KENDALL v. CUBESMART L.P. et al
OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Freda L. Wolfson on 4/21/2016. (eaj)
**NOT FOR PUBLICATION**
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil Action No. 15-6098 (FLW)(LHG)
STEVEN KENDALL, on behalf of himself :
and others similarly situated,
CUBESMART L.P., CUBESMART,
CUBESMART MANAGEMENT LLC,
MANAGEMENT, LLC, CHRISTOPHER :
MARR, AND XYZ COMPANIES, 1-10, :
WOLFSON, United States District Judge:
This matter comes before the Court on a motion filed by Defendants CubeSmart L.P.;
CubeSmart; CubeSmart Management LLC; CubeSmart Asset Management, LLC; Christopher
Marr; and XYZ Companies 1-10 (collectively “Defendants”), seeking dismissal of the Complaint
filed by Plaintiff Steven Kendall (“Kendall” or “Plaintiff”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiff leased a storage space from Defendants in 2010 and subsequently
discovered that his personal property had been damaged by a water leak in the rental unit. Plaintiff
now brings suit alleging that (1) on a putative class-wide basis, the leasing documents for the rental
unit included provisions which violate clearly established consumer rights under decisional law in
New Jersey; the New Jersey Self Service Storage Facility Act (“SSFA”), N.J.S.A. 2A:44-187, et
seq.; and the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 365, in violation of the New Jersey
Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”), N.J.S.A. 56:12-14, et seq.,
and (2) individually, that Plaintiff’s leasing documents contained a limitation on liability provision
which violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”), N.J.S.A. 56:8-1, et seq. For the
following reasons, Defendants’ motion to dismiss is denied in part and granted in part.
Specifically, Defendants’ motion to dismiss Count I is denied to the extent that this Count
sufficiently alleges four violations of N.J.S.A. 56:12-15 as to all Defendants, except Marr; all of
Plaintiff’s claims against Marr in Count I are dismissed without prejudice. Defendants’ motion to
dismiss Counts I and II of the Complaint is granted to the extent that those counts fail to allege
violations of N.J.S.A. 56:12-16, and those claims are dismissed without prejudice. Defendants’
motion to dismiss Count III is granted, and Plaintiff’s claim under the CFA is dismissed without
BRIEF FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The following facts are drawn from the Complaint and attached exhibits, and are assumed
to be true. Defendants1 operate a storage facility located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Compl.
¶¶ 17-18. On October 20, 2010, Kendall executed a Self-Storage Lease (“Lease”) to rent a storage
space from Defendants for a term of one month, which automatically extended each month.2 Id.
at ¶ 18; Ex. A. Kendall alleges that Defendants sent him monthly invoices for rent and annual rate
change notices, which informed him of rent increases and that “[a]ll other terms of [the] rental
agreement continue to remain in effect.” Id. at ¶¶ 40-43; Ex. D.
The Complaint alleges that Marr is the President of Cubesmart and that he set the policies
and practices of Cubesmart complained of in the Complaint. Id. at ¶¶ 13-15.
The Lease was entered into by Kendall and Storage Asset Management, LLC, which the
Complaint alleges “was an agent for U-Store-It and is an associated name of Defendant CubeSmart
Asset Management, LLC.” Id. at ¶ 19.
According to the Complaint, the Lease allegedly contains provisions which (1) purport to
exculpate Defendants from all liability including, but not limited to, liability for personal injury
claims by business invitees arising out of Defendants’ own intentional or negligent acts or
omissions; (2) permit Defendants to sell personal property at (i) private sales (ii) without notice;
and (3) permit Defendants to declare the Lease in default in the event that a lessor files for
bankruptcy. See generally id. at ¶ 94(a)-(d); Ex. A ¶¶ 14, 15, 17. In addition, the Lease included
a provision in un-bolded, non-underlined text which limited the value of the property Kendall
could store in the rental unit to $5,000. Id. at ¶¶ 109-10; Ex. A, ¶ 9. Kendall alleges that the text
of this provision was never modified in any of the monthly invoices for rent and annual rate change
notices he received from Defendants. Id. at ¶¶ 113-14. Defendants also provided Kendall with a
New Jersey Rider (“Rider”) when he executed the Lease.3 Id. at ¶ 30; Ex. B.
Kendall used his rental unit to store furniture and other personal items. Id. at ¶ 38. Kendall
alleges that he “intended to store these goods in his rented storage unit until he and his wife
purchased a new home at which time [Kendall] would move his personal property from the storage
unit into the new home.” Id. at ¶ 39. On December 20, 2014, Kendall and his wife went to unload
their personal property from the rental unit “and have it shipped to a new home in Florida,” when
he discovered that his property was water damaged and that there was a “tear in the roof of his
rented storage unit that was also wet.” Id. at ¶ 46-48. At Defendants’ suggestion, Kendall
submitted a claim under his renter’s insurance policy to recover the value of his damaged personal
property, but that claim was denied based on a policy exclusion for water damage resulting from
The Rider was entered into between Kendall and YSI Management LLC, which the
Complaint alleges was “an agent of U-Store-It and is an associated name of Defendant CubeSmart
Management, LLC.” Id. at ¶¶ 31-32.
wear and tear. Id. at ¶¶ 54, 57-58. On February 1, 2015, Kendall requested that Defendants pay
him $40,874.96 to “resolve the property damage matter.”4 Id. at ¶¶ 59-60; Ex.’s I, J.
By letter dated February 9, 2015, Defendants responded to Kendall’s demand by
highlighting that Kendall had declined to participate in CubeSmart’s Property Guard program, as
indicated in Section 2 of the Property Guard form, which stated that “[t]he most the Owner will
pay for loss of or damage to your property under this program is $0,” and that the Lease required
Kendall to not store more than $5,000 of personal property in the storage unit. Id. at ¶¶ 61-63; Ex.
K. Nevertheless, Defendants offered to settle Kendall’s claim for $5,000 and attached a General
Release of Liability for Kendall’s signature. Id. at ¶¶ 63- 64, Ex.’s K, L. Kendall did not sign the
General Release of Liability. Id. at ¶ 65.
On July 2, 2015, Plaintiff filed this putative class-action lawsuit against Defendants in the
Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, under docket no. MID-L-386715. On a class-wide basis, the Complaint alleges that Defendants violated the TCCWNA because
the Lease (Count I) and Rider (Count II) contain terms which violate the New Jersey decisional
law, the SSFA, and the United States Bankruptcy Code. With respect to these counts, the
Complaint seeks only the minimum civil penalty of $100 under TCCWNA for each Lease and
Rider, for a total of $200 per class member, plus attorneys’ fees, interest, and costs of suit. Id. at
¶¶ 97, 102. The Complaint also asserts an individual claim (Count III) alleging that Defendants
violated the CFA, and requests the “replacement cost of Plaintiff’s damaged personal property”
Specifically, Kendall requested (1) $33,904.96 as the replacement cost of the damaged
property; (2) $5,092, which represented 50% of the amount Kendall paid Defendants in rent from
October 2010 to December 2014; and (3) $1,878, which represented 30% of the moving costs
allegedly incurred by Kendall. See id. at Ex. I.
and the “cost of moving Plaintiff’s damaged personal property from Defendants’ New Brunswick
location to his home in Florida for storage,” id. at ¶ 119(a), (b), and treble damages.
On August 10, 2015, Defendants removed this action under the Class Action Fairness Act
(“CAFA”). On September 9, 2015, Plaintiff filed a motion to remand, which this Court denied on
November 19, 2015. See Kendall v. CubeSmart L.P., et al., No. 15-6098, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
156447 (D.N.J. Nov. 19, 2015). While the remand motion was pending, Defendants filed the
instant motion to dismiss on October 5, 2015.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a court may dismiss a claim “for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” When reviewing a motion to dismiss,
courts must first separate the factual and legal elements of the claims, and accept all of the wellpleaded facts as true. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009). All
reasonable inferences must be made in the plaintiff’s favor. See In re Ins. Brokerage Antitrust
Litig., 618 F.3d 300, 314 (3d Cir. 2010). In order to survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must
provide “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). This standard requires the plaintiff to show “more than a
sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully,” but does not create as high of a standard
as to be a “probability requirement.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
The Third Circuit requires a three-step analysis to meet the plausibility standard mandated
by Twombly and Iqbal. First, the court should “outline the elements a plaintiff must plead to a
state a claim for relief.” Bistrian v. Levi, 696 F.3d 352, 365 (3d Cir. 2012). Next, the court should
“peel away” legal conclusions that are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id.; see also Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678-79 (“While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must
be supported by factual allegations.”). It is well-established that a proper complaint “requires more
than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal quotations and citations omitted). Finally, the court
should assume the veracity of all well-pled factual allegations, and then “determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Bistrian, 696 F.3d at 365 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679). A claim is facially plausible when there is sufficient factual content to draw a “reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The
third step of the analysis is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its
judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 679.
Generally, when determining a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), the court may only consider
the complaint and its attached exhibits. However, while “a district court may not consider matters
extraneous to the pleadings, a document integral to or explicitly relied upon in the complaint may
be considered without converting the motion to dismiss into one for summary judgment.” Angstadt
v. Midd-West Sch. Dist., 377 F.3d 338, 342 (3d Cir. 2004) (citation omitted); see also In re
Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997).
TCCWNA Claims (Counts I and II)
The TCCWNA “does not establish rights or seller responsibilities,” itself, but “[r]ather, the
statute bolsters rights and responsibilities established by other laws.” Watkins v. DineEquity, Inc.,
591 F. Appx. 132, 135 (3d Cir. 2014). To accomplish this end, the TCCWNA provides that an
aggrieved consumer may seek a minimum civil penalty of $100 (in addition to actual damages)
against any person “who violates the provisions of this act.” N.J.S.A. 56:12-17. The TCCWNA’s
civil penalty is a “cumulative” remedy to those provided by other laws. N.J.S.A. 56:12-18;
Manahawkin Convalescent v. O’Neill, 217 N.J. 99, 125 (2014).
Plaintiff’s TCCWNA claims are organized by the operative legal documents, with Count I
relating to the Lease and Count II relating to the Rider. Count I alleges violations of both Sections
15 and 16 of the TCCWNA as to the Lease, whereas Count II alleges only one violation of Section
16 of the TCCWNA in the Rider. Both Sections 15 and 16 are intended to “collectively prevent
deceptive practices in consumer contracts. However, each section affords different protections
and may arise from different harms.” Walters v. Dream Cars Nat’l, LLC, Dkt. No. BER-L-957114, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 498, *15 (Law Div. Mar. 7, 2016). Accordingly, the Court
will analyze the claims under each section separately. As discussed in more detail below, Plaintiff
has sufficiently alleged four violations of Section 15 of the TCCWNA in Count I of the Complaint,
but has failed to adequately plead a violation of Section 16 of the TCCWNA in Counts I and II.
Section 15 of the TCCWNA
Section 15 of the TCCWNA provides, in relevant part, that:
No seller, lessor, creditor, lender or bailee shall in the course of his business offer
to any consumer or prospective consumer or enter into any written consumer
contract or give or display any written consumer warranty, notice or sign after the
effective date of this act which includes any provision that violates any clearly
established legal right of a consumer or responsibility of a seller, lessor, creditor,
lender or bailee as established by State or Federal law at the time the offer is made
or the consumer contract is signed or the warranty, notice or sign is given or
N.J.S.A. 56:12-15. This provision “establishes liability whenever a seller offers a consumer a
contract, the provisions of which violate any legal right of a consumer.” Bosland v. Warnock
Dodge, Inc., 396 N.J. Super. 267, 278 (App. Div. 2007), aff’d on other grounds, 197 N.J. 543
(2009). To state a claim under Section 15 of the TCCWNA, a plaintiff must allege each of four
elements: (1) the plaintiff is a consumer; (2) the defendant is a seller, lessor, creditor, lender or
bailee; (3) the defendant offers the plaintiff a contract or gives or displays any written notice or
sign; and (4) the contract, notice, or sign includes a provision that violates any legal right of a
consumer or responsibility of the seller, lessor, creditor, lender or bailee. Watkins, 591 F. Appx.
at 135 (quoting Bosland, 396 N.J. Super. at 278).
At the outset, Plaintiff must identify which provisions of the relevant documents he alleges
violate a clearly established right of a consumer or responsibility of a seller, lessor, creditor, lender
or bailee. See Skypala v. Mortgage Electronic Reg. Sys., 655 F. Supp. 2d 451, 459 (D.N.J. 2009);
Rivera v. Wash. Mut. Bank, 637 F. Supp. 2d 256, 268 (D.N.J. 2009). The Complaint identifies
four such provisions (in three paragraphs of the Lease) in this matter; specifically: (1) a provision
in Paragraph 14 which purports to exculpate Defendants from all liability including, but not limited
to, liability for personal injury claims by business invitees arising out of Defendants’ own
intentional or negligent acts or omissions; (2) two provisions in Paragraph 15, which permit
Defendants to sell personal property at (i) private sales (ii) without notice; and (3) a provision of
Paragraph 17, which permits Defendants to declare the Lease in default in the event that a lessor
files for bankruptcy. See generally id. at ¶ 94(a)-(d); Ex. A ¶¶ 14, 15, 17. As discussed in more
detail below, Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that these provisions violate clearly established legal
rights of a consumer and/or responsibilities of a seller, lessor, creditor, lender or bailee.
Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss Count I of the Complaint, to the extent those accounts
assert violations of Section 15 of the TCCWNA, N.J.S.A. 56:12-15, is denied.5
Plaintiff alleges that Paragraph 14 of the Lease unlawfully purports to absolve Defendants
from all liability including, but not limited to, liability for personal injury claims by business
The claims against Defendant Marr will be analyzed separately, infra.
invitees arising out of Defendants’ own intentional or negligent acts or omissions. Compl. ¶¶ 89,
94(d). The exculpatory provision in Paragraph 14 provides, in relevant part:
Neither Owner nor Agent shall be liable to Occupant or any other party for personal
injury or loss or damage to any Personal Property arising from any cause
whatsoever, including, but not limited to, interruption or discontinuance of utilities,
burglary, theft, vandalism, fire, water damage, mysterious disappearance,
earthquake, hurricane, rain, explosion, bursting pipes, vermin, rodents, mold,
mildew or acts of God, regardless of whether such loss or damage is caused by the
intentional or negligent acts or omissions of Owner, Agent, Owner’s or Agent’s
agents, Occupant or any other party.
Id. Ex. A ¶ 14. A similar lease provision for a storage rental unit was recently held to violate a
business owner’s duty to maintain its premises for business invitees under New Jersey law.
Martinez-Santiago v. Public Storage, 38 F. Supp. 3d 500, 514 (D.N.J. 2014). In denying a motion
to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim that the substantially similar exculpatory provision violated the
TCCWNA in Martinez-Santiago, the court held:
[H]ere Public Storage is under a legal duty to maintain its premises for business
invitees. This duty was clearly established at the time that Plaintiff signed her lease.
The exculpatory provision, on its face, provides that Public Storage is not liable for
its own negligence, gross negligence or recklessness, even though, under common
law, Public Storage has a duty to guard against any known dangerous conditions
on its property or conditions that should have been discovered. . . . Businesses are
in the best position to maintain their premises for the safe use of customers, and
enforcing the exculpatory provision would give Public Storage permission to be
careless -- negligent, reckless -- in the maintenance of its property. Accordingly,
the Court holds that the Amended Complaint states a plausible claim that the
exculpatory provision is not enforceable, because Defendant has a legal duty to
maintain its premises, and relieving businesses from that duty to business invitees
allegedly adversely affects the public interest.
Id. (emphasis added). I agree with the court’s findings in Martinez-Santiago. Indeed, business
owners cannot disclaim their legal duty to maintain their premises for business invitees. Here,
Paragraph 14 of the Lease similarly seeks to exculpate Defendants for personal injury claims
“arising from any cause whatsoever . . . regardless of whether such loss or damage is caused by
the intentional or negligent acts or omissions of [Defendants].” Compl. Ex. A ¶ 14.
Defendants argue that the “primary focus” of Paragraph 14 is to make clear that Defendants
will not insure the property Plaintiff stored in the rental unit, and that “[w]hile Paragraph 14 also
contains a brief reference to ‘personal injury,’ it does not purport to exculpate CubeSmart from
personal injuries due to its own ‘intentional or negligent’ acts or omissions.” Def. Br. 15-16, 1819. Defendants also point out that the exculpatory clause must be read holistically, emphasizing
that the provision includes a “lengthy list of external and third-party causes,”6 which Defendants
characterize as “clear limiting language.”7 Def. Reply Br. 8-9. However, it is unclear how
Defendants reasonably can interpret that the listing of external and third-party causes limits the
scope of the exculpatory clause; indeed, the list of these occurrences is immediately preceded by
the phrase “including, but not limited to,” which plainly indicates that the list of external and thirdparty causes is not intended to limit the exculpatory clause, but rather to set forth examples. See
Cablevision of Oakland, LLC v. CK Bergen Holdings, LLC, No. A-2767-12T4, 2014 N.J. Super.
Unpub. LEXIS 491, *11 (App. Div. Mar. 11, 2014) (“It is well-settled that the phrase ‘including
but not limited to’ is used to convey an unrestricted list of examples.”) (citing Cooper Distrib. Co.
v. Amana Refrigeration, Inc., 63 F.3d 262, 280 (3d Cir. 1995)). Moreover, Paragraph 14 goes on
to make clear that, even though Defendants shall not be liable “for personal injury or loss or
damage to any Personal Property arising from any cause whatsoever” – including the external and
third-party causes – Defendants will also not be held liable “regardless of whether such loss or
“[I]nterruption or discontinuance of utilities, burglary, theft, vandalism, fire, water
damage, mysterious disappearance, earthquake, hurricane, rain, explosion, bursting pipes, vermin,
rodents, mold, mildew or acts of God.” Id. Ex. A ¶ 14.
Defendants also argue that Paragraph 9’s limitation on the value of property Plaintiff
could store in the rental storage unit to $5,000 is not a violation of TCCWNA. However, the
Complaint does not allege that Paragraph 9 is a violation of TCCWNA. See Compl. ¶ 94(d).
Instead, the Complaint alleges that Paragraph 9 constitutes a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.
Id. at ¶¶ 103-19; see infra Sec. III.B.
damage is caused by the intentional or negligent acts or omissions of Owner, Agent, Owner’s or
Agent’s agents, Occupant or any other party.” Compl. Ex. A ¶ 14.
In short, the exculpatory clause of Paragraph 14 is effectively indistinguishable from the
clause held to violate a business owner’s responsibility to maintain its premises for its business
invitees in Martinez-Santiago. Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim that
the exculpatory provision of Paragraph 14 of the Lease violated Section 15 of the TCCWNA is
Plaintiff alleges that Paragraph 15 of the Lease, which provides, in relevant part, that if
Plaintiff defaults on the Lease, “[t]he Owner may sell the personal Property . . . at public or private
sale,” and that “the Owner may sell Personal Property, or any thereof, without notice to Occupant,”
Compl. Ex A ¶ 15, violates a clearly established right under the SSFA. Id. at ¶¶ 86-87, 94(a), (b).
The SSFA provides, in relevant part, that (1) “[a] sale of the personal property shall be public and
shall be held at the self-service storage facility, at the nearest suitable place where the personal
property is held or stored,” N.J.S.A. 2A:44-191(g), and (2) that an “occupant shall be notified”
prior to the sale of an occupant’s personal property, N.J.S.A. 2A:44-191(c)(1)-(5). This Court
finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that the Paragraph 15 of the Lease contains terms which
violate clearly established rights under the SSFA.
Nonetheless, Defendants argue that the Rider cures this violation in the Lease by including
terms which require the sale of any property to be at a public sale, but the Rider contains no such
term. Instead, the Rider provides that “If, as a result of Occupant’s default, Owner proceeds with
a public sale of the Personal Property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:44-191, such sale of personal
property shall be held at the Property, or at the nearest suitable place to where the Personal Property
is held or stored.” Id. Ex. B ¶ 4 (emphasis added). As Plaintiff correctly argues, this provision of
the Rider does not require that the sale to be public; rather, the use of the modifier “if” suggests
that Defendants continued to retain the option, set forth in the Lease, of proceeding with a private
sale if they so choose.8 Similarly, with respect to Defendants’ argument that the Rider cures the
Lease’s provision which allows a sale to occur without notice, Defendants cannot point to any such
provision in the Rider. Paragraph 3 on the Rider merely provides that: “Any notice, including,
without limitation, the Denial Notice shall be presumed delivered when it is deposited with the
United States Postal Service and properly addressed with postage prepaid.” Id. Ex. B ¶ 3. While
this provision states that any notice Defendants send will be presumed received when mailed, it
contains no requirement that a notice actually be mailed prior to a sale and, therefore, does not
unequivocally modify the Lease’s provision that sales of personal property may be made without
notice to the occupant.
Nor does the Rider’s general reference that a sale of personal property will conform to the
requirements of the SSFA cure the TCCWNA violation, as this merely shifts the onus on to the
consumer to discover that the SSFA requires that such a sale must be public. To be sure,
“TCCWNA is not triggered merely because a consumer, unfamiliar with New Jersey law, cannot
discern with certainty how far a provision extends.” Walters, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 498
at *19 (citing Sauro v. L.A. Fitness Int’l, LLC, 12-3682, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58144, *29-30
Defendants’ argument that the Rider’s provision would ultimately be construed in favor
of consumers (and in accordance with the SSFA) if a consumer brought suit misses the point. The
TCCWNA was designed to combat the business practice of including terms in consumer contracts
which, although ultimately unenforceable, deceive consumers into failing to enforce their rights in
the first place. See Sponsors’ Statement, Statement to Assembly Bill No. 1660 (May 1, 1980)
(“Even though these provisions are legally invalid or unenforceable, their very inclusion in a
contract, warranty, notice or sign deceives a consumer into thinking that they are enforceable and
for this reason the consumer often fails to enforce his rights.”).
(D.N.J. Feb. 13, 2013)) (emphasis added). “[A provision’s] language might give an inattentive
reader the wrong impression about the law, if the reader skips over . . . limiting phrases, such as
‘to the fullest extent permitted by law’ or ‘as is permitted by law,’” without violating TCCWNA.
Id. (quoting Sauro, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58144 at *4-5, 29-30). However, that is not the case
here. Paragraph 14 does not merely state that a sale may occur, as permitted by law, leaving it to
the consumer to discover that only public sales are permitted under New Jersey law. Instead,
Paragraph 14 unequivocally states that a private sale may occur: “Owner may sell the Personal
Property, or any part thereof, without notice to Occupant, at public or private sale in the manner
permitted by applicable law,” Compl. Ex. A ¶ 15, and in the separate Rider, that Defendants’ “sale
or other disposition” will be pursuant to the SSFA, id. Ex. B ¶ 2. Although TCCWNA does not
require consumer contracts to spell out every provision of law with which its terms seek to
conform,9 a seller cannot sidestep TCCWNA by merely including a broad savings clause which
acts to nullify unenforceable terms made explicit in the contract. Stated another way, TCCWNA
permits sellers to expand valid terms of a consumer contract so that they extend to the fullest
degree allowed by law. But sellers cannot include invalid terms, discouraging consumers from
exercising their clearly established rights and, at the same time, avoid liability under TCCWNA
by including general assurances that those terms of the consumer contract would only be exercised
in compliance with applicable law.
See Walters, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 498 at *13 (“[T]he Legislature intended to
prevent and remediate the inclusion or omission of certain confusing or illegal provisions that deny
a consumer of his or her rights or remedies, or that obscure those rights or remedies. Nowhere in
the statutory text or the legislative history is the requirement of the seller to explain every nuance
of New Jersey law.”).
Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim that the provisions of
Paragraph 15 of the Lease allowing private sales without notice violated Section 15 of the
TCCWNA is denied.
Plaintiff alleges that Paragraph 17 of the Lease, which provides that if Plaintiff files for
bankruptcy Defendants may “declare this Lease to be in default and pursue the rights and remedies
in Paragraph 15,” Compl. Ex. A ¶ 17, constitutes an ipso facto clause in violation of the Bankruptcy
Code, 11 U.S.C. § 365. Id. at ¶¶ 88, 94(c). The Bankruptcy Code provides that an unexpired lease
of a bankruptcy debtor:
may not be terminated or modified, and any right or obligation under such contract
or lease may not be terminated or modified, at any time after the commencement
of the case solely because of a provision in such contract or lease that is conditioned
on-- . . . (B) the commencement of a case under this title[.]
11 U.S.C. § 365(e)(1); see In re Woskob, 305 F.3d 177, 184-85 (3d Cir. 2002), cert. denied, 538
U.S. 961 (2003); In re Rickel Home Ctrs., Inc., 209 F.3d 291, 298 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 531 U.S.
873 (2000); In re Am. Home Mortg. Holdings, Inc., 388 B.R. 69, 78 (Bankr. D. Del. 2008). The
Court finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that the paragraph 17 of the Lease contains terms
which violates a clearly established consumer right or the responsibility of a seller, lessor, creditor,
lender, or bailee under the Bankruptcy Code.10
Defendants argue that there is no consumer right at issue with respect to this provision,
since the filing of a bankruptcy petition operates to create a bankruptcy estate, 11 U.S.C. § 541,
and, therefore, any “right” implicated by this provision of the Lease would belong to the
bankruptcy estate and not Plaintiff as the debtor. However, TCCWNA places a dual prohibition
on consumer contracts, forbidding consumer contracts from containing either “any provision that
violates any clearly established legal right of a consumer or responsibility of a seller, lessor,
creditor, lender or bailee.” N.J.S.A. 56:12-15 (emphasis added). Therefore, even if this Court
were to hold that any enforcement of this right would have to be asserted by the debtor/consumer’s
prospective bankruptcy estate, that does not relieve Defendants of the responsibility to refrain from
offering contracts containing ipso facto provisions to consumers.
Nevertheless, Defendants argue that Paragraph 17 only provides that, in the event that
Plaintiff files a bankruptcy petition, Defendants “may” at their “option” “declare this Lease to be
in default and pursue the rights and remedies in Paragraph 15.” Compl. Ex. A ¶ 17 (emphasis
added). Paragraph 15, in turn, provides that upon a declaration of default, Paragraph 15 of the
Lease Agreement then provides that Defendants “may . . . terminate this Lease in the manner
provided by law. . . .” Id. Ex. A at ¶ 15 (emphasis added). When read in tandem, Defendants
argue this Paragraph does not contain an ipso facto clause because it does not provide for the
“automatic” termination of the Lease, but merely purports to empower Defendants to declare a
default if Plaintiff files a bankruptcy petition and Defendants seek to terminate the Lease “in a
manner provided by law.” The Court disagrees.
Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code recognizes no distinction between clauses which
provide an “option” to hold a contract in default and ones which “automatically” work a default in
the event of a bankruptcy filing, since the end result of either is effectively equivalent, that is, the
contract would be modified by virtue of the bankruptcy filing, in violation of Section 365, even if
Defendants take no action to exercise their purported option. See In re Blakeley, 363 B.R. 225,
231 n.8 (Bankr. D. Utah 2007) (“A contract provision which permits a creditor to declare a
contract in default by virtue of the other party’s insolvency or bankruptcy is generally referred to
as an ipso facto clause. The Bankruptcy Code prevents the operation of contract ipso facto clauses
at 11 U.S.C. §§ 541(c), 363(l) and 365(e).”) (emphasis added); see also Coastal Fed. Credit Union
v. Hardiman, 398 B.R. 161, 166 n.1 (E.D.N.C. 2008); In re Jones, 397 B.R. 775, 790 (S.D. W. Va.
2008), aff’d, 591 F.3d 308 (4th Cir. 2010). Indeed, the legislative history of Section 365 negates
Defendants’ attempt to limit the Code’s prohibition to only those clauses which require
“automatic” termination of a contract in the event of a bankruptcy filing: “Subsection (e)
invalidates ipso factor [sic] or bankruptcy clauses. These clauses, protected under present law,
automatically terminate the contract or lease, or permit the other contracting party to terminate
the contract or lease, in the event of bankruptcy.” In re Rose, 21 B.R. 272, 276 (Bankr. D.N.J.
1982) (quoting House Report No. 95-959, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. 348-9 (1977)) (citing Senate
Report No. 95-989, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 59 (1978)) (emphasis added); see also In re Tobago Bay
Trading Co., 112 B.R. 463, 467 n.4 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 1990) (“Ipso facto clauses automatically
terminate the lease or permit the lessor to terminate, at his option, in the event of bankruptcy or
some other insolvency event.”). Moreover, as with Paragraph 15’s savings clause, this TCCWNA
violation cannot be cured by the inclusion of the savings language that Defendants may only seek
to terminate the Lease “in a manner provided by law,” leaving it to consumers to discover that the
ipso facto clause of the Lease is prohibited by the Bankruptcy Code.
Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim that the ipso facto provision
in Paragraph 17 of the Lease violated Section 15 of the TCCWNA is denied.
Section 16 of the TCCWNA
Section 16 of the TCCWNA provides, in relevant part, that:
No consumer contract, notice or sign shall state that any of its provisions is or may
be void, unenforceable or inapplicable in some jurisdictions without specifying
which provisions are or are not void, unenforceable or inapplicable within the State
of New Jersey; provided, however, that this shall not apply to warranties.
N.J.S.A. 56:12-16. As the New Jersey Supreme Court has explained, this provision requires a
consumer contract, notice, or sign to “clearly identify which provisions are void, inapplicable, or
unenforceable in New Jersey.” Shelton v. Restaurant.com, Inc., 214 N.J. 419, 427 (2013). “In
other words, a contract or notice cannot simply state in a general, nonparticularized fashion that
some of the provisions of the contract or notice may be void, inapplicable, or unenforceable in
some states.” Id. at 427-28.
Following Shelton, a number of federal and state courts have grappled with Section 16 to
determine when the inclusion of so-called “savings” language, such as “where permitted by law,”
“maximum amount allowed by law,” or “unless prohibited by law,” trigger Section 16’s
specification requirement by “stat[ing] that any of [a consumer contract, notice, or sign’s]
provisions is or may be void, unenforceable or inapplicable in some jurisdictions.” N.J.S.A. 56:1216. These decisions have interpreted and refined the contours of Section 16 in two important ways.
First, Section 16’s specification requirement is only implicated when a consumer contract,
notice, or sign is or may be used in multiple jurisdictions. See Walters, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub.
LEXIS 498 at *16 (“If a consumer contract is or may be used in multiple jurisdictions and
expressly states that any of its provisions are or may be void, unenforceable, or inapplicable in
certain of those jurisdictions, the contract must specify how these provisions are void,
unenforceable, or inapplicable in New Jersey.”).
In contrast, Section 16’s specification
requirement is not implicated where the consumer contract, notice, or sign at issue is drafted
specifically for use in New Jersey and controlled by New Jersey law. Castro v. Sovran Self
Storage, Inc., 114 F. Supp. 3d 204, 213 (D.N.J. 2015). Cf. Martinez-Santiago, 38 F. Supp. 3d at
511. This interpretation of Section 16 logically flows from the fact that, where a contract is drafted
specifically for use in New Jersey, there is no need to explain which provisions may or may not be
enforceable under New Jersey law because requiring such a specification would be redundant.
Indeed, when the contract, notice, or sign is a New Jersey-specific document, the savings language
merely “operates as a severability clause, protecting the remainder of the contract should some
portion of it be declared void or unenforceable.” Castro, 114 F. Supp. 3d at 213.
Second, where savings language merely represents an “attempt by the drafter to conform
to New Jersey laws,” Section 16’s specification requirement is not triggered. See Martina v. LA
Fitness Int’l, LLC, No. 12-2063, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125209, at *10-11 (D.N.J. Sept. 4, 2012).
However, where the savings provision could be interpreted to imply that some terms of the contract
may be unenforceable in some jurisdictions, courts have found such provisions trigger the
specification requirement even though they do not expressly use the “magic words” contained in
Section 16, i.e., that some provisions “may be void, unenforceable or inapplicable in some
jurisdictions.” See Gomes v. Extra Space Storage, Inc., No. 13-0929, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
41512, *19-20 (D.N.J. Mar. 31, 2015); Martinez-Santiago, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 511. As one court
Although Defendant is technically correct that the language does not expressly
state, in a simple, declarative sentence, that some provisions may be invalid under
state law, the savings clause necessarily implies that assertion by describing the
consequences of that reality. Defendant cannot escape the dictates of N.J.S.A.
56:12-16 by drafting a conditional sentence rather than a declarative one about the
validity or enforceability of certain terms and proceeding directly to the
implications of that circumstance.
Martinez-Santiago, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 511. In other words, a consumer contract need not
unequivocally express that some provisions may be unenforceable to trigger the specification
requirement of Section 16 – savings language which implies that some of its provisions may be
unenforceable is sufficient to “state” that some of its terms are or may be unenforceable in some
jurisdictions under Section 16.11
The Court notes that while courts are in agreement that a contract that “implies” that its
terms are unenforceable in any jurisdiction triggers Section 16’s specification requirement, there
is some disagreement regarding how such an implication is stated. Compare Martinez-Santiago,
38 F. Supp. 3d at 511 (finding that phrase “If any provision of this Lease/Rental Agreement shall
be invalid or prohibited under [the law of the state where the rental property is located], such
provision shall be ineffective only to the extent of such prohibition or invalidity” sufficiently
implied unenforceability in some jurisdictions so as to trigger Section 16), with Greenberg v.
Mahwah Sales and Services, Inc., Dkt. No. BER-L-6105-15 at *7 (Law Div. Jan. 8, 2016) (Wilson,
J.) (“The phrase ‘unless prohibited by law’ does not offend TCCWNA because it does not state
that the provision’s enforceability varies by state.”); Barbarino v. Paramus Ford, Inc., Dkt. No’s.
BER-L-2856-15; BER-L-3010-15, 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2197, *10 (Law Div. Sept. 11,
Based on the foregoing, this Court holds that to state a claim under Section 16 of the
TCCWNA, a plaintiff must allege three elements: (1) the existence of consumer contract, notice,
or sign that is or may be used in multiple jurisdictions; (2) which states, either expressly or
implicitly, that any of its provisions may be void, unenforceable, or inapplicable in some
jurisdictions; and, (3) that the consumer contract, notice, or sign fails to specify which provisions
are or are not void, unenforceable, or inapplicable in New Jersey.12 Applying this test to the matter
at hand, this Court holds that Plaintiff has failed to allege a violation of N.J.S.A. 56:12-16.
First, with respect to the Lease (Count I), Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged the first and third
elements of his Section 16 claim. Like the lease in Martinez-Santiago, the Lease in this matter is
a consumer contract which contemplates use in multiple jurisdictions. Compare Compl. Ex. A ¶
23 (“This Lease shall be governed by and construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of
the state where the Property is located.”), with Martinez-Santiago, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 511
(“Lease/Rental Agreements shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the
2015) (Wilson, J.) (“The phrase ‘unless prohibited by law’ does not explicitly or impliedly state
that the provisions may be invalid under New Jersey law.”), appeal docketed, No.’s A-795-15; A796-15.
The parties also dispute whether a fourth element is required -- that one or more of the
provisions of the consumer contract, notice, or sign is alleged to be void, unenforceable, or
inapplicable in New Jersey. However, a plain reading of Section 16 of the TCCWNA indicates
that when a consumer contract states that any of its provisions may be void, unenforceable, or
inapplicable in some jurisdiction, it is required to then specify “which provisions are or are not
void, unenforceable or inapplicable within the State of New Jersey[.]” N.J.S.A. 56:12-16
(emphasis added). Thus, it would appear that even if every term of consumer contract is
enforceable in New Jersey, if the contract states (explicitly or implicitly) that some terms may not
be enforceable in some jurisdictions, it must also state that all of its terms are enforceable in New
Jersey to satisfy Section 16. Nevertheless, even if this were an element of Plaintiff’s claim, he has
clearly satisfied it by alleging that several provisions of the Lease are not enforceable under New
Jersey law. See supra Sec. III.A.i.
state in which the Premises are located.”). And the Lease fails to specify anywhere which terms
are or are not void, unenforceable, or inapplicable in New Jersey.
However, with respect to the second element, Plaintiff has only identified one provision
which “state[s],” either expressly or implicitly, that any of its provisions may be void,
unenforceable, or inapplicable in some jurisdictions. The Complaint identifies five provisions of
the Lease that Plaintiff alleges trigger Section 16 of the TCCWNA:
“Upon the occurrence of any such default by Occupant, Owner may, in addition to
and in lieu of any other remedies set forth herein or otherwise available at law or
in equity, terminate this Lease in the manner provided by law.” Compl. ¶ 96(a),
Ex. A ¶ 15 (emphasis added);
CubeSmart “may sell the Personal Property . . . at public or private sale in the
manner permitted by applicable law.” Id. at ¶ 96(b), Ex. A ¶ 15 (emphasis added);
“Nothing set forth herein shall limit or prejudice the right of Owner to provide for
and obtain as damages, by reason of a default under this lease, the maximum
amount of damages allowed by applicable law in effect at the time when such
default occurs.” Id. at ¶ 96(c), Ex. A ¶ 15 (emphasis added);
Any property remaining in the storage space after termination of a lease will be
deemed abandoned and may either be retained by CubeSmart “or sold in the manner
provided in Paragraph 15 or as otherwise permitted by applicable law.” Id. at ¶
96(d), Ex. A ¶ 16 (emphasis added); and
“To the extent permitted by law, Owner and Occupant each waives its right to trial
by jury in any proceeding. . . .” Id. at ¶ 96(e), Ex. A ¶ 28 (emphasis added).
Each of the complained of provisions above does not expressly state, or even imply, that the terms
of the Lease may not be enforceable in any jurisdiction and, therefore, do not trigger the
specification requirement of N.J.S.A. 56:12-16. Instead, these savings clauses merely represent
an “attempt by the drafter to conform to New Jersey laws.” Martina, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
125209 at *10-11. The phrases “or otherwise available at law or in equity” and “or as otherwise
permitted by applicable law,” as used in Paragraphs 15 and 16, represent an effort to ensure that
Defendants reserve their rights, in addition to those explicitly set forth in the Lease, that
Defendants might otherwise possess under applicable law (i.e., to defeat any attempt to limit
Defendants to just the rights and remedies explicitly stated in the Lease under an exclusio alterius
argument). The phrase “in the manner permitted by applicable law,” as used in Paragraph 15,
represents an effort to incorporate ancillary requirements under applicable law, which are not
spelled out in the Lease. The phrase “allowed by applicable law,” as used in Paragraph 15 to
qualify the maximum value of damages that Defendants are permitted to seek, merely ensures that
Defendants always reserve the right to seek the highest amount permissible available in the
applicable jurisdiction. Finally, the phrase “[t]o the extent permitted by law,” as used in Paragraph
16 to limit the parties’ waiver of the right to trial by jury, acts to ensure that all such rights that
may be waived in a jurisdiction are so waived. See Walters, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 498,
*26-27 (finding no violation of Section 16 for provisions which provided “You and we reject PIP,
medical payments, no-fault and uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage, where permitted
by law,” because “Section 16 of TCCWNA does not obligate [Defendant] to provide a consumer
with a complete dissertation of New Jersey PIP law.”).
Second, with respect to the Rider (Count II), Plaintiff alleges Section 16 is triggered by the
provision that states: “[i]n the event Occupant is in default under the Lease and Owner, if permitted
by law, proceeds with an auction of Occupant’s Personal Property, Occupant shall pay an auction
fee in the amount of $95.00, in addition to all other reasonable costs of sale.” Compl. ¶ 101, Ex.
B ¶ 7(D) (emphasis added). Importantly, however, the Rider is a New Jersey-specific document
(albeit one attached to a multi-jurisdictional contract). Thus, this provision instead acts like a
severability clause, protecting the remaining clauses of the Rider in the event that a local ordinance
or municipal code provision might prohibit auctions or auction fees. See Castro, 114 F. Supp. 3d
at 213. Therefore, this language does not implicate Section 16’s specification requirement.
Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted with respect to (1) those aspects of
Count I of the Complaint which assert a violation of N.J.S.A. 56:12-16 (Compl. ¶¶ 95-96), and (2)
Count II of the Complaint.
Plaintiff’s claims alleging violations of N.J.S.A. 56:12-16 are
dismissed without prejudice.13
Consumer Fraud Act Claim (Count III)
In Count III of the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated the CFA based on
the Lease’s $5,000 storage limitation having been set forth in an improper typeface. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that Paragraph 9 of the Lease provides – in 8 point font, non-bolded, and nonunderlined text – that “Occupant shall not store any Personal Property in the Space with a total
value in excess of $5,000.00 without prior written consent of owner.” Compl. ¶¶ 109-10; Ex. A ¶
9. However, in 2013, after Plaintiff executed the Lease, the New Jersey Legislature amended the
SSFA to require that liability limitations like the one contained in Paragraph 9 of the Lease be
“printed in bold type or underlined in the rental agreement.” N.J.S.A. 2A:44-193, L. 2013, c. 128,
§ 3, eff. Aug. 9, 2013. Therefore, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants engaged in “unlawful conduct”
by renewing the terms of the Lease after August 2013 without updating the typeface of Paragraph
9 to comply with the bold/underlining requirement set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:44-193. Compl. ¶¶
113-14, 118. Defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to sufficiently plead a violation of the CFA
by failing to allege unlawful conduct by Defendants and a causal connection between any unlawful
conduct and his ascertainable loss.
The Court notes that there is an appeal pending in the state courts of New Jersey that
concerns the application of Section 16 of the TCCWNA. See Barbarino, No.’s A-795-15; A-79615. In the event that the New Jersey Supreme Court provides a different interpretation of the
TCCWNA during the pendency of this case, under which Plaintiff’s Section 16 claims would be
sufficient, Plaintiff may seek leave to file an amended complaint to re-assert his claims that the
savings clauses contained in the Lease and Rider violate Section 16 of the TCCWNA.
A CFA claim requires a plaintiff to establish three elements: (1) unlawful conduct by
defendant; (2) an ascertainable loss by plaintiff; and (3) a causal relationship between the unlawful
conduct and the ascertainable loss. Myska v. New Jersey Mfrs. Ins. Co., 440 N.J. Super. 458, 484
(App. Div.) (quoting Zaman v. Felton, 219 N.J. 199, 222 (2014)), certif. granted, 223 N.J. 551
(2015); see also Gotthelf v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., 525 F. Appx. 94, 103 (3d Cir. 2013)
(quoting Gonzalez v. Wilshire Credit Corp., 207 N.J. 557, 576 (2011)). Even assuming, without
deciding, that Defendants engaged in “unlawful conduct,” as that term is defined in N.J.S.A. 56:82, by failing to update the bolding/underlining of Paragraph 9 of the Lease after August 2013 to
comply with N.J.S.A. 2A:44-193, Plaintiff has failed to allege a causal connection between
Defendants’ allegedly unlawful conduct and his ascertainable loss. “[T]he CFA requires a
consumer to prove that the loss is attributable to the conduct that the CFA seeks to punish by
including a limitation expressed as a causal link.” Bosland v. Warnock Dodge, Inc., 197 N.J. 543,
555 (2009) (citations omitted). “[A] plaintiff must establish ‘the extent of any ascertainable loss,
particularly proximate to a misrepresentation or unlawful act of the defendant condemned by the
[Act].’” Meshinsky v. Nichols Yacht Sales, Inc., 110 N.J. 464, 473 (1988) (quoting Ramanadham
v. N.J. Mfrs. Co., 188 N.J. Super. 30, 33 (App. Div. 1982)). “In other words, the alleged unlawful
practice must be a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s ascertainable loss.” Marcus v. BMW of N.
Am., LLC, 687 F.3d 583, 606 (3d Cir. 2012).
Plaintiff alleges his ascertainable loss is the value of his personal property and moving
costs. Compl. ¶ 119(a), (b). However, with respect to the value of his personal property, Plaintiff
has failed to allege how this loss is causally connected to the alleged unlawful conduct. Plaintiff
does not allege that he would not have stored the property in the rental unit after August 2013 had
the Lease been properly updated, or that he would have sought written consent from Defendants
to store (or continue to store) personal property with a value in excess of $5,000, or even whether
he would have opted to participate in the Cubesmart Property Guard Program. Moreover, with
respect to the moving costs, Plaintiff alleges that he was already moving his personal property
when he discovered the water damage; indeed, as Plaintiff alleges, he first “noticed” his personal
property “was wet” “[a]fter [he] began to unload the rented storage unit” to “move their personal
property out and have it shipped to a new home in Florida.” Id. at ¶¶ 39, 46-47. Therefore, Plaintiff
would have incurred these moving costs regardless of whether the Lease was updated or not.
Accordingly, Count III of the Complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
Individual Liability of Defendant Marr.
Finally, Defendants move to dismiss all of the Counts of the Complaint insofar as they are
asserted against Defendant Marr individually, arguing that Marr is not subject to the TCCWNA
because Plaintiff’s contract was executed with CubeSmart and Marr is not a party to that contract.
In response, Plaintiff argues that he has alleged that Marr is a seller, lessor, creditor, lender, or
bailee and, therefore, Defendants’ motion should be denied.
With respect to individual liability, although the TCCWNA was enacted for “broad
remedial purposes” similar to those underling the CFA, the TCCWNA does not contain a similarly
expansive definition of a “person,” as appears in N.J.S.A. 56:8-1(d), which courts have interpreted
as providing sufficient statutory authority for the imposition of individual liability under the CFA
without the need to engage in an piercing-the-corporate-veil analysis when considering individual
liability in connection with the alleged unlawful activity of a business entity. See Allen v. V & A
Bros., Inc., 208 N.J. 114, 131 (2011); see also Ceballo v. Mac Tools, Inc., No. 11-4634, 2011 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 114955, *10-11 (D.N.J. Oct. 5, 2011). Whereas the CFA prohibits “persons” from
engaging in consumer fraud, the TCCWNA’s prohibition focuses specifically on sellers, lessors,
creditors, lenders, and bailees. N.J.S.A. 56:12-15. Here, while Plaintiff’s allegations groups Marr
together with the other Defendants collectively in the Complaint, Compl. ¶ 91, the Complaint is
clear that Plaintiff leased the rental unit from U-Store-It, “an associated name of Defendant
CubeSmart Asset Management, LLC.” Id. at ¶ 19. The allegations that are specific to Marr allege
only that Marr is the President of Cubesmart, id. at ¶ 13, and that Marr set the policies and practices
of Cubesmart complained of in the Complaint. Id. at ¶¶ 14-15. These allegations are not sufficient
to hold Marr personally liable under the TCCWNA. Nor has Plaintiff alleged sufficient facts that
would allow this Court to pierce the corporate veil and hold Marr responsible for the actions of the
other corporate defendants. See Circuit Lighting, Inc. v. Progressive Prods., No. 12-5612, 2013
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119810, *15-16 (D.N.J. Aug. 23, 2013). Accordingly, all Plaintiff’s claims
against Marr are dismissed without prejudice.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendants’ motion to dismiss is denied in part and granted in
Dated: April 21, 2016
/s/ The Honorable Freda L. Wolfson
United States District Judge
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