11 posts categorized "Law and legal news"

March 12, 2012

Former Judge Davenport Files Answer, Awaits Sentencing On Perjury, Ethics Charges

Article in the  "New Jersey Law Journal,"  - by David Gialanella Scales of justice

Responding to ethics charges that he represented Montville's mayor while serving as the town's judge, Seth Davenport admits to providing "some limited services" but denies knowingly breaching court rules or judicial canons.

In an answer filed with the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, Davenport says that when he signed a 2006 certification stating that once he became a judge, he ceased providing legal services for Mayor John Rosellini Jr., he "held a reasonable and good-faith belief."

Continue reading "Former Judge Davenport Files Answer, Awaits Sentencing On Perjury, Ethics Charges" »

April 27, 2011

Township Settles with Soussa

MES A decade-old matter has finally been resolved with the out-of-court settlement of the civil case of Salem Street Associates and Ronald Soussa V. The Planning Board of the Township of Montville, the Township of Montville, and John Rosellini.

Soussa, a Montville Township businessman, has been awarded $700,000 for civil rights violations and breach of contract, $100,000 of which will be paid directly by the township, The rest is covered by an insurance carrier.   Continue reading NorthJersey.com.

April 12, 2011

Casha & Casha - A Montville Story

Casha and casha Casha & Casha LLC has been a Montville Township-based law firm since 1980, but the partnership of Casha and Casha goes back even longer.

Larry and Debra Casha began dating as students at Montville High School and continued their relationship at Montclair State University. While clearly they knew from a young age that they were meant for each other, neither of them initially sought law as a profession. 

Continue reading "Casha & Casha - A Montville Story" »

April 11, 2011

Montville and Insurer to pay $700,000 legal settlement

Lawsuit settlement A seven-year legal battle drew to a close yesterday when the insurer for Montville Township agreed to terms of a settlement with a local developer who filed a lawsuit charging civil rights violations and breach of contract.

Ronald Soussa will receive a total of $700,000, with $600,000 coming from the insurer and $100,000 directly from the township. A tentative settlement, which awaited the insurer’s acceptance, was announced in Superior Court in Morristown two weeks ago.  See Star Ledger and Judge Davenport Charged With Ethics Violations.

April 06, 2011

Judge Davenport Charged With Ethics Violations

Seth  The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct has filed a formal complaint entitled In the Matter of Seth I. Davenport, Former Judge of the Municipal Court. 

A former municipal judge accused of doing legal work for his town's mayor while serving on the bench has been charged with judicial ethics violations. Seth Davenport, who was Montville's judge for seven years until resigning last April, also submitted a false certification denying that he represented the mayor after becoming a judge, the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct alleges in a complaint made public on Monday.

During an interview with ACJC staff on Oct. 5, 2010, Davenport admitted it was "improper" for him to represent then-mayor John Rossellini Jr. while a judge and that the certification, filed in a Superior Court case, was "incorrect." Davenport, who became Montville judge in January 2003, allegedly kept handling personal legal matters for Rosellini until at least December 2004.  See Neighbor News, Daily Record, and Star Ledger.

See previously Judge Davenport Under Investigation.

Continue reading "Judge Davenport Charged With Ethics Violations" »

March 14, 2011

Judge Davenport Under Investigation

Attorneys for Montville Township have revealed that former Judge Seth Davenport is under  Seth investigation by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC) in connection with his representation of former Mayor John Rosellini and conduct as Montville Municipal Court Judge.   (Download Defendants seek to bar Davenport testimony)

Davenport is expected to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination in an upcoming civil trial in which evidence that he committed perjury will likely be presented.

The possible decisions by the ACJC are dismissal, private reprimand or admonition or caution, or presentment to the Supreme Court recommending public reprimand, censure, suspension, or the institution of removal proceedings.

UPDATE:  Judge Davenport Formally Charged With Ethics Violations.

Continue reading "Judge Davenport Under Investigation" »

January 31, 2011

Did Judge Seth Davenport Commit Perjury?

PerjuryAnd will he invoke the 5th Amendment?  Those are among the questions to be answered when the case of South Salem Street Associates vs. The Planning Board of the Township of Montville, The Township of Montville, and John Rosellini takes place.


Continue reading "Did Judge Seth Davenport Commit Perjury?" »

December 02, 2010

Liens, foreclosure chase former Montville Mayor Rosellini

JR Former Mayor John Rosellini faces a December 8 deadline to pay nearly $36,000 in real estate taxes and interest (Download Olympia lien) concerning his former business location at 323 Changebridge Road in Pine Brook.

In addition, a foreclosure action has been filed by Lakeland Bank (Download Olympia Lakeland) and a series of Federal tax and other liens (Download Rosellini Fed Lien 1, Download Rosellini Fed Lien 2, Download Rosellini Fed Lien 3, Download Olympia chargin lien, Download Rosellini 2007 Lis Pendens) are of record. 

Along with the Lakeland Bank first mortgage, the second and third mortgages on the property are also in default.

Rosellini is scheduled to stand trial in a civil matter, in which he has pleaded the Fifth Amendment (Download Rosellini Fifth Amendment), in the Spring of 2011.

September 02, 2009

Judge Davenport accused of malpractice in Rosellini default

Montville municipal court judge Seth Davenport has been named in a lawsuit alleging legal PICT0031 malpractice and fraud (Download Davenport). The suit was filed by Dolores Kennedy in connection with a $250,000 mortgage she made in 2005 to former Mayor John Rosellini on his building at 323 Changebridge Road.  Rosellini defaulted on that mortgage along with the first and third mortgages (Download Rosellini liens).

Kennedy claims that Davenport, then her attorney, failed to obtain the necessary title work that would have revealed that she did not have a first mortgage as she claims she was led to believe. 

Davenport notarized Rosellini's signature on the $625,000 first mortgage with Lakeland Bank in October 2002 (Download Notary).

According to Rosellini's sworn deposition (Download Rosellini dep), Davenport had served as his personal attorney since at least April 2002, doing family estate litigation, matters involving Rosellini's failed attempt to lease to the building to Learning Experience, a child care center, and even handling the closing when Rosellini bought the building.

Rosellini voted to appoint Davenport as municipal judge beginning in 2003.

As a real estate developer Seth Davenport has also been a partner in Olde Towne Properties, which is seeking to expand the retail center in the Towaco Center and build residential units on a second floor.  Concerns about the sole source aquifer, additional traffic and pollution, and resident opposition have plagued the project.

Update: Davenport threatens to sue website   See Daily Record.

Continue reading "Judge Davenport accused of malpractice in Rosellini default" »

March 20, 2009

Former Mayor Rosellini denied taxpayer funded lawyers

JR Former Mayor John Rosellini will have to pay for his own legal defense following a decision by the Municipal Excess Liability fund (Download Binder2) that he appeared to have taken actions as Mayor that benefitted himself rather than Montville Township.  Municipal officials who illegally use their public office to benefit themselves are not entitled to taxpayer funded legal defense when they are sued.

Developer South Salem Street Associates claims that in June 2003 Rosellini and the Montville Planning Board improperly denied a fully conforming site plan which would have contained a child care center at their property at 330 Changebridge Road.  The very same week Rosellini signed a lease - with the very same tenant - for a child care center at his own property at 323 Changebridge Road. 

In 2004 the Superior Court overturned the Planning Board's denial as "arbitrary and capricious" and approved South Salem Street's site plan.  Rosellini subsequently invoked the 5th Amendment when questioned by the Morris County Prosecutor (Download 5-5-06 Rosellini).

The now 6 year old lawsuit is expected to be heard in 2011.