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Wilzig v. Sisselman

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

December 3, 1985, Argued ; March 3, 1986, Decided

A-2772-84T6

Opinion

 [*28]  [**1239]   Defendants J.D. Construction Company and Selig J. Sisselman appeal from a judgment of the Chancery Division that declared null and void a contract, dated August 25, 1983, pursuant to which Sisselman Israel Associates was to sell to J.D. Construction Company, for $ 12,600,000, approximately 180 acres of land situated in the Borough of East Rutherford, New Jersey which was under the jurisdiction of and administered by the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission.

This appeal arises against a complex background of protracted litigation involving members of the family of the late H. Jerome Sisselman. The initial complaint  [**1240]  captioned Naomi Wilzig, et al. v. Selig J. Sisselman, individually and as Executor of the Estate of H. Jerome Sisselman, deceased, et al. (C-1444-80) was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey on December 29, 1980. This multi-count complaint, filed by various Sisselman family members, involved numerous legal disputes relating to the [***3]  Estate of H. Jerome Sisselman. In part, the complaint dealt with a tract of land, known as the "Railroad Property", which consisted of approximately 180 acres located in the Borough of East Rutherford, New Jersey. This property constituted a significant portion of the site of the proposed Berry's Creek Center located in the Hackensack Meadowlands.  Prior to his death, H. Jerome Sisselman had transferred title to this land to Sisselman Israel Associates, a family partnership. This tract constituted the partnership's main asset. See Wilzig v. Sisselman, 182 N.J. Super. 519, 523 (App.Div.1982).

On August 25, 1983, defendants Selig J. Sisselman and his cousin, Martin L. Sisselman, as managing partners of Sisselman  [*29]  Israel Associates, entered into a contract to sell the 180 acre parcel of land to J.D. Construction Company. Thereafter, other partnership members sought and obtained an order to show cause, with temporary restraints, enjoining Selig J. Sisselman and J.D. Construction Company from implementing or taking any action relative to the August 25, 1983 agreement. Specifically, Selig J. Sisselman was to show cause why an order should not be issued: (1) permanently [***4]  enjoining him from implementing the August 25, 1983 agreement; (2) enforcing an agreement for the preparation and implementation of plans for the development of the Berry's Creek Center, dated May 23, 1983; (3) enforcing a settlement agreement entered into by members of the Sisselman family, dated April 16, 1983; and (4) declaring the latter two agreements valid and binding on all the parties. This action, which was captioned Selig J. Sisselman, et al. v. Alexander M. Goldfinger, Jr., et al. (C-2057-80), was consolidated with the aforementioned action in the Superior Court.

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209 N.J. Super. 25 *; 506 A.2d 1238 **; 1986 N.J. Super. LEXIS 1206 ***

NAOMI WILZIG, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, v. SELIG J. SISSELMAN, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF H. JEROME SISSELMAN, DECEASED, ET AL., DEFENDANTS. SELIG J. SISSELMAN, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, v. ALEXANDER M. GOLDFINGER, JR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS. NAOMI WILZIG, SIGGI B. WILZIG AND SONIA DONNENBERG, PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS, v. SELIG J. SISSELMAN AND J.D. CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS

Subsequent History:  [***1]  Approved for Publication March 25, 1986.

Certification denied by Wilzig v. Sisselman, 104 N.J. 417, 517 A.2d 415, 1986 N.J. LEXIS 2161 (1986)

Certification denied by Wilzig v. Sisselman, 107 N.J. 109, 526 A.2d 181, 1987 N.J. LEXIS 1773 (1987)

Certification denied by Sisselman v. Goldfinger, 107 N.J. 109, 526 A.2d 181, 1987 N.J. LEXIS 1827 (1987)

Certification denied by Wilzig v. Sisselman, 108 N.J. 188, 528 A.2d 15, 1987 N.J. LEXIS 1007 (1987)

Prior History: On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Bergen County.

Wilzig v. Sisselman, 182 N.J. Super. 519, 442 A.2d 1021, 1982 N.J. Super. LEXIS 676 (N.J. Super. Ct., 1982)

CORE TERMS

trial court, appointment, custodia legis, receiver, apparent authority, negotiated, partnership, entities, acre, tract, void

Bankruptcy Law, Procedural Matters, State Insolvency Laws, Real Property Law, Financing, Secondary Financing, Lien Priorities, Business & Corporate Law, General Partnerships, Dissolution & Winding Up, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Receiverships, Receivers, Appointment of Receivers, Estates, Mortgages & Other Security Instruments, Mortgage Formalities, Criminal Law & Procedure, Miranda Rights, Self-Incrimination Privilege, Custodial Interrogation, Foreclosures, Purchase & Sale, Governments, Courts, Court Personnel, Actual Authority, Implied Authority, Conduct of Parties, Agency Relationships, Authority to Act, Knowledge of the Principal, Apparent Authority, Duties & Liabilities, Unlawful Acts of Agents, Fraud & Misrepresentation