News of the Law Firm

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2018 Begins With Victory in the Appellate Division

The firm recently achieved victory in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. In Van Schoick v. Jackson Township Zoning Board of Adjustment, et al. the firm defended the zoning board’s approval of use and bulk variance application for a commercial use. The firm previously successfully defended the approval at trial and the plaintiff-objector appealed the trail court’s decision to the Appellate Division.

The Appellate Division affirmed in an unpublished opinion. The court found that the zoning board’s findings fully supported its conclusion that the defendant-applicant demonstrated undue hardship warranting the approval of its use variance application. The subject property was so small that it could not be developed for any of the uses permitted in the zone. Therefore, the positive criteria under the Municipal Land Use Law were met because the defendant-applicant would suffer “undue hardship” in the absence of the variance. Moreover, the uncontroverted expert testimony presented at the public hearing also provided a foundation for the trial court’s determination that the defendant-applicant met the negative criteria because the impact of its proposed use of the property would be minimal on the plaintiff-objector and any adjoining landowners. Finally the appellate court found that the zoning board’s determination did not impact the municipality’s overall master plan and the zoning board’s resolution set forth a comprehensive explanation of its decision to approve the application.

The case was argued by, and brief prepared by, Christopher J. Dasti.


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Firm Achieves Dismissal in Federal Court

The firm recently achieved victory in federal court. In B.R. by Rogers v. Borough of Point Pleasant, the plaintiffs sued alleging various constitutional claims against the municipality and several of its employees.  Christopher J. Dasti, representing Point Pleasant Borough filed and argued a motion for summary judgment in United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

With respect to the plaintiffs’ failure to train/supervise claim against the Borough, the court found that the plaintiffs failed to present evidence that the Borough acted with deliberate indifference to the known or obvious consequences of its acts or its failure to act. Even if the plaintiffs had presented evidence of deliberate indifference, the plaintiffs did not demonstrate a constitutional injury. The court granted the motion for summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint with prejudice.


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Our Partner Christopher K. Koutsouris, Esquire was successful in ensuring that justice was served and receive a verdict of Not Guilty for our client in the Hoboken City Municipal Court. Our client was unfortunately charged with, among other things,  a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (DWI) despite the obvious presence of insufficient facts to support the filing of such a charge. The Defendant maintained his innocence and, supported by Christopher K. Koutsouris, Esquire, made no less than eleven (11) Court appearances over the following ten (10) months. Unable to achieve a dismissal through numerous conferences with the State’s representatives and unwilling to accept anything less than a dismissal of the bogus DWI offense, Mr. Koutsouris was left with no choice other than to bring the State to trial. Mr. Koutsouris filed a Motion to Suppress, which brought to the forefront the obviously insufficient facts upon which our client’s arrest was founded. After convening a partial trial in the Hoboken City Municipal Court, the Judge of Municipal Court invited the parties to brief the Motion to Suppress based upon the testimony presented. After considering the written submissions the court dismissed all of the charges against our client.


Christopher K. Koutsouris has been Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Municipal Court Law Attorney. Mr. Koutsouris has years of experience in the Municipal and Criminal Courts of New Jersey, and has served as either the Municipal Prosecutor or Public Defender in over 20 different courts in his distinguished career. Mr. Koutsouris has represented clients in Municipal and Criminal Courts throughout the State of New Jersey. If you or your loved ones find yourselves charged with any offense your first call should be to your lawyer! Contact Christopher K. Koutsouris of the Law Firm of Dasti, Murphy, McGuckin, Ulaky, Koutsouris & Connors at (609) 971-1010.

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Koutsouris Named One of New Jersey’s Ten Best DWI Attorneys by American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys.

Firm Partner Christopher K. Koutsouris was recently named one of New Jersey’s Ten Best DUI/DWI attorney’s for exceptional and outstanding client service by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys.  Mr. Koutsouris is a Certified Municipal Law attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court.  Mr. Koutsouris serves as municipal prosecutor in numerous municipalities in Mercer County and handles criminal defense matters throughout the state.

Mr. Koutsouris focuses his practice in the areas of criminal and municipal court defense, civil litigation, which includes personal injury, employment law, and Social Security Disability applications & appeals.

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Firm Scores Two Victories in the Third Circuit

The Firm recently secured victories in two companion cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In Smith v. Stafford Township and Guadalupe v. Stafford Township the plaintiffs challenged the promotional exams administered by Stafford Township.  The Firm, representing the township and its police chief, was granted summary judgment before the district court and the plaintiffs appeal.

The Third Circuit consolidated the cases and issued one opinion. The panel found that the plaintiffs’ failed to avail themselves of the procedural remedies available in the exam process and failed to assert a constitutional due process claim.  The Third Circuit affirmed the district courts’ dismissal of the complaints with prejudice.

Firm partner Christopher J. Dasti represented the township and police chief in both matters.


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Firm Successful in Defending Land Use Approvals at Trial

The Firm  successfully defended land use board approval of a hotel at trial.  In CT TR Holdings, LLC et als. v. Toms River Twp. Planning Board, et als. the firm successfully defended its client, the Toms River Township Planning Board’s approval of a land use application for site plan and variance approval for a hotel.

The court concluded at trial that the board considered and found substantial credible evidence to support the grant of the variances, that the benefits of the application substantially outweighed the detriments, and that the impact upon the residential neighborhood was insubstantial.  Therefore, the court affirmed the determination of the planning board and dismissed the complaint.

The case was argued by Gregory P. McGuckin and the briefs were prepared by Martin J. Buckley.

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Firm Victorious in Land Use Trial

The Firm recently won a land use challenge in Superior Court.  In Lakewood Realty Associates v. Lakewood Township Planning Board, et al. the Firm successfully defended its client, the Lakewood Township Planning Board’s land use approvals to an applicant for preliminary and final major site plan approvals and bulk variances.

The court found that the planning board properly considered the testimony at the hearing and weighed the positive and negative criteria required for variance approval.  The court also found that the board’s resolution of approval adequately set forth the legal and factual findings of the board in approving the application.  Therefore, the court affirmed the determination of the board and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.

The case was argued by Jerry J. Dasti and the briefs were prepared by Martin J. Buckley.