On March 14th, the New Jersey Superior Court seemed to join the 21st Century by authorizing email or fax cancellation of broker-drafted residential real estate contracts during the three day attorney review period. Surprisingly, prior to this decision, attorneys had been relegated to operating pursuant to a 30 year old decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court which specified that such cancellation had to be communicated by “certified mail, telegram or personal delivery”.
The decision by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman in Conley v. Guerrerorecognized that, today, parties and their attorneys can communicate by means which were virtually unheard of in 1983. That was the year when the Supreme Court adopted a settlement reached between the New Jersey State Bar Association and the New Jersey Association of Realtor Boards, which required that all real estate contracts prepared by realtors specify that rescission notices must be made by certified mail, telegram or personal delivery.
Judge Coleman agreed that since such contracts can be drafted, modified, signed and delivered by email or fax, it makes sense that they should be permitted to be terminated in the same manner. This decision comes as welcomed relief to most attorneys, many of whom had already resorted to email and fax termination letters waiting for this issue to be resolved.
David S. Lafferty, Esq.
Kelly, Kelly, Marotta & Lafferty, LLC
25 East Spring Valley Avenue
Maywood, New Jersey 07607
(201) 368-7713 phone
(201) 368-7723 facsimile