Judge reverses Zimmer vs. Garcia ruling, colleague to hear arguments on Friday
May 22, 2014 | 2148 views | 2 2 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN -- The Hudson County Superior Judge who on Monday apparently fell victim to a clerical error and ruled against Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her husband in a civil rights lawsuit reversed her decision Wednesday night, according to Zimmer’s attorney.

Judge Mary Costello heard the case two weeks ago, despite the fact that it is also scheduled to be heard on Friday by Costello’s colleague, Judge Lawrence Maron. Costello ruled that Zimmer and her co-defendants – husband Stan Grossbard and former housing board chairman Jake Stuiver – did not respond to Hoboken Housing Authority Director Carmelo Garcia’s lawsuit by a set deadline, and thus by default lost the case.

But the mayor’s response had been filed, and on time, said Zimmer’s attorney – just to be reviewed by Maron, not Costello. On Wednesday, Costello reversed her decision.

“We learned this evening that Judge Costello granted our motion on short notice and summarily vacated the defaults against all defendants,” said Zimmer’s attorney, Gerald Krovatin, in an email statement.

Garcia’s feud with Zimmer and her allies dates to last summer, when Garcia filed a lawsuit against the mayor accusing her administration of a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” in Hoboken. The mayor’s allies had been at odds with Garcia for some time, in a struggle over management of the low-income housing projects in town, which Garcia directs as the housing authority’s paid executive director.

A judge tossed out Garcia’s case in January of this year, saying there was no evidence of the “ethnic cleansing” campaign, but allowed Garcia to re-file his other charges, amongst them political harassment and civil rights violations. Garcia re-filed the case without the “ethnic cleansing” language.

The hearing before Judge Maron is scheduled for this Friday. – Dean DeChiaro

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May 22, 2014
It seems like the Judge fell victim to a clerical error but the press fell victim to a pretty obvious hoax. Unlike Judge Costello the press knew that this case had been litigated before Judge Maron for six months. They knew the story being marketed to them made no sense yet they wrote it anyway quoting Louis Zayas's silliness about a $1.8 million judgement without even asking Mr. Zayas to explain why Judge Costello would be ruling on this when the case was before Judge Maron. At least the HR story, unlike the JJ story, pointed out that it was probably a clerical error but another way to read that is that they knew the story was a hoax and wrote it anyway which is actually worse in a way than being dumb enough to be fooled.
May 22, 2014
Hopefully on Friday this whole load of bull will be thrown out too and Carmelo Garcia will stop with these politically motivated lawsuits.

Most of the reason behind using the courts I would think is to try to hold on to his HHA job and perhaps a set up for his legal maneuvering if he does lose it.

I still have to wonder how much truth is in rumor that much of the reason is to help Christie who Garcia endorsed for Governor and try to discredit Zimmer.