CP #1995-36279 Anderson v. Hill Refrigeration
DIVISION OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
TRENTON, MERCER COUNTY DISTRICT
CLAIM PETITION NO. 1995-36279
HONORABLE RENEE C. RICCIARDELLI, ASJWC
JAMES SACKS-WILNER, ESQ
FOR THE PETITIONER
FOR THE RESPONDENT
This case was originally filed by the law firm of Pelletieri, Rabstein and Altman in 1995 and an award of 32.5% of the left hand and 22.5% of the right hand was adjudicated on December 21, 2000 at which time petitioner was represented by James Sacks-Wilner. Petitioner filed a re-opener within the time prescribed by the statute.
However, the matter was dismissed for lack of prosecution on June 19, 2003 due to petitioner’s failure to proceed.
On January 9, 2004, the firm of Pelletieri, Rabstein and Altman filed a motion for attorney’s fees due to their representation of petitioner in the original proceeding.
On March 8, 2005, more than a year after the Dismissal for Lack of Prosecution was issued, petitioner filed a Motion to Restore.
NJSA 34:15-54 provides:
No petition shall be dismissed for want of prosecution or for failure to formally adjourn the cause, until after notice shall be served by the respondent on the petitioner or his attorney that unless the cause is moved for hearing within one month from the date of the service thereof, the claim will be considered abandoned and the petition dismissed subject, however, to the right to have the petition reinstated for good cause shown, upon application made to the deputy commissioner before whom the matter was heard or to the Commissioner of Labor within one year thereafter. No claim heretofore made shall be considered abandoned because the petition was dismissed under this section, if such petition has been reinstated for good cause shown, and such petition shall be deemed to have been dismissed without prejudice to further proceedings upon said petition, and further proceedings thereon shall be as effective as though said petition had not been dismissed.
Petitioner now claims that the Motion for Attorney’s fees by the prior attorney satisfied the requirement in section 54 to apply for reinstatement within one year.
I find this argument to be without merit.
The motion for fees was not filed by or on behalf of the petitioner. It was not filed in an effort to restore the matter but merely to receive fees for work done on the previous life of the case.
For petitioner’s attorney to use this motion would be an injustice to the respondent in this matter.
Since the Motion for Fees did not involve the respondent, and the respondent needs a settled time in which it can deem a matter closed to allow, a restoration after the statutory time limit is inappropriate.
The petitioner offers no good cause or reason for the court to extend the statutorily set time for restoration. There is no claim of extenuating circumstances for the lateness of the filing.
Therefore, this matter is dismissed with prejudice.
Renee C. Ricciardelli
Administrative Supervising Judge
Dated: March 15, 2006