ANN CORIGLIANO VS. HENRY CORIGLIANO, JR. (C-000049-19, MORRIS COUNTY AND STATEWIDE)

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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court ." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R. 1:36-3. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION DOCKET NO. A-3046-19 ANN CORIGLIANO and MICHAEL CORIGLIANO, Plaintiffs-Respondents, v. HENRY CORIGLIANO, JR., individually, and HENRY CORIGLIANO, JR., and JANET M. SANDELLI, as trustees of the testamentary trust of HENRY CORIGLIANO f/b/o HENRY CORIGLIANO, JR., and trustees of the testamentary trust of MARGARET V. CORIGLIANO f/b/o HENRY CORIGLIANO, JR., and as executors of the estate of HENRY CORIGLIANO and estate of MARGARET V. CORIGLIANO, Defendants-Appellants, and FLORENCE CORIGLIANO, individually, CORIGLIANO MOTOR SERVICES, INC., and FANNY REALTY COMPANY, INC., Defendants. ______________________________ Submitted March 2, 2021– Decided July 12, 2021 Before Judges Gilson and Gummer. On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Morris County, Docket No. C-000049-19. Andrew Rubin and Keith A. McKenna, attorneys for appellants. Respondents have not filed briefs. PER CURIAM Defendant Henry Corigliano, Jr. (Cory) appeals an order requiring him to pay the attorneys' fees of his cousins, plaintiffs Ann Corigliano and Michael Corigliano, incurred in their efforts to enforce a settlement agreement. Because the trial judge did not follow the required procedures for the imposition of a fee- award sanction, we reverse. The parties resolved a property dispute in a mediated settlement agreement, which required Cory, among other things, to close by June 14, 2019, on the purchase of five lots and the interests held by others in Corigliano Motor Services, Inc. and Fanny Realty Company, LLC or, if he failed to close on that A-3046-19 2 transaction by July 1, 2019, pursuant to a "time of essence closing notice," to sell his interest in the lots and businesses.1 Asserting Cory had attempted to change the terms of the settlement agreement in the course of negotiating the contract of sale drafted by Ann's attorney and had breached the agreement, plaintiffs on May 28, 2019, filed a verified complaint and an order to show cause seeking an order enforcing the settlement agreement, finding "the Cory Defendants"2 had breached and repudiated it, and compelling "the Cory Defendants" to sell their interests in the lots and businesses. Without issuing an order to show cause and before defendants filed an answer, the trial judge scheduled a summary hearing. 1 Plaintiffs in their verified complaint, Cory in his appellate brief, and the trial judge in the opinion state "Cory" was required to purchase the lots and business interests. The settlement agreement actually states "Trust to buy LLC, Corp and 5 lots," presumably meaning the "Trust established F/B/O Henry Corigliano, Jr. under Article Fourth of the Last Will and Testament of Henry Corigliano" ("Henry's Trust") or the "Trust established F/B/O Henry Corigliano, Jr. under Article Third of the Last Will and Testament of Margaret Corigliano" ("Margaret's Trust"). Cory and his sister defendant Janet …

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