Cases and Projects
At the Center for Social Justice, Seton Hall Law students build critical legal and professional skills as they work together with faculty to take on real cases - and get real results - that make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
The CSJ is committed to serving the community through litigation, community trainings, publication of "Know Your Rights" materials, and organizing international human rights projects. Below is a sampling of some of the Centers's cases and projects.
In late July 2015, the Center filed an amicus brief in the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of the defendant homeowner in the foreclosure case GMAC v. Willoughby, before the Court on a petition for certification. The primary issue concerns the lower courts’ refusal to enforce a permanent mortgage modification agreement entered into during participation in the New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Program. The larger implications of this refusal to enforce include undermining of the Mediation Program itself, which was created to assist homeowners to remain in their homes and to ease the courts’ litigated foreclosure docket.
Center for Social Justice files brief in support of Petition for Certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court in a case raising the issue of documentation required to establish standing to foreclose.
Center for Social Justice files amicus brief in Foreclosure Rescue Scam case before NJ Supreme Court
On behalf of its clients – lower-income borrowers facing foreclosure – the CSJ was granted leave to appear as amicus curiae in a New Jersey Supreme Court case that will explore the rights of homeowner-victims of foreclosure rescue scams. Profs. Linda Fisher and Kyle Rosenkrans and their students in the Spring 2012 Civil Litigation Clinic (Javier Diaz, Robert Garrison, and Sean O’Loughlin) filed a brief that draws upon the CSJ’s years of experience in this area to explain the mechanics of common foreclosure rescue scams, why consumer fraud laws should regulate these practices, and the importance of awarding damages to the victims. The case, D’Agostino v. Maldonado, is scheduled for oral argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court on January 28 or 29, 2013.
The Civil Litigation Clinic recently filed an amicus brief in the New Jersey Appellate Division in the foreclosure case Bank of New York
Professors' Linda Fisher and Kyle Rosenkrans, along with their students, addressed evidentiary questions related to determining whether a lender held the mortgage note at the time it filed a foreclosure, conferring standing to foreclose. The issues covered in the brief include authentication standards for admissibility of electronic business records, as well as the admissibility of lender employee testimony in a similar case that the bank routinely failed to hold notes when it filed foreclosures.
Center for Social Justice, in partnership with the Center for Responsible Lending,
files amicus brief in NJ Supreme Court
On behalf of its clients – lower-income borrowers facing foreclosure – the CSJ recently filed to appear as amicus curiae in a Supreme Court case raising critical issues concerning foreclosure litigation in the State. Working with the Center for Responsible Lending in Washington, D.C., Profs. Linda Fisher and Kyle Rosenkrans and their students in the Civil Litigation Clinic (Prabhkaran Bedi, Michelle O’Brien, Wolfgang Robinson and German Rozencranc) filed a brief highlighting several key issues: 1) the evidence necessary to obtain default foreclosure judgments, 2) the content of foreclosure notices sent to borrowers and 3) procedures for litigating defenses under the federal Truth in Lending Act. The case, U.S. Bank v. Guillaume, is scheduled for argument at the end of November.
Center for Social Justice Inquiry Into Document Irregularities in Foreclosure Actions
Affecting Lower-Income Homeowners
On March 24, 2011, CSJ Professors Linda Fisher and Kyle Rosenkrans moved to intervene on behalf of the CSJ’s lower-income homeowner-clients into the state judiciary’s unique inquiry into “robo-signing” and other document irregularities in proofs submitted by banks in foreclosure actions. Robo-signing is the practice of bank employees mass-producing hundreds of sworn statements per day in support of foreclosure actions without first verifying the accuracy of the facts discussed in the statements or the identity of the witness. The CSJ’s brief exposed major lapses in data security at major loan servicing companies through a sworn statement by a whistle-blowing former employee and argued that these lapses diminish the trustworthiness of borrower payment history information submitted by these companies, under the New Jersey rules of evidence regarding the admissibility of business records.
Impact Litigation Clinic wins victory in Tracy v. Freshwater
Students Stuart Youngs and Michelle Ghalli briefed and argued the case in the Second Circuit under Professor Jon Romberg’s supervision.
Guantánamo – Working on behalf of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, including the case of Murat Kurnaz.
ICE Raids - Challenging unlawful immigration raids by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Predatory Lending Litigation - Information on the class action suit against Newark real estate developer.
View Cases by Clinic:
For previous case digests, please visit our Case Digest Archive.
Projects and Reports
Medical Repatriations by Hospitals Provide Controversial Remedy for Difficult Discharges,22 HLR 667 (May 5, 2013) (reproduced with permission from BNA's Health Law Reporter, copyright 2013 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)).
All Work and No Pay: Day Laborers, Wage Theft, and Workplace Justice in New Jersey - Read the report authored by students and Professor Bryan Lonegan.
Press Release 1/9/11
Seton Hall Law School Report Shows Immigrant Day Laborers Subjected to Wage Theft and Workplace Abuse Across New Jersey
Ironbound Underground: Wage Theft & Workplace Violations in Newark's East Ward - Read the report authored by student attorneys, Nicholas Norcia and Rafael Perez
Jr. and Professors Anjana Malhotra and Bryan Lonegan.
Press Release 7/27/10
Seton Hall Law School Report Shows Immigrant Day Laborers Subjected to Workplace Abuse
Ironbound Clandestino: Robo De Salarios y Violaciones En Sitios De Trabajo Contra
Los Jornaleros En El Districto Oriente De Newark
Press Release 7/27/10 in Spanish
Reporte de la Escuela de Ley de Seton Hall Muesta Que Jornaleros Inmigrantes Son Sometido a Abuso en Sitios de Trabajo
Crossing the Line: Damaging Immigration Enforcement Practices by New Jersey Police - Read the report authored by Practitioner-in-Residence Bassina Farbenblum.
Cross-Border Collaboration with the University of Sofia, Bulgaria - Working together to bring petitions before the European Court of Human Rights.
Emerging Issues in Subprime & Predatory Lending Research – Outlining the complexities of the issues involved in the credit crisis.
Haiti Rule of Law – Collaboration between Seton Hall Law and L’Ecole Superieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie in Haiti.
New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project (NJ LEEP) – Creating a college-bound pathway for urban youth.
Urban Education Law and Policy Initiative – Highlighting the challenges of an urban education system and advancing solutions.