Ruiz v. Board of Trustees, 091619 NJSUP, A-5323-17T1

Docket Nº:A-5323-17T1
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:KAREN RUIZ, Petitioner-Appellant, v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES, POLICE AND FIREMEN'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM, Respondent-Respondent.
Attorney:Caruso Smith Picini PC, attorneys for appellant (Timothy Richard Smith, of counsel; Ben O. Weathers, on the briefs). Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Robert Seymour Garrison, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, on the...
Judge Panel:Before Judges Fisher and Rose.
Case Date:September 16, 2019
Court:Superior Court of New Jersey
 
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KAREN RUIZ, Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, POLICE AND FIREMEN'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM, Respondent-Respondent.

No. A-5323-17T1

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

September 16, 2019

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 10, 2019

On appeal from the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System, Department of the Treasury, PFRS No. 3-10-052026.

Caruso Smith Picini PC, attorneys for appellant (Timothy Richard Smith, of counsel; Ben O. Weathers, on the briefs).

Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Robert Seymour Garrison, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Before Judges Fisher and Rose.

PER CURIAM

Karen Ruiz appeals a final agency decision that concluded she was not entitled to retirement benefits because, when she applied, she was not a member of the pension system. We agree the agency applied correct legal principles and that no material disputed facts stood in the way of a summary decision, and, so, we affirm.

The matter presents no factual or legal complexities. Ruiz began her employment with the Camden Police Department on April 10, 2006; she was then enrolled in the Police and Firemen's Retirement System. Seven years later, Ruiz was injured while on duty and soon after filed a workers' compensation petition. She was still under medical treatment when the police department downsized and terminated her employment effective April 30, 2013; she continued, however, to receive temporary workers' compensation benefits.

Nearly a year after her employment termination, Ruiz underwent a functional capacity examination, which resulted in a determination that she was fit to return to work. As a consequence, on October 5, 2014, her then attorney received written notice that Ruiz's temporary workers' compensation benefits were terminated as of September 30, 2014. A month later - on November 3, 2014 - Ruiz applied for accidental disability retirement benefits.

The pension board initially granted ordinary disability retirement...

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