Another Bite at the Apple For Taxpayer?

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
27 Mar 2013

New Jersey Tax Court Judge Mala Sundar recently agreed to reinstate a commercial property taxpayer’s appeal which had been dismissed for lack of prosecution.  The plaintiff taxpayer appealed its property tax assessment on property located in the City of New Brunswick for the 2009 and 2010 tax years, but failed to serve its appraisal report upon the City before a court imposed deadline, which originally led to a dismissal of the complaints without prejudice.  Plaintiff was given an opportunity, however, to reinstate the complaints by serving the appraisal and by making a motion to reinstate the complaint.  However, the plaintiff’s attorney submitted that he failed to diary the deadline for filing the required motion, thus providing a reason for the failure to satisfy the deadline, but such failure led to the Court’s dismissal of the complaints with prejudice.

In moving to vacate the dismissal, plaintiff suggested that it should not be penalized because of its attorney’s mistake.  The Tax Court agreed to conditionally reinstate the complaints, and held that the dismissal orders would not be vacated until (a) plaintiff served its expert’s appraisal report on defendant’s counsel and (b) paid defendant’s counsel reasonable fees and costs in connection with opposing plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration.

A copy of the Tax Court’s opinion in Garlatti Realty, LLP v. City of New Brunswick, is available here.