FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 13, 2001
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ronald George, Beth Rosenberg
NEWARK- The State Division of Consumer Affairs ("Consumer Affairs") is asking all citizens who have goods stored at Urban Moving Systems' Weehawken warehouse to immediately contact Consumer Affairs, Attorney General John J. Farmer, Jr., and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Director Mark S. Herr announced today.
The State on Wednesday obtained a court order giving inspectors from Consumer Affairs access to the facility allowing consumers access to retrieve their goods and belongings. The State, at the same time, filed a lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court against Urban Moving Systems and its owner Dominick Suter alleging violations of both the State's Consumer Fraud Act and regulations set forth in the Public Movers and Warehousing Licensing Act.
According to the complaint, on or about September 14, 2001, Suter departed from the United States and left no one acting as an agent for Urban.
The complaint also alleges that Suter violated the Mover's Act by, among other things, failing to provide Consumer Affairs the name of a current contact person or agent, not adequately responding to consumer requests for access to their belongings and not having an agent available for at least 20-30 per week to allow consumers access to their belongings.
"We became aware of the hardship consumers faced who could not get access to their belongings at Urban's warehouse," Attorney General Farmer said. "By obtaining this court order we can now offer consumers access to what is rightfully theirs. Our lawsuit should serve notice that we intend to prosecute those who violate our laws and undermine the public's trust."
"It appears that goods belonging to approximately 100 consumers are stored at the warehouse. Thus far we have only heard from 36 consumers," Herr said. "We have access to the facility for 30 days so we are urging consumers who have goods stored with Urban to contact us as soon as possible."
Consumers can gain access to the facility on an appointment basis and will have to provide proof of ownership to claim their goods, Herr said.
Consumers should contact Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6442 or 973-504-6228 to gain access to the Urban facility.
A violation of the Consumer Fraud Act carries a maximum penalty of $7,500 for the first offense and $15,000 for the second and each subsequent offense. A violation of the Licensing Act carries a penalty of $2,500 for the first offense and $5,000 for the second and each subsequent offense.
Deputy Attorney General Alan R. Niedz of the Division of Law is handling this matter for the State.
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