Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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How To Answer A New Jersey Special Civil Part Complaint FAQS

INTRODUCTION
Read below to learn more about this topic.  Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send him an email.  Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law that may apply to your New Jersey case!  The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws.  Before taking any action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney.  Court addresses, hours of operation, deadlines and directions may change so check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going there!  Some of the webpages on this site don’t apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!


HOW TO ANSWER A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINT FAQS


WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINT?
To know how to answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint, you must understand what a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit actually is.   A New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is a type of civil lawsuit filed in the New Jersey Special Civil Part for damages of $15,000.00 or less.   A  New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is not a letter – it is a document with serious consequences, since ignoring the lawsuit could result in the entry of a money judgment against you and thereafter, collection activity against you and the reduction of your credit score. 
A New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit begins when a person or business or their lawyer prepares and files a lawsuit and pays the court a filing fee.  If you are being sued in the lawsuit, the complaint states that you are a defendant to the lawsuit. 


DO I ANSWER A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART SUMMONS?  
To know how to answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint, you must understand what a New Jersey Special Civil Part summons is.  Many people mistakenly believe that a New Jersey Special Civil Part summons is a Lawsuit.   However, a New Jersey Special Civil Part summons is not a Lawsuit at all.  Instead, a New Jersey Special Civil Part summons is a Special Civil court document that “summons” you to file a Special Civil answer in a particular New Jersey Special Civil Part court in a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit.  The New Jersey Special Civil Part summons should state the date on which the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint was served on you.  This is the date that you use to figure out how much time you have to answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit.  If you are sued in a Plaintiff Special Civil Part lawsuit you have 35 days following service of the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint to file a New Jersey Special Civil Part answer.


ARE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART SUMMONSES AND NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINTS NORMALLY MAILED TO DEFENDANTS?
Just because you received documents in the mail does not mean they don’t come from the Special Civil Part court!!!  The most common way that a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit is forwarded to you is simultaneously by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested.  Many people facing New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints think they can avoid trouble simply by ignoring or refusing or failing to claim the certified mail.  Such thoughts are usually incorrect.   


HOW TO ANSWER A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINT – WHAT DO I DO?
To answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint, you must act in a specific time frame and in a specific way.   If you are sued in Special Civil Part, you must act by filing an answer in 35 days from the date you are served with the complaint.  The New Jersey Special Civil Part answer is a written response to the lawsuit that specifically admits or denies each allegation stated in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint and that asks the court to dismiss the lawsuit.   Failure to file a New Jersey Special Civil Part answer on time will normally result in your being defaulted and exposes you to the risk of having a New Jersey Special Civil Part money judgment entered against you and thereafter, possibly losing money or property.   Each Case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges.  It is common for people to file inadequate or incorrect answers to lawsuits and to thereby give up some or many of their rights.  It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when answering New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints.   It is extremely important that you prepare your answer very carefully and make sure that you include in the New Jersey Special Civil Part answer a detailed list of all defenses against the complaint that you are responding to, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your case.  Accordingly, when you are sued, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer to prepare your New Jersey Special Civil Part answer, which is only the beginning of a case.  If you are a defendant, getting the answer properly prepared is an important first step in your case!    


CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART ANSWER FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COURT?
To answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint, the New Jersey Special Civil Part usually provides certain types of New Jersey Special Civil Part answer forms.  However, beware relying on New Jersey Special Civil Part answer forms to answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint – the forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuits often are much more complex than they first appear to be.   There is simply no substitute for having your answer prepared by a New Jersey Special civil part lawyer.  New Jersey Special Civil Part answer forms don’t talk and don’t list all the possible defenses to a case.   New Jersey Special Civil Part answer forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit.  If you fill out the New Jersey Special Civil Part form incorrectly or incompletely – like most New Jersey pro se litigants do – you may face serious problems at trial defending your case.  


CAN COURT PERSONNEL TELL ME EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW TO ANSWER A SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINT? 
Court personnel are generally not allowed to give plaintiffs and defendants legal advice.  New Jersey Special civil court personnel are generally not allowed to tell you how to handle your case, including how to answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint.  Many court personnel are not lawyers or certified paralegals.  .  If they give you bad advice, the judge will not be likely to offer to ignore the mistake.  Therefore, be careful to avoid relying on the advice of court personnel.  Don’t expect a judge to be convinced if you argue that you relied on the advice of court personnel when incorrectly answering a complaint!


ONCE I PREPARE A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART ANSWER, WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Answering a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is only one of many tasks you may have to perform before you get to trial!  After your New Jersey Special Civil Part answer is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where the complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  You must pay a fee to file your Plaintiff answer that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of trial you want and whether you intend to add parties to the lawsuit (discussed below).   Only persons age 18 or older are able to file a Plaintiff answer for themselves (minors must file an answer through their parent or guardian).   


WHERE ARE SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINTS FILED?
To understand how to answer a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint, it is first necessary to understand where to file a New Jersey Special Civil Part answer.   You must file the answer in the same county where the complaint states it was filed.  Here are the addresses of the Superior Court Special Civil Part Clerk’s Offices at which to file a complaint: 


Atlantic County Special Civil Part Atlantic County Civil Courthouse 
1201 Bacharach Blvd. 
Atlantic City, NJ 08401 
(609)-594-3370 


Bergen County 
Special Civil Part 
Bergen County Justice Center 
Room 427, 10 Main Street Hackensack, NJ 07601 
(201 )-527-2730 


Burlington County 
Special Civil Part 
49 Rancocas Rd. 
Mount Holly, NJ 08060 
(609)-518-2865 


Camden County 
Hall of Justice 
101 S. 5th Street, Suite 150 Camden, NJ 08 103-4001 
(856)-379-2202 


Cape May County 
Special Civil Part 
9 N. Main Street 
Cape May Courthouse, NJ 08210 (609)-463-6502 


Cumberland County Special Civil Part 
60 West Broad Street Bridgeton, NJ 08302 (856)-453-4350 


Essex County 
Civil Customer Service 
Hall of Records 
Room 201 
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 
Newark, NJ 07102 
(973)-693-5529 


Gloucester County 
Gloucester County Courthouse Attn: Civil Case Management Office 
1 N. Broad St. 
Woodbury NJ 08096 
(856)-853-3392 


Hudson County 
Special Civil Case Management Office 
711 Administration Bldg. 
595 Newark Avenue 
Jersey City, NJ 07306 
(201 )-795-6680 


Hunterdon County 
Hunterdon County Justice Center 65 Park Avenue 
P.O. Box 1069 Flemington, NJ 08822 
(908)-237-5820 


Mercer County 
Mercer County Central Finance Office 
175 S. Broad St. 1st Floor 
P.O. Box 8068 
Trenton, NJ 08650 
(609)-5 71-4490 


Middlesex County 
Middlesex Vicinage 
Special Civil Part 
3rd Floor - Tower 
P.O. Box 1146 
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-1146 (732)-5 19-3679 
Monmouth County 
Central Fee Office 
P.O. Box 1260 
Freehold, NJ 07728-1260 
(732)-677-4223 


Morris County 
Morris County Courthouse Special Civil Part Washington and Court Sts. 
P.O. Box 910 
Morristown, NJ 07963-0910 
(973)-656-4 125 


Ocean County 
Ocean County Superior Court Civil Intake 
118 Washington St., Room 121 P.O.Box 2191 
Toms River NJ 08754-2191 
(732)-929-2016 


Passaic County New Courthouse 
77 Hamilton Street, First Floor Paterson, NJ 07505 
(973)-247-8239 


Salem County 
Salem County Courthouse Attn: Civil Case Management Office 
92 Market St. 
Salem, NJ 08079 
(856)-935-7510 x8214 
Somerset County 
Somerset County Civil Division 40 North Bridge Street, 1st. Fl. P.O. Box 3000 
Somerville, NJ 08876 
(908)-23 1-7054 


Sussex County Special Civil Part 
Sussex County Judicial Center 43-47 High St. 
Newton, NJ 07860 
(973)-5 79-0918 
Union County 
Special Civil Part 
Old Annex, 3rd Floor 2 Broad Street 
Elizabeth, NJ 07207 
(908)-659-4900 


Warren County 
Warren County Civil Division Courthouse 
413 Second St. 
P.O. Box 900 
Belvidere, NJ 07823-1500 
(908)-475-6144


HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO FILE A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART ANSWER?
To file a New Jersey Special Civil Part answer, you must understand the filing fees to file the answer.  The following is a list of New Jersey Special Civil Part filing and service fees:


Small Claims:
One defendant...................................................................................................$15.00
Each additional defendant...................................................................................$2.00
Tenancy:
One defendant...................................................................................................$25.00
Each additional defendant...................................................................................$2.00
Other Special Civil Part Cases:
Complaint or other initial pleading containing a counterclaim,
cross-claim or third-party complaint in all other civil actions
where the amount exceeds the small claims monetary limit..............................$50.00
Each additional defendant...................................................................................$2.00
Complaint or other initial pleading containing a counterclaim,
cross-claim or third-party complaint in all other civil actions
where the amount does not exceed the small claims monetary limit.................$32.00
Each additional defendant...................................................................................$2.00
Filing of appearance or answer to a complaint or a third party
complaint in all matters except tenancy and small claims.................................$15.00
Service of process:
Summons by mail, each defendant.....................................................................$7.00
Summons by mail, each defendant at place of business or
employment with postal instructions to deliver to addressee only,
additional fee.......................................................................................................$7.00
Reservice of summons by mail, each defendant.................................................$7.00
Reservice of summons or other original process by court officers:
One defendant............................................................................$3.00 plus mileage
Each additional defendant...........................................................$2.00 plus mileage
Substituted service of process by the clerk upon the
Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission........................................................$10.00
Plus Postage........................................................................................................$7.00
Mileage of court officer in serving or executing any process, writ, order, execution, notice, or warrant, the distance to be computed by counting the number of miles in and out, by the most direct route from the place where process is issued, at the same rate per mile set by the state for other state employees and the total mileage fee rounded upward to the nearest dollar.
Jury of six persons...............................................................................................$50.00
Warrant for possession in tenancy.......................................................................$15.00
Warrant to arrest, commitment or writ of capias ad respondendum,
each defendant..................................................................................................$15.00
Writ of execution or an order in the nature of execution,
writs of replevin and attachment issued subsequent to summons......................$5.00
Wage execution by mail to a federal agency, additional fee..................................$7.00
For advertising property under execution or any order........................................$10.00
For selling property under execution or any order................................................$10.00


WHAT DOES THE TERM “PRO SE” MEAN IN A CASE?
If you are not represented by a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer in a New Jersey case, you are called a “pro se litigant”.  When you are a pro se litigant, you must always keep in mind that the court is not there to tell you what to do and when to do it!   The court only notifies you of some dates and deadlines but not necessarily all of them.  Answering a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is only one of many tasks you may have to perform before you get to trial!


DO I AUTOMATICALLY GET A JURY TRIAL OF MY CASE?
Most Special Civil Part trials are nonjury trials, meaning that only a judge decides the Plaintiff trial.  For an extra fee paid only when you first file your answer and by filing out the proper request, you may demand a trial by 6 jurors.  However, jury trials are much more complex than nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive court paperwork.  


WHAT IF I IGNORE THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT?
Answering a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint should be done to avoid serious negative consequences to you.   If you don’t answer a complaint in time, the court clerk should automatically enter a default against you.  Thereafter, the plaintiff or their New Jersey Special civil part lawyer may prepare and file court paperwork asking the New Jersey Special Civil Part court to enter a default judgment against you.   If the default judgment is entered, it is usually very difficult to undo the damage to you.   If you ignore a default judgment, the following may happen to you:
you may be forced to answer detailed questions about the location and value of your savings, personal property and bank accounts
you may be forced to appear for a deposition (a question and answer session conducted under oath) during which an attorney will ask you questions about the location and value of your savings, personal property and bank accounts
your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the Plaintiff 
some of your wages may be taken from you and turned over to Plaintiff 
your personal property may be seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy the Plaintiff judgment
a New Jersey lien may be put against a house you own
your credit score may be affected or reduced
Often people wait until their bank account is frozen or until their wages are attached to take action – at that point it is difficult and sometimes too late or very difficult to do anything to successfully stop the Plaintiff debt collection efforts.  It is not uncommon for the New Jersey Special Civil Part court to refuse to help such latecomers from taking issue with Plaintiff’s debt collection efforts.
 
WHAT IF I AM SUED BY PLAINTIFF IN NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART BUT SOMEONE OWES ME MONEY BECAUSE OF THE SAME SITUATION?
If you are a Defendant and you believe either Plaintiff or someone that isn’t named in the lawsuit owes you money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit or facts related to the dispute, in addition to filing a Plaintiff answer, you may also be able to file a New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim or New Jersey Special Civil Part third party complaint to recover the money or property.  If there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, a defendant can file their own lawsuit against Plaintiff, called a “New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim.   If you are sued and someone who is not named in the lawsuit is partially or totally responsible for the Plaintiff debt or for damages you suffered that involve the same facts alleged in the lawsuit and there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, you may be able to file your own complaint, called a “third party complaint”.  By doing so, the Defendant names parties not originally named to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint as additional parties to the Case.  New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaims and Special Civil New Jersey Special Civil Part third party complaints must be prepared in writing and filed with the appropriate New Jersey Special Civil Part court where the original New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is being heard normally require extra fees above the cost of filing a Special Civil answer to the original New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint.  In the Case of a New Jersey Special Civil Part third party complaint, once properly filed, the New Jersey Special Civil Part normally serves it on the Plaintiff.  Forms may be available at the appropriate office of the court and via the worldwide web.  However, neither Special Civil court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services.  Each Case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges.  It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect complaints or New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaims that result in the complaints or answers to complaints or New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaims being rejected by the court or being dismissed by the court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.  It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when answering New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints and filing counterclaims and New Jersey Special Civil Part third party complaints.   It is extremely important that you prepare your answer, counterclaim or New Jersey Special Civil Part third party complaint carefully and make sure that you include in the documents a detailed list of all reasons why you may have a right to win your Case, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your Case.  Accordingly, when you are sued and when you want to file a New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim or New Jersey Special Civil Part third party complaint, you should seriously consider hiring a Special Civil lawyer to prepare your response to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim, to prepare written requests for information to the Plaintiff or Defendant that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have a Special Civil lawyer represent you in court.  After your New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim or New Jersey Special Civil Part third party complaint is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary of Special Civil paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  You must pay a fee to file the document that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of trial you want and it may also be based on whether you intend to add parties to the lawsuit.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I ANSWER THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINT?
Answering a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is only one of many tasks you may have to perform before you get to trial!  Many people incorrectly think that all they have to do in a New Jersey Plaintiff debt collection case is to file an answer and then wait for the Plaintiff trial date.   However, that is rarely the case.   Plaintiff may serve you with written requests for information called interrogatories, notices to produce (sometimes also called requests for production of documents) and requests for admissions.  Plaintiff sends these requests to you – usually by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested.  If you fail to answer these requests in writing or fails to answer the requests with sufficient thoroughness, the New Jersey Special Civil Part court may punish the delinquent party, such as by throwing their complaint out of court or suppressing their answer.  Plaintiff request for admissions are particularly dangerous if they go unanswered, since all the questions are considered admitted and therefore conclusively proven against you!   Many people get Plaintiff interrogatories or Plaintiff request for admissions and answer the Plaintiff interrogatories or Plaintiff request for admissions incorrectly or not at all.   Failure to timely and carefully prepare and serve thorough answers to Plaintiff interrogatories or Plaintiff request for admissions could result in your losing your Plaintiff case.   To make sure you answer Plaintiff interrogatories or Plaintiff request for admissions correctly, you should seriously consider hiring a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer to prepare your answers to Plaintiff interrogatories and your answers to Plaintiff admissions and if you can afford it, to have a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer represent you in court.  You can also use a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer to prepare your own set of interrogatories and document requests.  Why do that?  To find out if the plaintiff actually has enough proof to win their case.  If they don’t answer the questions, you can get their lawsuit thrown out of court.  If their answers show they have no ;proof to prove the lawsuit, you can make a motion to enter judgment against the plaintiff without having to waste time with a trial at which you might lose your case.   Better to win your case with a motion made before trial then to take your chances at trial! 


WHAT IS A MOTION TO SUPPRESS ANSWER?
Answering a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is only one of many tasks you may have to perform before you get to trial!  If you are not careful, your New Jersey Special Civil Part could be set aside by the court leaving you vulnerable to a judgment.  Many people ask themselves what is a Motion to suppress answer?  Do I really have to answer such a motion?   A Motion to suppress answer is a motion to suppress your answer so that the court can ignore your defense to the New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit.   In many cases, if the Motion to suppress is granted and Plaintiff makes a motion to suppress your answer with prejudice in the appropriate time frame, it could lead to Plaintiff winning their case against you by getting a Judgment in their favor.   Accordingly, you should never ignore a motion to suppress answer but instead should take it very seriously.  If Plaintiff makes such a motion against you, seriously consider hiring a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer to prepare your answers to Plaintiff interrogatories and to answer the motion before it is too late!


WHAT IS A MOTION TO STRIKE ANSWER?
Answering a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is only one of many tasks you may have to perform before you get to trial!  If you are not careful, your New Jersey Special Civil Part could be set aside by the court leaving you vulnerable to a judgment.  Many people ask themselves what is a Motion to strike answer?  Do I really have to answer such a motion?   A Motion to strike answer is just like a motion to suppress your answer.   The Motion to strike your answer is filed so that the court can ignore your defense to the New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit.   In many cases, if the Motion to strike is granted and Plaintiff makes a motion to strike your answer with prejudice in the appropriate time frame, it could lead to Plaintiff winning their case against you by getting a Judgment in their favor.   Accordingly, you should never ignore a motion to strike answer but instead should take it very seriously.  If Plaintiff makes such a motion against you, seriously consider hiring a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer to prepare your answers to Plaintiff interrogatories and to answer the motion before it is too late!


WHY SHOULD YOU CONDISER NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART ANSWER HELP FROM AN ATTORNEY?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!!   Do it right the first time by seeking New Jersey Special Civil Part answer help from an experienced New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer!  Many Jersey pro se parties make the mistake of not consulting a lawyer before filing New Jersey Special Civil Part court papers only to later learn that they made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their case.  Writing a proper answer can be a very difficult task.  Why not seek New Jersey Special Civil Part answer help to make sure you get the job done right?   Let an affordable New Jersey Special civil part lawyer help you prepare your answer to a complaint.    If you are sued in Special Civil Part, you shall be named to a lawsuit or complaint or New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim and must file a written response to the complaint or New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim, called an “answer”.   Failure to do so will normally result in your being defaulted and exposes you to the risk of having a money judgment entered against you and thereafter, possibly losing money or property.  To avoid this from happening to you, you must prepare and file an answer with the court.    Let an experienced New Jersey Special Civil Part lawyer give you New Jersey Special Civil Part answer help by preparing pro se answers for your lawsuit.   Don’t let a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint go unanswered or take a chance doing it wrong – get New Jersey Special Civil Part answer help.  New Jersey employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees.  Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.   Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris quote you a fee for New Jersey Special Civil Part answer help.  You do not always have to pay expensive legal fees to get New Jersey Special Civil Part answer help.  To receive a no cost phone consultation about affordable New Jersey Special Civil Part answer help, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris.


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