida the decision by Judge Gummer. Thank you all and legal giant Kenny Pringle and staff. Kenny when you left as mayor, did you ever think you were destined to be one of the best civil rights attornies in the Garden State?

    Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink
  18. Bill Straus wrote:

    Hello from sunny Florida. I am so glad to see this news, I wish I could be there with you all to watch the mayor squirm. Teddy and I have not yet investigated local politics here but we will, but it’ll never compare to Belmar. We miss you all, “the element”

    Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

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