Merchandise Distribution to Celebration Studios Customers Begins
NEWARK – New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs staff today began distributing wedding photos and videos to customers of a defunct Morris County photography company that closed in January and left customers without their contracted-for keepsakes.
On November 5, the State Superior Court, Chancery Division, ordered the photographers and videographers who had worked with Celebration Studios to turn over their merchandise to the Division of Consumer Affairs and ordered the Division to commence distribution of the materials.
The return of the long-sought items culminates a process that began shortly after Celebration Studios closed its doors in January. The Division of Consumer Affairs filed suit against Celebration Studios and obtained court permission to seize and impound all items in the company’s warehouse. Consumer Affairs staff then sorted and catalogued approximately 4,000 items. Company records were scrutinized and the contracts, receipts and bills submitted by approximately 1,400 consumers were reviewed as part of the process to unite customers with their items.
“It’s a joyous day, perhaps almost as joyous as the wedding day these couples experienced, as we begin returning their keepsakes to them,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director. “The sheer volume of materials made this a major undertaking, but for our staff, it was a labor of love because we know these photos and videos are cherished keepsakes.”
Szuchman reminded Celebration Studios customers that they must file complaints with Consumer Affairs in order to arrange for the return of their merchandise. Customers who have filed complaints will be individually scheduled for appointments to pick up their photos and videos.
In addition to Saturdays, Celebration Studios customers are being scheduled to come to Consumer Affairs headquarters in Newark on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings to pick up their merchandise.
Consumers can file complaints on the Division's web site at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.
Deputy Attorney General Lorraine K. Rak, Chief of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section, and Deputy Attorney General Alina Wells represented the state in this matter. Chief of Investigations Joseph Palaia led the investigative effort.