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Vitale v. Hotel California, Inc.

New Jersey Superior Court
446 A.2d 880 (1982)


Facts

David Vitale (plaintiff) was awarded a $6,317 judgment against Hotel California, Inc. (defendant), the owner of The Fast Lane, a seasonal bar open between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. during the summer. The trial court issued a writ of execution on the judgment. Vitale delivered the writ to the county sheriff (defendant), along with instructions to levy all property at the bar while it was open. The sheriff refused to attempt a levy, arguing that the request to do so during the bar’s late hours was unreasonable. Vitale’s attorney, Jeffrey Israelow, insisted that the levy be made while the bar was open. The sheriff then attempted a levy, but was turned away by the bar’s bouncers. Citing fear of violence, the sheriff left without making any levy. Israelow made further requests for levies. After one other failed attempt, the sheriff returned in August and successfully seized $714. Israelow made additional requests for levies, insisting that the judgment be satisfied in full. The sheriff refused to make any further attempts, contending that only one levy was required per writ of execution. Vitale filed a motion seeking amercement against the sheriff.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Staller, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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