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Amber E.
Amber E., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1482
Experience:  Experienced practitioner in probate and succession law.
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Have a judge that awarded a judgment against me a protective

Customer Question

Have a judge that awarded a judgment against me for petitioning a protective guardianship for my father in NJ. Go figure for a man who is 86 and has Parkinsons. He is allowed the GAL 30 days to collect from me (after the final decision), but left an opening for the GAL to file a reconsideration despite being denied before without prejudice.
This is a case that has been dragged by the judge for nearly 3 years, and smells of corruption. My sister is raiding my father's savings since she is unemployed, and that is why I filed the protective order. The judge appointed a child psychiatrist to evaluate my father (which was ridiculous).
My question is: how can I get around this "without prejudice"? I never heard of a judge acting like a collection agency, and preventing me from filling an appeal.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This case is in New Jersey, United States.
Expert:  Amber E. replied 1 year ago.

Q. how can I get around this "without prejudice"?

A. Hello, thank you for your question. But, I think there is a misunderstanding of what "without prejudice" means. "Without Prejudice" isn't really something to get around, per se. It is simply the court saying to whomever has been denied that they can try again or refile. For example, if a case is dismissed with prejudice that means that it is dismissed permanently; if it is dismissed without prejudice then the case can be brought again.

It also has nothing to do with filing an appeal. The right to appeal belongs to whoever has been denied. The language "with prejudice" and "without prejudice" have no bearing on that right, either decision can be appealed to a higher court.

I hope this helps, please remember to rate my answer if so. You are always free to ask follow up questions for further discussion and more answers even after rating this one. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The judge is allowing the GAL to file a motion for reconsideration to get the money from my father's estate. This allows the case with this judge to continue, and doesn't allow me to file an appeal since the decision is not in full.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This judge already took over 2 years to decide this case, and can take months with this "without prejudice" for the GAL. See the tactic this judge is using?
Expert:  Amber E. replied 1 year ago.

A party does have a right to file a motion for reconsideration, though. It is not something the judge can prevent, only rule upon. When you feel a party is intentionally dragging out a case, it is often good practice to schedule a conference with all parties to establish certain deadlines. That way, a judgment can be rendered and appealed, if necessary.

That said, I am not sure why you believe that one cannot have a motion for reconsideration and appeal occurring at the same time. It is actually not uncommon for individuals to file both, and certainly one party filing one thing does not prohibit the other from filing the other.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Because the NJ courts usually reject appeals when the case is not fully decided. Why schedule a conference with a judge when he is causing the problem?
Expert:  Amber E. replied 1 year ago.

A judgment that can be reconsidered is one that can be appealed. Both reconsideration and appeal are options for addressing an unfavorable judgment. A case is not considered undecided or not fully decided simply because a reconsideration is pending, quite the opposite. Now, you do bring up an interesting aspect of this, which is the court's discretion to decide which cases to review and when. This is not a matter of law, though, but a matter of discretion, which lawyers really have little control over.

As for conferences, they help establish deadlines and enable better documentation of any misconduct on the part of the judge or the other party. It is often difficult to 'prove' that the judge or the other party is 'dragging' out a case intentionally without them. By establishing that set deadlines have been unreasonably extended without good cause, there is a better chance of having the judge recused or having sanctions rendered against the other party.