Haneman, justice – Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, 12/4/’59
(J.A.D., “RUSSELL S. BERTRAND, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS, v. DONALD T. JONES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS,” 58 N.J. Super. 273; 156 A.2d 161; 1959 N.J. Super. LEXIS 569)
HN4 In ascertaining the meaning of the word "restrictions"as here employed, it must be considered in context with the entire clause in which it appears. It is to be noted that the exception concerns restrictions "which have been complied with." Plainly, this connotes a representation of compliance by the vendor with any restrictions upon the permitted uses of the subject property. The conclusion that "restrictions" refer solely to a limitation of the manner in which the vendor may [***14] use his own lands is strengthened by the further provision found in said clause that the conveyance is "subject to the effect, [**167] if any, of municipal zoning laws." Municipal zoning laws affect the use of property.
HN5 Afamiliar maxim to aid in the construction of contracts is noscitur a sociis. Simply stated, this means that a word is known from its associates.Words of general and specific import take color from each other when associated together, and thus the word of general significance is modified by its associates of restricted sense. 3 Corbin on Contracts, § 552, p. 110; cf. Ford Motor Co. v. New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry, 5 N.J. 494 (1950). The [*284] word "restrictions," therefore, should be construed as being used in the same limited fashion as "zoning."