- State Superior Court Judge Catherine M.
Langlois has issued a Final Judgment by Default
and Order against a now defunct Chester-based
wedding photography company and its principal,
which includes a deadline for the Division
of Consumer Affairs’ distribution of
impounded merchandise to affected couples.
Former customers of Celebration
Studios have until January 13, 2010 to claim
their merchandise from the Division of Consumer
Affairs, under terms of the court’s
judgment and order. To date, the Division
has returned merchandise to 1,058 consumers
and is in the process of returning merchandise
to an additional 349 consumers. The Division
has catalogued and sorted merchandise belonging
to an estimated 2,441 consumers that is ready
for pick up.
“Our goal is to return
the remaining merchandise to consumers. We’ve
been working diligently to this end and any
former customers of Celebration Studios should
contact the Division of Consumer Affairs now
to obtain their items,” Attorney General
Anne Milgram said.
Many of the impounded photographs
and/or videos have yet to be processed or
edited. The Final Judgment by Default and
Order transfers to the state all of Celebration
Studios’ rights in the merchandise,
including copyright, so that any photographs
and/or videos can be completed.
who contracted with Celebration Studios and
have not yet received their photographs or
videos should contact the Division by calling
within N.J.) or 973-504-6200
or by emailing email@example.com
to arrange for the pickup or delivery of their
In its Final Judgment and
Order, the Court found that Celebration Studios
and its owner, Marc S. Schwartz, engaged in
conduct which comprised 1,821 violations of
the Consumer Fraud Act and three violations
of the Regulations Governing General Advertising.
Schwartz is permanently enjoined
from owning and/or operating any business
in the state through which merchandise is
sold, unless he posts a bond in the amount
of the greater of $250,000 or 10% of his prior
“We do not want a repeat
of this situation, where consumers were left
with nothing until the Division took extraordinary
actions to assist Schwartz’s customers,”
said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director.
The Final Judgment and Order
also provides for $855,618.34 in consumer
restitution, $1,836,000.00 in civil penalties
and $383,684.50 in reimbursements of the state’s
attorneys’ fees and investigative costs.
At present, neither Schwartz nor Celebration
Studios have any assets to satisfy the Final
Judgment and Order. The state will record
the Final Judgment as a lien and will continue
to monitor Schwartz's financial status.
The state filed suit against
Celebration Studios and Schwartz on January
18, 2008, and shortly afterwards, obtained
court permission to seize and impound all
photos, videos and other merchandise in the
company’s warehouse. On November 5,
2008, the court issued an order permitting
the Division to commence distribution of merchandise
to affected couples.
Deputy Attorney General Lorraine
K. Rak, Chief of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution
Section, and Deputy Attorney General Alina
Wells represented the state in this action.