Substantial Compliance Doctrine New Jersey
The substantial compliance doctrine has been recognized as pertinent to affidavit of merit cases.
In Alan J. Cornblatt, P.A. v. Barow, 153 N.J. 218, 240, 708 A.2d 401 (1998), for example, the Supreme Court found that submission of a certification instead of an affidavit substantially complied with the Act.
Most recently, the Court found a timely filed but late served affidavit and a signed but unsworn and uncertified expert report to substantially comply with the Act. Mayfield v. Community Med. Assocs., 335 N.J. Super. 198, 208-210, 762 A.2d 237 (App.Div.2000).
An affidavit that has been obtained but is not provided, however, is not substantial compliance. Kubiak v. Robert Wood Johnson Univ. Hosp., 332 N.J. Super. 230, 236, 753 A.2d 166 (App.Div.2000).
Late service of the affidavit also cannot be excused under the substantial compliance doctrine. Burns v. Belafsky, 326 N.J. Super. 462, 468-69, 741 A.2d 649 (App.Div.1999), aff'd on other grounds, 166 N.J. 466, 766 A.2d 1095 (2001) (filing of the affidavit within the sixty day extension period was approved).