SHARON YANG VS. BIAO XUE (SC-000741-19, MIDDLESEX 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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court ."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-5295-18T1 SHARON YANG, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BIAO XUE, Defendant-Respondent. _________________________ Submitted November 2, 2020 – Decided November 18, 2020 Before Judges Fasciale and Rothstadt. On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket No. SC-000741- 19. Sharon Yang, appellant pro se. Respondent has not filed a brief. PER CURIAM In this breach of contract case, plaintiff appeals from a July 16, 2019 judgment of no cause of action entered in favor of defendant after a small claims trial. Judge Gary K. Wolinetz conducted the bench trial, took testimony from the parties, and rendered an oral decision. He concluded that plaintiff failed to sustain her burden of proof, which is self-evident from her arguments on appeal. Accordingly, we affirm. The parties are divorced. Their dispute occurred after their adult daughter incurred expenses for eye surgery. To cover part of the doctor's bill, defendant's insurance company allegedly mailed plaintiff a check payable to defendant for $1,185.12. Plaintiff asserted she sent the check to defendant and asked him to endorse it and pay the doctor. She then filed a breach of contract complaint against defendant alleging he "pocketed th[e] money and refused to pay the doctor." In her complaint, she sought $1,185.12 in damages because—as she alleged in her complaint—"the doctor is chasing after [p]laintiff for this payment." Plaintiff testified that defendant wrote the doctor notifying him that the daughter did not live with him and that he asked that the doctor stop sending him bills for the balance due. She also stated that three people from defendant's insurance company told her defendant had cashed the check. Plaintiff conceded, however, that she did not have proof that he cashed the check or that he had A-5295-18T1 2 deposited the check into his bank account. At trial, plaintiff offered to "go and find [the] proof." Defendant testified that he had been estranged from his daughter for years, who he said was of "full age [and] with full responsibility of her own course." He said they were "totally strangers." Defendant stated that no one consulted him about paying for the eye procedure before it was performed. He also asserted that plaintiff lacked standing to sue him, as any unpaid balance is between the daughter and doctor. Defendant explained that he never received an insurance payment with directions to pay the doctor, and—contrary to plaintiff's testimony at trial—he did not tell anyone that the money was his own or that he could do with it what he wanted. He testified that he had no recollection of receiving the insurance check. The judge found that plaintiff failed to prove by a preponderance of …

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