Newlyweds finally getting pictures

Seven On Your Side
November 22, 2008 4:43:49 PM PST
Thousands of not-so-newlyweds are finally getting their wedding pictures.The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs says it began distributing photos from the defunct Celebration Studios on Saturday.

The Morris County company's wedding photos and videos has been in legal limbo since it went out of business in January.

Customers who have filed complaints against Celebration Studios with the state are being scheduled to pick up their photos and videos at the division's Newark office. The items were impounded after the state filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against the company and its owner.

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. 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 NJConsumerAffairs.gov or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.

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