Parole Evidence and Consumer Fraud

The defendant’s claim that the plaintiff is barred by the ‘parole evidence rule’ is without merit. The current case has nothing to do with the terms and the contents of the agreement between the parties. The issue is the conduct of the defendants after the default on the agreement and GEMB obligation under the UCC and the Consumer Fraud Act. The court in Slowinski v. Valley National Bank 264 N.J.Super 172 (App.Div 1993) accepts this basic concept. If the defendant’s position was adopted the Slowinski holding would, effectively, be overruled. What does parole have to do with wrongful repossession? The alleged parole evidence does not fall within the definition of parole.

It is only after the meaning of the contract is discerned that the parole evidence rule comes into play to prohibit the introduction of extrinsic evidence to vary the terms of the contract. Conway v. 287 Corporate Ctr. Associates, 187 N.J. 259, 270 (2006). Even if the court were to apply the parole evidence rule to the facts here they fall within the fraud exception.

The plaintiff’s version of the events, which is what defendants seek to interdict, falls squarely within the exception to the parole evidence rule for evidence, which establishes that the execution of the contract was procured by fraud. Filmlife, Inc. v. Mal “Z” Ena, Inc., 251 N.J.Super. 570, 573, 598 A.2d 1234 (App.Div.1991). That was the very purpose of the plaintiff’s testimony and it was not parole evidence at all. Wanetick v. Gateway 318 N.J.Super. 156, 159 (App.Div 1999).

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