A proof hearing took place at the Bergen County Courthouse on March 7, 2013 in a case where architect Vincent J. Cioffi of 123 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, NJ defaulted on February 25, 2013 by failing to show up in court. Cioffi again failed to show up in court on March 7th.
The proofs showed that Cioffi was retained by an elderly gentleman to provide architectural services in connection with a Zoning Board Application. The application involved the construction of a first floor half-bath to provide comfort for the gentleman’s wife, who had developed asthma and knee problems that make it difficult for her to climb stairs. The house that the couple have lived in for the past 40 years has only one bathroom on the second floor.
The proofs reflect that Cioffi took advance payment for his services, and then, after providing some token drafting work, abruptly stopped communicating with the plaintiff. At some point Cioffi promised to refund the plaintiff’s money and documents, but failed to do so.
The court found that Cioffi breached his contract with the plaintiff, in addition to violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The court found Cioffi liable for triple damages and costs.