SACHIN K. SHETH VS. POOJA GOEL (C-000064-18, ESSEX 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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court ."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-3246-18T2 SACHIN K. SHETH and HARSHAD PATEL, Plaintiffs-Respondents, v. POOJA GOEL and RAHUL GOEL, Defendants-Appellants. ______________________________ Argued November 4, 2020 – Decided November 18, 2020 Before Judges Mawla and Natali. On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Essex County, Docket No. C- 000064-18. Shay S. Deshpande argued the cause for appellants. Robert S. Cosgrove argued the cause for respondents (Durkin & Durkin, LLC, attorneys; Robert S. Cosgrove, of counsel and on the brief). PER CURIAM In this partition action, defendants Pooja Goel (Pooja) and Rahul Goel (Rahul)1 appeal from a March 13, 2019 Chancery Division order entered in favor of the plaintiffs Sachin K. Sheth (Sheth) and Harshad Patel (Patel) after a non- jury trial. Defendants contend that the court's factual findings were improper as not supported by the competent and credible evidence. We affirm. We are able to determine the following facts from the record provided to us. The parties own three properties as tenants in common on First Street, Sussex Avenue, and Camden Street in Newark. Defendants, Patel, and Sheth each own a one-third interest in the First Street property, and the defendants and Sheth each own a fifty-percent ownership interest in the Sussex Avenue and Camden Street properties. At some point in October 2017, a dispute arose regarding the distribution of rent and the payment of expenses at the properties. Subsequently, plaintiffs filed a seven-count verified complaint seeking a partition of the properties under N.J.S.A. 2A:56-1 to -44 and Rule 4:63-1. Plaintiffs also pled causes of action for conversion and partnership oppression. Plaintiffs further alleged that defendants breached the parties' contract, their fiduciary duties, and the 1 For ease of reference and intending no disrespect, we refer to defendants by their first names. A-3246-18T2 2 covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and sought equitable relief, damages, an accounting, dissolution of the partnership, and an inspection of all books and records. Defendants answered the complaint and asserted counterclaims sounding in breach of contract, unjust enrichment, promissory estoppel, conversion, fraud, and partition. 2 The court held a trial on the partition claim on March 7, 2019. The court reviewed documentary evidence and also considered the testimony of Rahul, 2 The March 13, 2019 order also references August 16, 2018, October 22, 2018, and October 24, 2018 orders. The August 16, 2018 order required that the properties be "listed for sale with a licensed real estate broker . . . and sold for the highest and best offer available on the open market." It further ordered that any proceeds from the sales be placed in escrow. The October 22, 2018 order required that the defendants …

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