|NEWARK – The State Division of Consumer Affairs and Division of Law within the Office of the Attorney General have filed suit against a company that allegedly took thousands of dollars in deposits and payments from individual consumers and then, among other things, failed to provide consumers with contracted-for home furniture and furnishings or delivered damaged or non-conforming home furniture and furnishings.
The lawsuit, filed in State Superior Court in Morristown, alleges that JLT Millworks Inc. and its principal, Janice Tupper, committed multiple violations of the State’s Consumer Fraud Act and Home Furniture and Furnishings Regulations. Tupper, 44, resides in Green Brook Township.
The Division of Consumer Affairs has received 12 consumer complaints to date, with consumers reporting that they collectively paid over $70,000 in non-refundable deposits, representing at least 50% of the total cost of the home furniture and furnishings, and other payments. JLT Millworks, operating at various times from Mendham, Morris County and New Brunswick, Middlesex County, advertises that it sells custom-made home furniture and furnishings, including wood flooring, beams, mantels and siding. JLT Millworks also does business as Lumber Jane Millworks, Lumber Jane Wide Plank Flooring, Lumber Jane Barn Beams, Lumber Jane Rustic Mantels and Lumber Jane Antique Barn Siding.
“We’ve taken this action because consumers did not get what they paid for with their hard-earned money,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “The alleged legal violations committed by Tupper harmed consumers and our goal is to get consumers refunds or delivery of their merchandise.”
The State’s lawsuit contends that JLT Millworks and Tupper violated the Consumer Fraud Act by committing unconscionable commercial practices and making false promises and misrepresentations. The contracts issued to consumers, among other things, failed to contain certain required language about the delivery of furniture and furnishings and a consumer’s rights when delivery dates are not honored, in violation of the State’s Home Furniture and Furnishings Regulations.
“Our consumer protection laws require full and accurate disclosures be made in contracts, including a specified furniture delivery date and the consumer’s recourse if scheduled deliveries do not occur. Consumers should always check contracts for this required information before signing the contract and paying a deposit,” said Eric T. Kanefsky, Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs.
Investigator Jared O’Cone in the Office of Consumer Protection within the Division of Consumer Affairs investigated this matter. Deputy Attorney General David M. Reap in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law, is representing the State.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.
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