Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

Burlington County Small Claims Court Information

Read below to learn more about this topic.

Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation about what the Law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris.

Warning – this article does not necessarily include every Burlington County 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 of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. This database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Do not rely upon the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website for any purpose! Before taking any legal action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with a New Jersey Small Claims attorney for changes. Addresses, hours of operation and directions may change so be sure to check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going to any court!!! Some of the webpages on this site do not apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!

BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS TRIAL INFORMATION

WHAT IS THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT?
Burlington County Small Claims trials are handled by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Small Claims Section. Burlington County Small Claims cases are New Jersey civil cases in which the money sought to be recovered does not exceed $3,000 (or $5,000 if the case involves the return of a rental security deposit). Burlington County lawsuits for higher amounts of money must be filed with other Burlington County courts. The Burlington County Special Civil Part is a subpart of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division. In the Burlington County Special Civil Part, disputes involving a limited amount of money -- $15,000 or less – may be heard. In New Jersey cases for damages up to $15,000, the New Jersey plaintiff should file in the regular Special Civil Part and in Cases involving damages greater than $15,000, the claimant should file in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part. There are also exceptions to these rules – not all types of cases are able to be filed in the Burlington County Small Claims Section, Special Civil Part. For example, if you have a claim involving a family law situation, you may have to file in the Burlington County Chancery Division, Family Part. Also, if you are a landlord who seeks to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, you may have to file your claim in the Burlington County Law Division, Special Civil Part, Landlord Tenant Section. If you file your Burlington County lawsuit in the Burlington County Small Claims Section, Special Civil Part, you shall very likely be prevented from recovering more money than $3,000 (or $5,000 if the case involves the return of a rental security deposit) other than New Jersey attorney’s fees and New Jersey Small Claims Court costs. Because the procedures for handling Burlington County Small Claims trials and Burlington County Small Claims court are relatively easier than in Burlington County courts deciding Burlington County cases involving larger sums of money, most Burlington County Small Claims lawsuits move more rapidly through the Burlington County Court system thyour Burlington County lawsuits filed for larger sums of money.

WHERE IS THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT?
County Office Building
49 Rancocas Road
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
609-518-2600

DIRECTIONS TO BURLINGTON COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COURTHOUSE
From Trenton: Take Route 295 south to Exit 47A to the 10th traffic light and turn right onto Rancocas Road.
From Northern New Jersey: Take the NJ turnpike South to Exit 5. Make a right turn onto Route 541 South at the traffic light after the toll plaza. Proceed to the 5th traffic light and make a right onto Rancocas Road.
From Southwestern Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem counties: Take Route 295 North to Exit 45A. Proceed through 5 traffic lights (King Street) and parking is available on right.

From Southern Burlington, Atlantic, Cape May counties: Take Route 206 North to Route 38 West. Make a left turn on to Route 38 West. Proceed on Route 38 West through 4th traffic light. Just prior to 5th traffic light exit Route 38 to the right on Madison Avenue (C.R. 691), keep to the right (C.R. 691 North) and follow Madison Avenue (C.R. 691 North) to 3rd traffic light and make a right onto Rancocas Road. Parking is available on right.
From Ocean County: Take Route 70 West to Route 206 North to Route 38 West. Make a left turn on to Route 38 West. Proceed on Route 38 West through 4th traffic light. Just prior to 5th traffic light exit Route 38 to the right on Madison Avenue (C.R. 691), keep to the right (C.R. 691 North) and follow Madison Avenue (C.R. 691 North) to 3rd traffic light and make a right onto Rancocas Road. Parking is available on right.
From Monmouth County: Take Route 195 West to Route 295 South to Exit 47A to the 10th traffic light and turn right onto Rancocas Road.

From Philadelphia: Take the Walt Whitman Bridge to Route 295 North or the Ben Franklin Bridge to Route 38 East to Route 295 North or the Tacony Palmyra or Betsy Ross Bridges to Route 73 South to Route 295 North. Take Route 295 North to Exit 45A. Proceed through 5 traffic lights (King Street) and parking is available on right.
From Pennsylvania Turnpike: Take the Turnpike Bridge to the New Jersey Turnpike South to Exit 5. Make a right turn onto Route 541 South at the traffic light after the toll plaza. Proceed to the 5th traffic light and make a right onto Rancocas Road.
From Bristol: Take the Burlington Bristol Bridge to Route 130 North. At the 4th traffic light make a right turn onto Route 541. Pass the traffic light at the New Jersey Turnpike entrance, proceed to the 5th traffic light and make a right onto Rancocas Road.


WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT?
The Burlington County Small Claims Court is normally open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHAT TYPES OF SMALL CLAIMS ARE USUALLY FILED IN BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS?
• Contract disputes
• Property damage disputes, such as car accidents where only property is damaged (and persons do not sustain serious personal injuries)
• Bill collection disputes
• Security deposit disputes
• Disputes between consumers and merchants involving unsatisfactory goods or services

WHAT IS THE “REGULAR” BURLINGTON COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL COURT?
Burlington County Special Civil Part cases that are not landlord tenant or Small Claims cases are typically Burlington County Special Civil cases that are assigned a New Jersey “DC” case docket number. You can file your Burlington County Special Civil case as your Burlington County Special Civil case that is assigned a “DC” docket and not your Burlington County Small Claims case that is assigned an “SC” docket even if you are asking for an amount of money less than $3,000.00 – the limit for most Burlington County Small Claims cases (or $5,000 if the case involves the return of a rental security deposit). The regular Burlington County Special Civil court has some different procedures and forms from Burlington County Small Claims Court and higher filing fees.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BURLINGTON COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL CASE IS YOUR BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS CASE OR A REGULAR BURLINGTON COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL CASE?
The Burlington County Special Civil Part hears both Burlington County Small Claims cases and “regular” Burlington County Special Civil cases. Burlington County Small Claims cases are identified by the number that the Burlington County Small Claims Court assigns to the Burlington County Small Claims case – a number beginning in “SC”. “SC” stands for Burlington County Small Claims Court. Burlington County Special Civil cases are identified by the number that the Burlington County Special Civil Court assigns to the Burlington County Special Civil case – a number beginning in “DC”. “DC” stands for “New Jersey District Court” – the old name for Burlington County Special Civil Court.

WHAT RULES APPLY TO THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT?
The general rules of practice and procedure in the Burlington County Special Civil Part, including the provisions of R. 1:40-6, shall apply to the Burlington County Small Claims Section except that any authorized officer or employee may prosecute and defend on behalf of a party which is a business entity, whether formally incorporated or not, claims originating with and not held by transfer or assignment to that business entity, provided that such officer or employee is neither a suspended or disbarred attorney nor one who has resigned. This exception shall apply to every action cognizable in the Burlington County Small Claims Section whether or not the New Jersey complaint has been filed in the Burlington County Small Claims Court. Notice in the Burlington County Small Claims Section shall be by summons as provided by R. 6:2-1, and actions in Burlington County Small Claims Court shall be disposed of on the return day unless adjourned by the Burlington County Small Claims Court. Upon the filing of your Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim for a sum in excess of the monetary limit of the Burlington County Small Claims Section, the action shall be transferred to the Burlington County Special Civil Part proper upon payment by the Burlington County Small Claims defendant of the required fees.

HOW ARE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS TRIALS SCHEDULED?
After the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint is filed, court staff shall serve the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint on the Burlington County Small Claims defendants, usually by mailing it by certified and regular mail. The Burlington County Small Claims defendant has 35 days following service of the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint to file an answer. The Burlington County Small Claims summons should state the date on which the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint was served. The Burlington County Small Claims Court normally mails the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff a notice stating the date on which cases are automatically defaulted (35 days after service of the answer).


IF I AM SUED IN THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT DO I HAVE TO APPEAR AT TRIAL?
If you are sued in the Burlington County Small Claims Court, you shall be named to the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint or the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim and must be prepared to defend yourself in Burlington County Small Claims court by appearing when the Burlington County Small Claims trial is scheduled in your Burlington County Small Claims case. 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. If you are not represented by the Burlington County Small Claims attorney in the Burlington County Small Claims Court case, you are called a “pro se litigant”. Most cases filed in the Burlington County Small Claims Court that go to trials are nonjury trials, meaning that only a judge hears the Burlington County Small Claims case. The Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant may demand the Burlington County Small Claims jury trial by paying an additional filing fee and filing a written demand for a trial by jury with the Burlington County Small Claims Court clerk at the principal location of the Burlington County Small Claims Court. However, the demand must be filed with the Burlington County Small Claims Court clerk served upon opposing parties at least five days before the return day stated on the Burlington County Small Claims summons, whereupon the Burlington County Court Clerk shall transfer the action from the Burlington County Small Claims Court to the regular New Jersey Special Civil Part. Jury trials are much more complex than nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive paperwork. However, the Burlington County Small Claims jury trial demand may result in the facts of your Burlington County Small Claims case being decided by the Burlington County Small Claims jury of ordinary people rather than by a single judge. Even where the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or Burlington County Small Claims defendant requests the Burlington County Small Claims jury trial, the legal issues in the Burlington County Small Claims trials are normally decided by the Burlington County Small Claims judge Burlington County Small Claims hearing the Burlington County Small Claims case.

IF I AM THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS PLAINTIFF OR DEFENDANT BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT, WILL THE OTHER SIDE HAVE THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS ATTORNEY?
If you are not represented by the Burlington County Small Claims attorney in the Burlington County Small Claims Court case, you are called a “pro se litigant”. While people can and often do represent themselves Burlington County Small Claims Court, their opponent may be represented by the Burlington County Small Claims attorney, which often places the unrepresented party at a major disadvantage. If possible, hire the Burlington County Small Claims attorney to at least prepare any necessary Small Claims paperwork or other Burlington County Court paperwork and if you can afford it, to also appear and represent you in Burlington County Small Claims court at any motions or trials. The proper preparation of Burlington County Small Claims papers and preparation of the Burlington County Small Claims case for trial often requires knowledge of legal issues that only Burlington County Small Claims lawyers have. Court rules and evidence rules are often complex and accordingly, are often difficult to follow. Trials can be very complex and time consuming – sometimes they take all day or more than one day to complete. People who are not Burlington County Small Claims lawyers licensed to practice law in New Jersey are not able to give you legal advice about Burlington County Small Claims Court disputes that are heard by Burlington County Courts, regardless of whether the people work for a court or work for the Burlington County Small Claims attorney.

IF THE OTHER SIDE HIRES THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS ATTORNEY, SHOULD I DEAL WITH THE ATTORNEY OR THEIR CLIENTS?
If the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or Burlington County Small Claims defendant is represented by the Burlington County Small Claims attorney in the Burlington County Small Claims Court dispute, you must generally avoid having oral or written contact regarding the Burlington County Small Claims case with the represented party and instead, must make all communications involving the Burlington County Small Claims case through the represented party’s attorney.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT CASE INVOLVES A CORPORATION, PARTNERSHIP OR LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY?
The officers of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and the like can generally appear in Burlington County Small Claims Court but cannot generally appear in New Jersey regular Special Civil Part in Burlington County Small Claims cases involving disputes exceeding $3,000 since the corporation, partnership or limited liability company must usually be represented by the Burlington County Small Claims attorney. There may be some exceptions to these rules, such as where the Burlington County Small Claims case involves a summary action for possession of premises. Consult with the Burlington County Small Claims lawyer to confirm whether the corporation, partnership or limited liability company may appear in the Court where you are filing your Burlington County Small Claims case. Also, if you sue a company and the company represents itself at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial and you thereafter win the Burlington County Small Claims case and recover the Burlington County Small Claims judgment, it is possible that the company shall get the Burlington County Small Claims judgment overturned because they were not permitted to appear in Burlington County Small Claims court for themselves in the first place!

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT TRIAL IN THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT CASE?
On the day that your Burlington County Small Claims case goes to trial you must appear at court. Usually, many cases are heard on the day that your Burlington County Small Claims case is called for trial and it is not uncommon for many people to wait in a single courtroom for their case to be called. You must be on time to avoid losing your Burlington County Small Claims case! If the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff fails to appear when their case is called, the Burlington County Small Claims Court is likely to dismiss the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint. If the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant fails to appear when the Burlington County Small Claims case is called, the Burlington County Small Claims Court shall likely enter a default. If the Burlington County Small Claims Court default is entered, you shall have to prepare and file paperwork with the Burlington County Small Claims Court asking the Burlington County Small Claims Court to enter a default judgment in your favor. If no default is entered, you must be prepared to present your Burlington County Small Claims case or defense. It is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the Burlington County Small Claims case. A court has the power to punish unprepared parties, such as by throwing their case out of court or limiting what they can present at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial. You must bring all documents, photographs, videos and other items with you to the Burlington County Small Claims trial that are necessary to prove your Burlington County Small Claims case (preferably originals). Even if you bring such documents and items to court, the Burlington County Small Claims Court may refuse to allow you to use them at your trial. New Jersey has published cases, laws, regulations, court rules and rules of evidence that are very tricky and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial. Accordingly, before trial, you must consult all of these rules to determine how you intend to get your documents and items into evidence or how to properly use them at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial. Hearsay rules of evidence are particularly troublesome and you should study them carefully before trial. For example, it is very common for courts to refuse to allow the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or Burlington County Small Claims defendant to use or refer to documents or items that the person themselves never prepared. Often parties stumble into Small Claims Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a judge tell the parties that it is not going to even consider such items or documents. Without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the Burlington County Small Claims Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases. If you have any witnesses that you need to testify for you at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial, then in advance of the Burlington County Small Claims trial and as required by court rules, laws and published cases, you must prepare a written subpoena (or subpoenas if the Burlington County Small Claims case is adjourned). Such a subpoena must normally be personally served by a process server rather than by mail. If you want to force one of the parties to the Burlington County Small Claims case to testify as part of your Burlington County Small Claims case, since they might not show up at the Burlington County Small Claims trial (it is possible that only their attorney will show up), you should serve them with a notice in lieu of subpoena. If you think that you could have problems getting someone to show up to provide testimony at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial, you should have a process server serve them with a subpoena or if they are the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or Burlington County Small Claims defendant to the dispute, a notice in lieu of subpoena. Without witnesses to testify at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial (especially experts, discussed above), you may lose your Burlington County Small Claims case. Trials can be very complex and time consuming – sometimes they take all day or more than one day to complete. Also, it is very common for trials to get adjourned because someone is not ready to present their case for a valid reason (but you can never expect that you shall automatically get an adjournment and you must always be fully ready to try your Burlington County Small Claims case on the date that the Burlington County Small Claims trial is scheduled since courts often refuse adjournment requests and dismiss cases if parties are not prepared to proceed with their case or defense on the Burlington County Small Claims trial date). It is best to have your questions for any witnesses prepared in advance. At the end of the Burlington County Small Claims trial, the Burlington County Small Claims Court normally enters the Burlington County Small Claims judgment for or against you. The Burlington County Small Claims Court may also withhold or “reserve” judgment for a later date, which normally results in the Burlington County Small Claims Court taking time to write up its reasons for its decision and mailing it to the parties’ last known addresses (or to their Burlington County Small Claims lawyers, if they are represented).

DO I NEED THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS EXPERT WITNESS TO PROVE MY BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT CASE?
Often to prove one’s Burlington County Small Claims case or to successfully defend against the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint, it is necessary to hire the Burlington County Small Claims expert witness to prepare a proper expert report and to testify regarding another party’s misconduct and the damages sustained as a result of the misconduct. If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the factfinder at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as the Burlington County Small Claims expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise. To be considered by the Burlington County Small Claims Court, normally the Burlington County Small Claims expert’s opinion must meet three basic requirements: (1) the intended testimony must concern a subject matter that is beyond the knowledge of the average juror; (2) the subject testified to must be at a state of the art such that the Burlington County Small Claims expert’s testimony could be sufficiently reliable; and (3) the witness must have sufficient expertise to offer the intended testimony. To meet the element of whether Burlington County Small Claims expert testimony is sufficiently reliable, the Burlington County Small Claims party offering the expert testimony must demonstrate that the expert’s opinion or theory is generally accepted within the scientific community. The Burlington County Small Claims expert's opinion must be supported by facts or data either in the record or of a type usually relied upon by experts in the field. Bare conclusions of the Burlington County Small Claims expert that are not supported by factual evidence are inadmissible. Likewise, expert conclusions based on discredited or improperly performed diagnostic tools are suspect. The Burlington County Small Claims expert's trial testimony is confined to the opinion reflected in his or her report. Many expert opinions are never admitted into evidence and experts are thereby prevented from testifying at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial because the Burlington County Small Claims Court finds the reports unreliable and/or inadequate. Therefore, simply hiring the Burlington County Small Claims expert does not assure that you shall get their testimony into evidence. Professional experts usually charge a fee to inspect your property and write a report – sometimes they bill by the hour and sometimes via a flat fee arrangement linked to each service they are to perform. The expert normally sends a copy of their report to the Burlington County Small Claims party who hired the expert. If your Burlington County Small Claims case requires expert testimony and the matter goes all the way to trial, it shall be necessary to have the expert appear at and testify at same. The expert usually charges additional fees for the time during which they must appear at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial but you may get the expert to include such services as part of the fee to perform inspections and to write reports. While there are some exceptions, normally, courts do not allow people to show up at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial to introduce into evidence estimates, expert reports and other documents that they never prepared and witnesses are often necessary to prove the Burlington County Small Claims case, especially when it comes to the Burlington County Small Claims party’s damages.

WHAT IS BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT MEDIATION?
In most cases, before the Burlington County Small Claims trial occurs the Burlington County Small Claims Court requires the parties to mediate their dispute. Burlington County Small Claims mediation is an informal Burlington County Small Claims hearing normally held in a conference room. You and the other party and any Burlington County Small Claims lawyers involved in the Burlington County Small Claims case appear at the mediation. The Burlington County Small Claims mediation is conducted by a neutral court appointed mediator. The Burlington County Small Claims mediator is trained in resolving disputes through the process of mediation. Accordingly, the Burlington County Small Claims mediator attempts to resolve the Burlington County Small Claims case by suggesting a possible settlement to both parties. During the Burlington County Small Claims mediation, none of the parties is required to settle the Burlington County Small Claims case. Indeed, one or all of the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiffs and Burlington County Small Claims defendants may not even make any offer to settle. Note that cases do not always undergo mediation. If the Burlington County Small Claims case cannot be settled before trial and your Burlington County Small Claims case is called to be tried, you must be prepared to present your Burlington County Small Claims case or defenses.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO SETTLE MY BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT CASE?
Burlington County Small Claims plaintiffs and Burlington County Small Claims defendants may voluntarily agree to settle their case but preparing the proper settlement agreement requires great care. Normally, at any trial proceeding, the Burlington County Small Claims Court has settlement forms for the parties to complete. However, neither Burlington County Small Claims forms, websites nor advice from Burlington County Small Claims Court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each Burlington County Small Claims Court case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. For example, what if you don’t include protections to yourself in the agreement? A court may refuse to enforce the Burlington County Small Claims settlement agreement if it is unclear what the parties agreed to. Also, if the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or Burlington County Small Claims defendant fails to honor the Burlington County Small Claims Court settlement, you may have to return to court if you want to enforce the Burlington County Small Claims Court settlement, which normally requires you to file a motion. If you can afford the Burlington County Small Claims attorney, it is best to have the attorney prepare the Burlington County Small Claims Court settlement agreement so that they can try to make the other parties agree to the best settlement terms for you. If you do settle your Burlington County Small Claims case yourself, you should notify the Burlington County Small Claims Court as soon as possible – with a phone call and then followed up in writing. If the Burlington County Small Claims case is settled before trial, you should make every effort to advise the Burlington County Small Claims Court before the Burlington County Small Claims trial occurs.

WHAT IF I AM SUED IN THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT BUT SOMEONE OWES ME MONEY BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ME?
If you are the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant or Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or someone that isn’t named in the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint owes you money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint or facts related to the dispute, you may be able to file a Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim or Burlington County Small Claims third party complaint to recover the money or property (discussed below). If there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant can file their own lawsuit against the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff, called a “the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim If you are sued and someone who is not named in the lawsuit is partially or totally responsible for the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff’s damages or for damages you suffered and there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant can file their own Burlington County Small Claims complaint, called a “third party complaint”. By doing so, the Burlington County Small Claims defendant names Burlington County Small Claims parties not originally named to the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint as additional Burlington County Small Claims parties to the Burlington County Small Claims case. Burlington County Small Claims the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaims and Burlington County Small Claims third party complaints must be prepared in writing and filed with the appropriate court where the original Burlington County Small Claims complaint is being heard normally require extra fees above the cost of filing an answer to the original Burlington County Small Claims complaint. In the Burlington County Small Claims case of the Burlington County Small Claims third party complaint, once properly filed, the Burlington County Small Claims Court normally serves it on the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff. Forms may be available at the appropriate office of the Burlington County Small Claims Court and via worldwide web. However, neither Burlington County Small Claims forms, websites nor advice from Burlington County Small Claims Court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each Burlington County Small Claims Court case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect Small Claims Court complaints or the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaims that result in the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaints or answers to Small Claims Court complaints or the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaims being rejected by the Burlington County Small Claims Court or being dismissed by the Burlington County Small Claims 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 filing the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaims and third party complaints. It is extremely important that you prepare your Burlington County Small Claims the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim or Burlington County Small Claims 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 Burlington County Small Claims case, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your Burlington County Small Claims case. Accordingly, when you are sued and when you want to file a Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim or Burlington County Small Claims third party complaint, you should seriously consider hiring the Burlington County Small Claims attorney to prepare your response to the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint or the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim, to prepare written requests for information to the Burlington County Small Claims party that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have the Burlington County Small Claims attorney represent you in Burlington County Small Claims court. After your Burlington County Small Claims the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim or Burlington County Small Claims 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 Burlington County Small Claims Court 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. When filing a Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim or Burlington County Small Claims third party complaint in the Burlington County Small Claims Court, be sure to include the following information:
 your full name, address, and telephone number.
 the correct names and addresses of all people named as defendants in the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint.
 properly identify whether each defendant is an individual, a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation.
 the amount of money for which you are suing.
 a list of factual reasons why you seek damages from each plaintiff or Burlington County Small Claims third party defendant
 a list of all legal reasons why you may have a right to win your Burlington County Small Claims case.
 whether at the present time there is any other case involving both you and the other parties named to the lawsuit and, if so, the name of the Burlington County Small Claims Court in which any other such case is being heard.
 your signature on the the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim or Burlington County Small Claims third party complaint form.
You must pay a fee to file the document. If you are owed more than the limit for claims filed in the Burlington County Small Claims Court and you want to recover all the money you believe you are due, you shall have to get instructions on how to have the Burlington County Small Claims case removed from that section, Special Civil Part to the regular New Jersey Special Civil Part (if the sum that you claim does not exceed $15,000) or the Law Division, Civil Part (if the sum you claim is greater than $15,000).

WHAT IF I FILED THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT LAWSUIT AND DEFENDANT FILED A BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST ME?
If there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant can file their own lawsuit against the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff, called a “the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim”. If you are named to a Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim, you must be prepared to defend yourself in Burlington County Small Claims court by appearing when the Burlington County Small Claims trial is scheduled in your Burlington County Small Claims case. 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. It is possible for plaintiffs to win on their complaint only to lose on the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant’s the Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim. If you are not represented by the Burlington County Small Claims attorney in the Burlington County Small Claims Court case, you are called a “pro se litigant”. Most cases filed Burlington County Small Claims Court that go to trials are nonjury trials, meaning that only a judge hears the Burlington County Small Claims case. If you are the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant in the Burlington County Small Claims Court case, you could try to demand the Burlington County Small Claims jury trial by paying an additional filing fee and filing a written demand for a trial by jury with the Burlington County Small Claims Court clerk at the principal location of the Burlington County Small Claims Court. However, the demand must be filed with the Burlington County Small Claims Court clerk served upon opposing parties at least five days before the return day stated on the Burlington County Small Claims summons, whereupon the Burlington County Court Clerk shall transfer the action from the Burlington County Small Claims Court to the regular New Jersey Special Civil Part. Jury trials are much more complex than nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive paperwork. However, the Burlington County Small Claims jury trial demand may result in the facts of your Burlington County Small Claims case being decided by the Burlington County Small Claims jury of ordinary people rather than by a single judge. Even where the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or Burlington County Small Claims defendant requests the Burlington County Small Claims jury trial, the legal issues in the Burlington County Small Claims trials are normally decided by the Burlington County Small Claims judge Burlington County Small Claims hearing the Burlington County Small Claims case.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS ENTERED AGAINST YOU AND YOU IGNORE IT?
If you ignore the Burlington County Small Claims judgment, your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the Burlington County Small Claims judgment holder, some of your wages may be taken from you, your personal property may be seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy the Burlington County Small Claims judgment and/or a lien may be put against a house you own. If the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint is for Burlington County Small Claims money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the Burlington County Small Claims judgment requires the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant to pay $500 or more, the Burlington County Small Claims defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff may file papers asking the Burlington County Small Claims Court to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the Burlington County Small Claims defendant's driving and registration privileges until that judgment is paid. 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 to do anything to successfully stop those collection efforts. It is not uncommon to refuse to help such latecomers from taking issue with the collection efforts unless they file papers with the Burlington County Small Claims Court for relief. However, once the Burlington County Small Claims judgment is entered against you, you may ask the Burlington County Small Claims Court to remove or “vacate” the Burlington County Small Claims judgment (discussed below).

WHAT HAPPENS IF DEFENDANT IS DEFAULTED ON THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT COMPLAINT OR IF PLAINTIFF IS DEFAULTED ON A BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COUNTERCLAIM IN THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT CASE?
If the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant is defaulted at the Burlington County Small Claims Court trial for failure to appear and to defend the Burlington County Small Claims Court case or if plaintiff is defaulted for failure to appear and to defend against a Burlington County Small Claims counterclaim, then no trial will occur (unless the Burlington County Small Claims Court vacates the default) and the Burlington County Small Claims party winning the Burlington County Small Claims judgment usually has a certain time frame from the date of the entry of default to file additional paperwork with the Burlington County Small Claims Court to seek the Burlington County Small Claims Court default judgment against the losing party. In some cases, securing the Burlington County Small Claims Court default judgment only requires the winning party to submit paperwork, while in other cases, the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff has to prepare and file a motion and the Burlington County Small Claims Court may require the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff and defendant to appear at a court Burlington County Small Claims hearing – a “proof Burlington County Small Claims hearing”.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS JUDGMENT IN THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT CASE?
Once you get the Burlington County Small Claims judgment, you become the Burlington County Small Claims judgment creditor and you may decide to do nothing or more likely, you may decide to try to collect it. To collect the Burlington County Small Claims Court judgment, New Jersey Special Civil Part officers may be of assistance in taking steps to collect it, but they cannot provide legal advice. Normally, to collect on the Burlington County Small Claims judgment, you need to know the whereabouts of the debtor’s assets and you need to fill out paperwork to direct the Burlington County Small Claims Court officer to try to recover the Burlington County Small Claims judgment from those assets. The collection process is often difficult and if a debtor files for bankruptcy, you may never collect your judgment. The Burlington County Small Claims Court normally has forms available at the Burlington County Small Claims Courthouse and on the worldwide web. However, neither Burlington County Small Claims forms, websites nor advice from Burlington County Small Claims Court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each Burlington County Small Claims Court case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford the Burlington County Small Claims attorney, it is best to have the attorney perform the steps necessary to collect any Burlington County Small Claims Court judgment.

WHAT IF THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS DEFAULT AND/OR BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS ENTERED AGAINST YOU AND YOU STILL WANT A TRIAL?
If the Burlington County Small Claims Court default and/or default judgment was entered against you, you may seek to remove it, called “vacating the default” or “vacating the default judgment”. To vacate either, you must normally prepare a written motion and file the motion with the Burlington County Small Claims Court asking that the default and/or default judgment be vacated. The Burlington County Small Claims Court normally has forms available at the Burlington County Small Claims Courthouse and on the worldwide web. However, neither Burlington County Small Claims forms, websites nor advice from Burlington County Small Claims Court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each Burlington County Small Claims Court case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford the Burlington County Small Claims attorney, it is best to have the attorney perform the steps necessary to prepare the proper motion. If you ignore the default, it may lead to the entry of the Burlington County Small Claims judgment against you. If you ignore the Burlington County Small Claims judgment, your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the Burlington County Small Claims judgment holder, some of your wages may be taken from you, your personal property may be seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy the Burlington County Small Claims judgment and/or a lien may be put against a house you own. If the Burlington County Small Claims Court complaint is for Burlington County Small Claims money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the Burlington County Small Claims judgment requires the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant to pay $500 or more, the Burlington County Small Claims defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff may file papers asking the Burlington County Small Claims Court to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the Burlington County Small Claims defendant's driving and registration privileges until that judgment is paid.

TAKING BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT APPEALS -- WHAT IF I LOSE MY BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT TRIAL OR THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT REFUSES TO VACATE THE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT DEFAULT JUDGMENT?
If you are the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff and you lose the Burlington County Small Claims Court case, it could mean the dismissal of your Burlington County Small Claims lawsuit forever and it could prevent you from ever recovering Burlington County Small Claims money damages against the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant who you believe owes you money. If you are the Burlington County Small Claims Court defendant and you lose the Burlington County Small Claims Court case, it could mean the entry of a money judgment against you and the beginning of the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff’s efforts to collect the Burlington County Small Claims judgment from you by freezing your bank accounts, attaching your wages, putting a lien on your home and forcing you to answer detailed questions about your finances. If you disagree with the Burlington County Small Claims Court’s decision about a summary judgment motion, you may file papers for the Burlington County Small Claims Court to reconsider its decision – called a motion for reconsideration. In some cases, the motion for reconsideration must be made in 20 days from the date of the Burlington County Small Claims Court’s order deciding the summary judgment motion. If the Burlington County Small Claims Court’s decision in your Burlington County Small Claims case is final, you may also appeal the Burlington County Small Claims case to a higher court -- the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. There are very strict deadlines for filing Burlington County Small Claims Court appeals. To appeal the Burlington County Small Claims Court final judgment that resolves all issues in the Burlington County Small Claims case, you may file a notice of appeal and other required documents with the Appellate Division within 45 days from the date of judgment and pay a fee to the Appellate Division – Small Claims Court Burlington County Small Claims Court appeals are not heard by the Burlington County Small Claims Court and you should not try to file appellate papers with the Burlington County Small Claims Court! As part of your appeal, you usually must also prepare a written court transcript request and order a court transcript from the appropriate court that decided the matter against you and pay a fee for it. New Jersey appeals are some of the most complex proceedings in the Burlington County Court system. The Burlington County Small Claims Court normally has forms available on the worldwide web. However, neither Burlington County Small Claims forms, websites nor advice from Burlington County Small Claims Court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each Burlington County Small Claims Court case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford the Burlington County Small Claims attorney, it is best to have the attorney perform the steps necessary to take an appeal. Burlington County Small Claims Court appeals from orders or judgments that are not final are called “interlocutory Burlington County Small Claims Court appeals” and the procedure for such Burlington County Small Claims Court appeals is somewhat different than those for Burlington County Small Claims Court appeals from final judgments or the Burlington County Small Claims orders.

NEED A SMALL CLAIMS TRIAL ATTORNEY? IF YOU HAVE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS TRIALS SCHEDULED, DON’T GO TO COURT UNREPRESENTED!
On the day that your Burlington County Small Claims Case is scheduled for your Burlington County Small Claims trial, whether you are the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff or the Burlington County Small Claims defendant, you must appear at Burlington County Small Claims Court in the proper New Jersey Small Claims Courtroom. On the date your Burlington County Small Claims Case is scheduled for a New Jersey Small Claims trial, you must be fully prepared to try the Case. There are many reasons you should avoid handling your Burlington County Small Claims Trial without the help of a New Jersey Small Claims lawyer, such as the following:

• Burlington County Small Claims 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
• Burlington County Small Claims Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each Burlington County Small Claims Case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey Small Claims plaintiffs and New Jersey Small Claims defendants to file inadequate or incorrect Burlington County Small Claims complaints that result in the Burlington County Small Claims complaints or New Jersey Small Claims paperwork to Burlington County Small Claims complaints being rejected by the Burlington County Small Claims or being dismissed by the Burlington County Small Claims after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the Burlington County Small Claims Case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey Small Claims plaintiffs and New Jersey Small Claims defendants, such as by throwing their Burlington County Small Claims Case out of New Jersey Small Claims Court or limiting what they can present at the Burlington County Small Claims trial.
• New Jersey has many published Cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the Burlington County Small Claims trial.
• it is very common for Burlington County Small Claims Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the Burlington County Small Claims trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey Small Claims plaintiffs and New Jersey Small Claims defendants stumble into Burlington County Small Claims with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a judge tell the New Jersey Small Claims plaintiffs and New Jersey Small Claims defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper New Jersey Small Claims preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the New Jersey Special Civil Part. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the Burlington County Small Claims trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Burlington County Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published Cases.
• you cannot show up at the Burlington County Small Claims expecting the New Jersey Small Claims judge hearing your Burlington County Small Claims Case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your Burlington County Small Claims Case. The New Jersey Small Claims judge hearing your Burlington County Small Claims Case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have a New Jersey Small Claims attorney, you could lose your Burlington County Small Claims Case. Hiring a New Jersey Small Claims attorney to handle part or all of your Burlington County Small Claims Case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your Burlington County Small Claims Case or to avoid certain mistakes.

CAN I HANDLE BURLINGTON COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS CASES MYSELF?
Many people can and do successfully handle special Civil Part cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of your Burlington Special Civil judgment. However, many other people also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their Burlington County Special Civil Part cases or that result in the entry of a money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a New Jersey Small Claims attorney to handle part or all of the Burlington County Special Civil Part case. The following are reasons to use a New Jersey Small Claims attorney to handle part or all of your Burlington County Special Civil Part case:
• Burlington County Special Civil Part Burlington Special Civil court fees often change
• Burlington County Special Civil Part rules often change
• Burlington County Special Civil Part employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and your Burlington Special Civil 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
• Burlington County Special Civil Part court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in court
• each Burlington County Special Civil Part case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect Burlington County Special Civil Part complaints that result in the Burlington County Special Civil Part complaints or answers to Burlington County Special Civil Part complaints being rejected by the Burlington County Special Civil Part or being dismissed by the Burlington County Special Civil Part after filing and before or after the Burlington County Special Civil trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the Burlington County Special Civil Part case.
• a court has the power to punish unprepared parties, such as by throwing their Burlington County Special Civil Part case out of court or limiting what they can present at the Burlington County Special Civil Part trial.
• Burlington County has many published cases, laws, regulations, court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the Burlington County Special Civil Part trial.
• it is very common for Burlington County Special Civil Part courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the Burlington County Special Civil Part trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often parties stumble into Burlington County Special Civil Part with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have your Burlington Special Civil judge tell the Burlington Special Civil plaintiff or Burlington Special Civil defendant that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the Burlington County Special Civil Part. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the Burlington County Special Civil Part trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Burlington Special Civil Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the Burlington County Special Civil Part expecting the Burlington Special Civil judge hearing your Burlington County Special Civil Part case to explain court rules, evidence rules, court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your Burlington County Special Civil Part case. The Burlington Special Civil judge hearing your Burlington County Special Civil Part case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have a New Jersey Small Claims attorney, you could lose your Burlington County Special Civil Part case. Hiring a New Jersey Small Claims attorney to handle part or all of your Burlington County Special Civil Part case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your Burlington County Special Civil Part case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING SPECIAL CIVIL PART CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled Special Civil Part cases for Burlington Special Civil plaintiffs and Burlington Special Civil defendants cases.
• provided pro se parties with Special Civil Part legal advice and Special Civil Part legal documents
• prepared and filed many Special Civil Part complaints
• tried nonjury trials in Special Civil Part
• tried jury trials in Special Civil Part
• mediated many Special Civil Part cases
• served as a voluntary court mediator for the Burlington County Special Civil Part where he successfully assisted parties to lawsuits to settle their cases before they went to trial
• argued motions in Burlington County Special Civil Part cases
• handled Special Civil Part proof hearings
• handled Special Civil Part post judgment collection proceedings
• defended debtors in Special Civil Part collection cases
• represented creditors in Special Civil Part collection cases

NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEW JERSEY CASE?
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 legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS AND NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
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 legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing Burlington County Court papers only to later learn that the New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their New Jersey case. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case.

CAN I RELY ON BURLINGTON COUNTY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
Burlington County Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a Burlington County Court 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. Most Burlington County Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the Burlington County Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON BURLINGTON COUNTY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE BURLINGTON COUNTY COURT?
The Burlington County Court usually provides certain types of Burlington County Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on Burlington County Court forms provided by the Burlington County Court – the Burlington County Court forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey cases often are much more complex than they first appear to be. There is simply no substitute for a competent New Jersey attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey who has experience handling New Jersey cases. Burlington County Court forms don’t talk and Burlington County Court forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey case. Each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford a competent New Jersey attorney, it is best to have the New Jersey attorney prepare your Burlington County Court paperwork for you.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CASE MYSELF?
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants can and do successfully handle New Jersey cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a Burlington County Court judgment. However, many other New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey cases or that result in the entry of a Burlington County Court money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the New Jersey case. The following are reasons to use a New Jersey Small Claims attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case:
• Burlington County Court fees often change
• Burlington County Court rules often change
• Burlington County Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a Burlington County Court 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
• Burlington County Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants to file inadequate or incorrect Burlington County Court complaints that result in the Burlington County Court complaints or answers to Burlington County Court complaints being rejected by the Burlington County Court or being dismissed by the Burlington County Court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the New Jersey case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants, such as by throwing their New Jersey case out of Court or limiting what they can present at the Burlington County Court trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the Burlington County Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the Burlington County Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants stumble into Burlington County Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a Burlington County Court judge tell the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the Burlington County Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the Burlington County Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the Burlington County Court expecting the judge hearing your New Jersey case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your New Jersey case. The judge hearing your New Jersey case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have a New Jersey Small Claims attorney, you could lose your New Jersey case. Hiring a New Jersey Small Claims attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your New Jersey case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many Burlington County Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many Burlington County Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with Burlington County Court legal advice and prepared Burlington County Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many Burlington County Court complaints
• tried Burlington County Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued Burlington County Court motions
• handled Burlington County Court proof hearings
• handled Burlington County Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Burlington County Burlington County Court
• Bergen County Burlington County Court
• Burlington County Burlington County Court
• Camden County Burlington County Court
• Cape May County Burlington County Court
• Cumberland County Burlington County Court
• Essex County Burlington County Court
• Gloucester County Burlington County Court
• Hudson County Burlington County Court
• Mercer County Burlington County Court
• Middlesex County Burlington County Court
• Monmouth County Burlington County Court
• Morris County Burlington County Court
• Ocean County Burlington County Court
• Passaic County Burlington County Court
• Salem County Burlington County Court
• Somerset County Burlington County Court
• Sussex County Burlington County Court
• Union County Burlington County Court
• Warren County Burlington County Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with Burlington County Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Burlington County Burlington County Court
• Bergen County Burlington County Court
• Burlington County Burlington County Court
• Camden County Burlington County Court
• Cape May County Burlington County Court
• Cumberland County Burlington County Court
• Essex County Burlington County Court
• Gloucester County Burlington County Court
• Hudson County Burlington County Court
• Mercer County Burlington County Court
• Middlesex County Burlington County Court
• Monmouth County Burlington County Court
• Morris County Burlington County Court
• Ocean County Burlington County Court
• Passaic County Burlington County Court
• Salem County Burlington County Court
• Somerset County Burlington County Court
• Sussex County Burlington County Court
• Union County Burlington County Court
• Warren County Burlington County Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE A NEW JERSEY SMALL CLAIMS ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris.

2013 NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART TRIAL RULES
The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not been amended, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. The New Jersey Statutes, United States Statutes, New Jersey Administrative Code and Federal Code in this database are not annotated. Accordingly, this database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Further, effective dates of the laws are not necessarily included in the database. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the laws contained in this database for any purpose and before taking any legal measures, you instead should read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with a New Jersey Small Claims attorney for any changes in the laws. Be certain to cross reference all applicable rules before preparing, filing or serving any papers!!! For example, Special Civil Part Rules often cross reference other rules – rules that apply to Special Civil Part Cases as well as to other types of civil cases not being heard in Special Civil Part.
RULE 6:5. Trials
6:5-1. Applicability of Part IV Rules; Sanctions
R. 4:37 (dismissal of actions), R. 4:38 (consolidation), R. 4:39 (verdicts) and R. 4:40 (motion for judgment) are applicable to the Special Civil Part. The court may order a party whose complaint is dismissed pursuant to R. 1:2-4 or R. 4:37-1(b) for failure to appear for trial or who seeks to refile such a complaint pursuant to R. 4:37-4 to pay to the aggrieved party costs, reasonable attorney's fees and expenses related to the dismissed action.
Note: Source --1969 Revision; amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; caption and text amended July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; amended July 9, 2008 to be effective September 1, 2008.
6:5-2. Notice of Trial; Assignment for Trial
 (a) Notice by Clerk. Except for summary actions brought under R. 6:2-1, the clerk shall inform the parties or their attorneys of the trial date at least 30 days before trial. For good cause shown, the court may order a longer or shorter notice in any action.
 (b) Landlord and Tenant Actions. Summary actions between landlord and tenant shall be placed on a separate list on the calendar and shall be heard on the return day unless adjourned by the court, or by consent with the approval of the court. At the beginning of the calendar call and again at the end of the calendar call for latecomers, the judge presiding at the call shall provide instructions substantially conforming with the announcement contained in Appendix XI-S to these rules. Written copies of that announcement also shall be available to litigants in the courtroom. A videotape, prepared either by the Administrative Office of the Courts or by the vicinage, may be used for the second reading when the judge deems its use necessary. In those counties having a significant Spanish-speaking population, the announcement also shall be given in Spanish both orally and in writing; the oral presentation may be given by videotape or other audio-visual device or by the judge presiding at the call.
 (c) Assignment to Particular Judge; Common Issues. If common issues of law or fact are involved in 2 or more actions pending in the Special Civil Part, all such actions shall be assigned for hearing or trial to the same judge. If issues previously determined are involved in a subsequent action, such subsequent action shall be assigned for hearing or trial to the same judge who previously determined such issues unless otherwise ordered by the Assignment Judge or designee.
 (d) Avoidance of Multiple Appearances. Multiple appearances in cases that have been scheduled for trial shall be avoided and, consistent with R. 1:40-7, cases should be disposed of on the trial date by a complementary dispute resolution event, trial, dismissal, or entry of default (with a proof hearing if requested).
Note: Source-R.R. 7:7-3, 7:7-4, 7:7-11, 7:7-12; paragraph (a) amended November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975; amended July 17, 1975 to be effective September 8, 1975; paragraph (c) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraph (a) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; paragraph (a) caption and text amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; paragraph (b) amended July 18, 2001 to be effective November 1, 2001; paragraph (a) caption and text amended and new paragraph (d) added July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002.
6:5-3. Trial by Jury
 (a) How Demanded. In actions commenced in the Special Civil Part a written demand for trial by jury shall be filed with the clerk at the principal location of the court and served upon opposing parties not later than 10 days after the time provided for the defendant to answer; or in the case of a counterclaim the plaintiff may make such demand not later than 10 days after the time provided for the service of a defensive pleading to the counterclaim. In actions in the Small Claims Section the demand may be filed and served by the defendant and the fee paid at least five days before the return day of the summons, whereupon the clerk shall transfer the action to the Special Civil Part.
 (b) Waiver. A trial by jury shall be deemed to be waived unless a demand therefor has been filed in the time and manner herein provided and unless the party demanding the same has, at the time of making such demand, paid the required fee therefor. Trial by jury shall also be deemed to be waived in actions in which a judgment is entered prior to a demand therefor.
 (c) On Court's Order. The court may, in its discretion, order a trial by jury at the plaintiff's expense, to be taxed in the costs of the action notwithstanding the failure of all parties to have made demand therefor.
 (d) Mode of Trial. If a jury is demanded and the demand is not withdrawn by consent, or if trial by jury is ordered by the court, the action shall be tried by jury.
 (e) Consolidated Actions. Where 2 or more actions are consolidated for trial, there need be only one demand for jury and only one jury fee shall be required.
Note: Source-R.R. 7:8-2(a) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h). Paragraph (a) amended June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; paragraph (a) amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; paragraph (a) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989.
RULE 6:6. Judgment
6:6-1. Applicability of Part IV Rules
R. 4:42 (insofar as applicable), R. 4:43-3, R. 4:44 to 4:46, inclusive, and R. 4:48 to 4:50, inclusive, shall apply to the Special Civil Part, except that the requirements of a statement of material facts and a responding statement contained in R. 4:46-2(a) and (b) shall not apply.
Note: Source-R.R. 7:9-5, 7:9-6 (third sentence), 7:10-1, 7:10-2, 7:12-1, 7:12-2, 7:12-3, 7:12-4. Amended by order of September 5, 1969 effective September 8, 1969; amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
6:6-2. Entry of Default and Automatic Vacation Thereof
When a party against whom affirmative relief is sought has failed to appear, plead or otherwise defend as provided by law or these rules, or has failed to appear at the time fixed for trial, or if the party's answer is stricken on order of the court, the clerk shall enter the party's default. A party against whom a default has been entered for failure to plead or enter an appearance may have same automatically removed by the clerk provided there is filed with the clerk within 30 days of its entry a written application with the consent of the adversary endorsed thereon consenting to the vacation of the default, which application shall have annexed thereto the answer or other responsive pleading of the party in default.
Note: Source-R.R. 7:9-1; caption and text amended November 2, 1987 to be effective January 1, 1988; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
6:6-3. Judgment by Default
 (a) Entry by the Clerk; Judgment for Money.
If the plaintiff’s claim against the Burlington County Small Claims defendant is for a sum certain or for a sum that can by computation be made certain, the clerk on request of the plaintiff and on affidavit setting forth a particular statement of the items of the claim, the amounts and dates, the calculated amount of interest, the payments or credits, if any, the net amount due, and the name of the original creditor if the claim was acquired by assignment, shall enter judgment for the net amount and costs against the defendant, if a default has been entered against the defendant for failure to appear and the defendant is not a minor or mentally incapacitated person. If prejudgment interest is demanded in the complaint the clerk shall add that interest to the amount due provided the affidavit of proof states the date of defendant’s breach and the amount of such interest. If the judgment is based on a document of obligation that provides a rate of interest, prejudgment interest shall be calculated in accordance therewith; otherwise it shall be calculated in accordance with R. 4:42-11(a). If a statute provides for a maximum fixed amount as a New Jersey Small Claims attorney fee, contractual or otherwise, and if the amount of the fee sought is specified in the complaint, the clerk shall add it to the amount due, provided that in lieu of the affidavit of services prescribed by R. 4:42-9(b) the attorney files a certification that sets forth the amount of the fee sought, how the amount was calculated, and specifies the statutory provision and, where applicable, the contractual provision that provides for the fixed amount. If the claim is founded on a note, contract, check, or bill of exchange or is evidenced by entries in the plaintiff’s book of account, or other records, a copy thereof shall be attached to the affidavit. The clerk may require for inspection the originals of such documents. The affidavit shall contain or be supported by a separate affidavit containing a statement, by or on behalf of the applicant for a default judgment, that sets forth the source of the address used for service of the summons and complaint. The affidavit prescribed by this Rule shall be sworn to not more than 30 days prior to its presentation to the clerk and, if not made by plaintiff, shall show that the affiant is authorized to make it.
 In any action to collect an assigned claim, plaintiff/creditor shall submit a separate affidavit certifying with specificity the name of the original creditor, the last four digits of the original account number of the debt, the last four digits of the defendant-debtor’s Social Security Number (if known), the current owner of the debt, and the full chain of the assignment of the claim, if the action is not filed by the original creditor.
 If plaintiff’s records are maintained electronically and the claim is founded on an open-end credit plan, as defined in 15 U.S.C. §1602(i) and 12 C.F.R. §226.2(a)(20), a copy of the periodic statement for the last billing cycle, as prescribed by 15 U.S.C. §1637(b) and 12 C.F.R. §226.7, or a computer-generated report setting forth the previous balance, identification of transactions and credits, if any, periodic rates, balance on which the finance charge is computed, the amount of the finance charge, the annual percentage rate, other charges, if any, the closing date of the billing cycle, and the new balance, if attached to the affidavit, shall be sufficient to support the entry of judgment.
 (b) Entry by the Clerk; Judgment for Possession. In summary actions between landlord and tenant for the recovery of premises, judgment for possession may be entered by the clerk on affidavit if the defendant fails to appear, plead or otherwise defend, and is not a minor or mentally incapacitated person, except where the landlord acquired title from the tenant or has given the tenant an option to purchase the property. The affidavit must state the facts establishing the jurisdictional good cause for eviction required by the applicable statute and that the charges and fees claimed to be due as rent, other than the base rent, are permitted to be charged as rent by the lease and by applicable federal, state, and local law. If the landlord is not represented by a New Jersey Small Claims attorney, the affidavit must state that the landlord is not a corporation or other business entity precluded from appearing pro se by R. 6:10. If the landlord is represented by a New Jersey Small Claims attorney, that attorney must also submit a certification that the charges and fees claimed to be due as rent, other than the base rent, are permitted to be charged as rent by the lease and by applicable federal, state, and local law. If the basis for eviction requires service of a notice to quit, the landlord's affidavit must have a copy of all required notices attached, and the affidavit must state that the notices were served as required by law and that the facts alleged in the notices are true.
If the landlord fails to obtain or make written application for the entry of a judgment for possession within 30 days after the entry of default, such judgment shall not be entered thereafter except on application to the court and written notice to the tenant served at least seven days prior thereto by simultaneously mailing same by both certified and ordinary mail or in the manner prescribed for service of process in landlord/tenant actions by R. 6:2-3(b); provided, however, that the 30-day period may be extended by court order or written agreement executed by the parties subsequent to the entry of default and filed with the clerk.
 (c) Entry by the Court; Particular Actions. In all actions to which paragraphs (a) or (b) do not apply, the party entitled to a judgment by default shall apply to the court therefor. No judgment by default shall be entered against a minor or mentally incapacitated person without 5 days' written notice to the guardian or a guardian ad litem appointed for the minor or mentally incapacitated person; nor against any other party without written notice to that party, if the court, in the interest of justice, orders such notice. When a landlord acquired title from the defendant or has given the tenant an option to purchase the property, a judgment for possession by default shall not be entered without proof in open court. If application is made for the entry of judgment by default in deficiency suits or claims based directly or indirectly on the sale of a chattel that has been repossessed peaceably or by legal process, the plaintiff shall prove entitlement to a judgment by affidavit containing a description of the property, the amount realized at the sale or credited to the defendant, the costs of sale and such other proof as required by law. If the plaintiff's claim is for an unliquidated sum that the court finds is susceptible of proof through personal knowledge (as opposed to opinion or expert testimony), it shall enter judgment by default against the Burlington County Small Claims defendant either upon oral testimony in open court or upon affidavit containing the qualifications of the affiant and the information that would be required in the case of oral proof. In all negligence actions involving damage to property, proof of negligence of the defendant shall be by affidavit of the person with knowledge of the negligence of the defendant. In automobile negligence actions and insurance subrogation cases proof of the property damage shall be given by an affidavit of an automobile mechanic or an insurance adjuster or appraiser setting forth the affiant's occupation and business address; if employed, the name of the employer and the affiant's position; the date of inspection of the property involved and, if a vehicle, specifying its make or model, its condition at that time, and its mileage if available; the repairs actually made and the estimated cost thereof; a statement that the repairs were necessary and the charges therefor reasonable; and the amount actually paid for repairs, if completed. The plaintiff may request or the court, after review of the affidavits submitted in accordance with this rule, may require oral testimony in open court.
 (d) Time for Entry. If a party entitled to a judgment by default fails to apply therefor within 6 months after entry of default, judgment shall not be entered except on motion to the court and all applicable proofs required under 6:6-3(a) through (c) shall be attached to the moving papers.
 (e) Notice of Entry. At the time a default judgment is entered, the clerk shall notify the judgment-creditor or judgment-creditor's attorney of the effective date and amount of the judgment. Upon receipt of the notice, the judgment-creditor shall notify the judgment-debtor within 7 days by ordinary mail of the effective date and amount of the judgment.
Note: Source — R.R. 7:9-2(a) (b), 7:9-4. Paragraphs (a) and (d) amended June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; paragraph (c) amended November 1, 1985 to be effective January 2, 1986; paragraph (b) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraph (c) amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990; paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (b) amended July 18, 2001 to be effective November 1, 2001; paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) amended, and new paragraph (e) added July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; paragraphs (a) and (d) amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004; paragraph (b) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006; paragraph (d) amended July 9, 2008 to be effective September 1, 2008; paragraph (a) amended July 19, 2012 to be effective September 4, 2012.
6:6-4. Consent Judgments for Possession and Stipulations of Settlement
Notwithstanding any consent by a tenant, no warrant of removal may be issued or executed unless in compliance with all provisions of law.
 (a) Entry by the Court. A stipulation of settlement or an agreement that provides for entry of a judgment for possession must be written, signed by the parties, and presented to a judge for approval on the day of trial or as the judge otherwise directs, but if it requires the tenant to both pay rent and vacate the premises, the judge shall review it in open court. It must also be accompanied by the affidavit of the landlord and the certification of the landlord's attorney required by R. 6:6-3(b).
 (b) Entry by the Clerk. When the tenant is represented by a New Jersey Small Claims attorney and the attorney has signed the agreement, the clerk may enter judgment for possession upon receipt of the signed consent of the parties and the affidavit of the landlord and the certification of the landlord's attorney specified in R. 6:6-3(b).
Note: Adopted July 18, 2001 to be effective November 1, 2001.
6:6-5. Judgment After Trial; Costs
Upon receipt of the verdict of a jury, or upon determination by a judge sitting without a jury, the clerk shall note the judgment on the jacket and it shall take effect forthwith. The clerk shall thereupon enter the judgment and tax the costs.
Note: Source-R.R. 7:9-6 (first two sentences), as Rule 6:6-4; redesignated as Rule 6:6-5 July 18, 2001 to be effective November 1, 2001.
6:6-6. Post-Judgment Levy Exemption Claims and Applications for Relief in Tenancy Actions
 (a) Generally. Rules 4:52-1 and 4:52-2 shall apply to post-judgment applications for relief in tenancy actions and to claims of exemption from levy in other actions in the Special Civil Part, except that the filing of briefs shall not be required.
 (b) Orders for Orderly Removal. An order for post-judgment relief, applied for on notice to a landlord pursuant to paragraph (a) of this rule, need not have a return date if the sole relief is a stay of execution of a warrant of removal for seven calendar days or less, but it shall provide that the landlord may move for the dissolution or modification of the stay on two days' notice to the tenant or such other notice as the court sets in the order.
 (c) Orders to Release Levies on Exempt Funds. An order to release a levy on funds because they are exempt from execution, levy or attachment under New Jersey law or federal law shall require the third-party garnishee to refund to the judgment-debtor all fees incurred as a result of the levy. However, if the court determines that the judgment-creditor at whose instance the levy was made knew or should have known that the funds were exempt from execution, levy or attachment, the order can require that party to reimburse the judgment-debtor for such fees.
 (d) Forms. Forms for applications for post-judgment relief in tenancy actions and claims of exemption from levy in other actions shall be available to litigants in the clerk's office.
Note: Adopted July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; caption and paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006; former paragraph (c) redesignated as paragraph (d) and new paragraph (c) adopted July 19, 2012 to be effective September 4, 2012.
6:6-7. Issuance by Clerk of Certificate of Satisfaction of Judgment
In cases where a judgment debtor has fully satisfied a judgment, but the clerk has not entered satisfaction on the record pursuant to R. 4:48-2(a) because either the party receiving full satisfaction has not given a warrant for satisfaction or no execution issued on the judgment has been returned fully paid, the judgment debtor may make written application to the clerk for the issuance of a certificate of satisfaction of judgment. Upon receipt of such written application along with proof of payment, the clerk shall send to the attorney for the judgment creditor or the judgment creditor, if pro se, a letter setting forth that the judgment debtor has filed a written application seeking the issuance of a certificate of satisfaction of judgment and that said certificate will be issued within 10 days, unless written objection is received by the clerk with a copy sent to the judgment debtor. The letter sent by the clerk shall include a copy of the written application and proof of payment filed by the judgment debtor. If no objection is received within 10 days from the date of the letter, the clerk shall issue the certificate of satisfaction of judgment to the judgment debtor and enter satisfaction on the record. If an objection is received, the clerk shall set the matter down for a hearing and notify all parties as to the date of the hearing.
Note: Adopted as Rule 6:6-5 November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; redesignated as Rule 6:6-6 July 18, 2001 to be effective November 1, 2001; redesignated as Rule 6:6-7 July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002.
RULE 1:7. General Provisions For Trials
1:7-1. Opening and Closing Statement
 (a) Opening Statement. Before any evidence is offered at trial, the State in a criminal action or the plaintiff in a civil action, unless otherwise provided in the pretrial order, shall make an opening statement. The Burlington County Small Claims defendant who chooses to make an opening statement shall do so immediately thereafter.
 (b) Closing Statement. After the close of the evidence and except as may be otherwise ordered by the court, the parties may make closing statements in the reverse order of opening statements. In civil cases any party may suggest to the trier of fact, with respect to any element of damages, that unliquidated damages be calculated on a time-unit basis without reference to a specific sum. In the event such comments are made to a jury, the judge shall instruct the jury that they are argument only and do not constitute evidence.
Note: Source - R.R. 3:7-3, 4:44-1, 7:8-4; former rule redesignated as paragraph (a), paragraph (b) adopted and caption amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; paragraph (a) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (b) amended July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; paragraph (b) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
1:7-2. Objections
For the purpose of reserving questions for review or appeal relating to rulings or orders of the court or instructions to the jury, a party, at the time the ruling or order is made or sought, shall make known to the court specifically the action which the party desires the court to take or the party's objection to the action taken and the grounds therefor. Except as otherwise provided by R. 1:7-5 and R. 2:10-2 (plain error), no party may urge as error any portion of the charge to the jury or omissions therefrom unless objections are made thereto before the jury retires to consider its verdict, but opportunity shall be given to make the objection in open court, in the absence of the jury. A party shall only be prejudiced by the absence of an objection if there was an opportunity to object to a ruling, order or charge.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-7(b), 3:7-8, 4:47, 4:52-1 (third and fourth sentences); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:7-3. Record of Excluded Evidence
If an objection to a question propounded to a witness is sustained by the court, the examining attorney may, out of the hearing of the jury (if there is a jury), make a specific offer of what is expected to be proved by the answer of the witness, and the court may add such other and further statement as clearly shows the character of the evidence, the form in which it was offered, and the ruling thereon. In actions tried without a jury the court shall upon request permit the evidence and any cross-examination relating thereto or evidence in rebuttal thereof to be taken down by the court reporter in full, or otherwise preserved, unless it clearly appears to the court that the evidence is not admissible on any ground or that the witness is privileged or unless the interest of justice otherwise requires. In actions tried with a jury the court may, in its discretion and in the absence of the jury, permit such taking and preservation of the excluded evidence.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:44-3; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:7-4. Findings by the Court in Non-jury Trials and on Motions
 (a) Required Findings. The court shall, by an opinion or memorandum decision, either written or oral, find the facts and state its conclusions of law thereon in all actions tried without a jury, on every motion decided by a written order that is appealable as of right, and also as required by R. 3:29 The court shall thereupon enter or direct the entry of the appropriate judgment.
 (b) Motion for Amendment. On motion made not later than 20 days after service of the final order or judgment upon all parties by the party obtaining it, the court may grant a rehearing or may, on the papers submitted, amend or add to its findings and may amend the final order or judgment accordingly, but the failure of a party to make such motion or to object to the findings shall not preclude that party's right thereafter to question the sufficiency of the evidence to support the findings. The motion to amend the findings, which may be made with a motion for a new trial, shall state with specificity the basis on which it is made, including a statement of the matters or controlling decisions that counsel believes the court has overlooked or on which it has erred. Motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders shall be determined pursuant to R. 4:42-2.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-1(c), 4:53-1, 4:53-2, 8:7-2(c); caption and text amended November 1, 1985 to be effective January 2, 1986; caption and text amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; caption and text amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; amended and paragraphs (a) and (b) designated July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; paragraph (a) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
1:7-5. Trial Errors
Any error or omission which does not prejudice a substantial right shall be disregarded by the trial court before, during and after trial. The trial court, however, at every stage of the action, including a timely application after trial, may notice any error of such a nature as to have been clearly capable of producing an unjust result, even though such error was not brought to its attention by a party.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:63-1, 4:63-2.
1:7-6. Non-public Business Records
Where the original of a non-public business record has been produced at trial and a clear copy thereof is certified and offered to the court, the court, except for good cause shown, shall permit the copy to be marked into evidence and the original to be returned to its custodian. The parties may stipulate in advance as to the admissibility of such copy.
Note: Adopted November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975.
RULE 1:8. Jury
 (a) Criminal Actions. Criminal actions required to be tried by a jury shall be so tried unless the defendant, in writing and with the approval of the court, after notice to the prosecuting attorney and an opportunity to be heard, waives a jury trial. In sentencing proceedings conducted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(c)(1), the consent of prosecutor shall be required for such waiver.
 (b) Civil Actions. Issues in civil actions triable of right by a jury shall be so tried only if a jury trial is demanded by a party in accordance with R. 4:35-1 or R. 6:5-3, as applicable, and is not thereafter waived. If a jury of twelve is requested, that request shall be included in the jury demand.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-1(a), 4:40-3; paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraph (a) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; captions added to paragraphs (a) and (b) and paragraph (b) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
1:8-2. Number of Jurors
 (a) Number Deliberating in Criminal Actions. A deliberating jury in a criminal action shall consist of 12 persons, but at any time before verdict the parties may stipulate that the jury shall consist of any number less than 12 except in the trials of crimes punishable by death. Such stipulations shall be in writing and with the approval of the court.
 (b) Number Deliberating in Civil Actions. A deliberating jury in a civil action shall consist of six persons unless:
• (1) for good cause shown the court orders a jury of 12 persons pursuant to a demand made in accordance with R. 1:8-1(b); or
• (2) fewer than six jurors remain prior to commencement of deliberations and the parties then agree on the record to submit the case to the remaining jurors; or
• (3) more than six jurors remain prior to the commencement of deliberations and the parties then agree on the record that all remaining jurors shall deliberate.
 (c) Verdict in Civil Actions.
• (1) Unless the parties have agreed on the record prior to commencement of deliberations to accept a verdict or finding by a lesser number, the verdict or finding shall be by agreement of five jurors when six jurors deliberate, and by 10 jurors when 12 jurors deliberate.
• (2) If the parties have agreed on the record to submit the case to fewer than six jurors, pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this rule, the verdict or finding shall be unanimous, unless the parties have also agreed on the record prior to commencement of deliberations to a verdict or finding by a lesser number.
• (3) If the parties have agreed on the record to more than six jurors pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this rule, the verdict or finding shall be by agreement of five-sixths of the deliberating jurors, unless the parties have otherwise agreed on the record prior to commencement of deliberations.
 (d) Alternate Jurors; Civil and Criminal Actions.
• (1) All Actions. The court in its discretion may direct the impanelling of a jury of such number as it deems necessary to ensure that a sufficient number of jurors will remain to deliberate. If a juror is excused after being sworn but before opening statements begin, another juror may be impanelled and sworn, but no juror may be empaneled and sworn thereafter. All the jurors shall sit and hear the case, but the court for good cause shown may excuse any of them from service provided the number of jurors is not reduced to less than 12 or 6 as the case may be or such other number as may be stipulated to. If more than such number are left on the jury at the conclusion of the court's charge, the clerk of the court in the jury's presence shall randomly draw such number of names as will reduce the jury to the number required to determine the issues. Following the drawing of the names of jurors to determine the issues, the court may in its discretion order that the alternate jurors not be discharged, in which event the alternate jurors shall be sequestered apart from the other jurors and shall be subject to the same orders and instructions of the court, with respect to sequestration and other matters, as the other jurors. If the alternate jurors are not discharged and if at any time after submission of the case to the jury, a juror dies or is discharged by the court because of illness or other inability to continue, the court may direct the clerk to draw the name of an alternate juror to take the place of the juror who is deceased or discharged. When such a substitution of an alternate juror is made, the court shall instruct the jury to recommence deliberations and shall give the jury such other supplemental instructions as may be appropriate.
• (2) Civil Actions. In civil actions, instead of selecting alternate jurors, the parties may agree on the record, pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this rule, that all remaining jurors shall deliberate and that the verdict or finding shall be returned by such number as is provided by paragraph (c)(3) of this rule.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-1(b), 3:7-2(d), 4:48-2, 4:49-1(a)(b). Amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (d) amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972; paragraph (d) amended June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; paragraph (b) amended July 17, 1975 to be effective September 8, 1975; paragraph (d) amended July 29, 1977 to be effective September 6, 1977; paragraph (d) amended July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraph (d) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
1:8-3. Examination of Jurors; Challenges
 (a) Examination of Jurors. For the purpose of determining whether a challenge should be interposed, the court shall interrogate the prospective jurors in the box after the required number are drawn without placing them under oath. The parties or their attorneys may supplement the court's interrogation in its discretion. At trials of crimes punishable by death, the examination shall be made of each juror individually, as his name is drawn, and under oath.
 (b) Challenges in the Array; Challenges for Cause. Any party may challenge the array in writing on the ground that the jurors were not selected, drawn or summoned according to law. A challenge to the array shall be decided before any individual juror is examined. A challenge to any individual juror which by law is ground of challenge for cause must be made before the juror is sworn to try the case, but the court for good cause may permit it to be made after the juror is sworn but before any evidence is presented. All challenges shall be tried by the court.
 (c) Peremptory Challenges in Civil Actions. In civil actions each party shall be entitled to 6 peremptory challenges. Parties represented by the same attorney shall be deemed 1 party for the purposes of this rule. Where, however, multiple parties having a substantial identity of interest in one or more issues are represented by different attorneys, the trial court in its discretion may, on application of counsel prior to the selection of the jury, accord the adverse party such additional number of peremptory challenges as it deems appropriate in order to avoid unfairness to the adverse party.
 (d) Peremptory Challenges in Criminal Actions. Upon indictment for kidnapping, murder, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, aggravated arson, arson, burglary, robbery, forgery if it constitutes a crime of the third degree as defined by N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1b, or perjury, the defendant shall be entitled to 20 peremptory challenges if tried alone and to 10 such challenges when tried jointly; and the State shall have 12 peremptory challenges if the defendant is tried alone and 6 peremptory challenges for each 10 afforded defendants when tried jointly. In other criminal actions each defendant shall be entitled to 10 peremptory challenges and the State shall have 10 peremptory challenges for each 10 challenges afforded defendants. The trial judge shall have the discretionary authority to increase proportionally the number of peremptory challenges available to the defendant and the State in any case in which the sentencing procedure set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:11-3 might be utilized. When the case is to be tried by a foreign jury, each defendant shall be entitled to 5 peremptory challenges, and the State 5 peremptory challenges for each 5 peremptory challenges afforded defendants.
 (e) Order of Exercising of Peremptory Challenges.
• (1) In any case in which each side is entitled to an equal number of challenges, those challenges shall alternate one by one, with the State in a criminal case and the plaintiff in a civil case exercising the first challenge.
• (2) In any case in which there is more than one defendant and/or an uneven number of peremptory challenges, the court shall establish the order of challenge, which shall be set forth on the record prior to the commencement of the jury selection process.
• (3) The passing of a peremptory challenge by any party shall not constitute a waiver of the right thereafter to exercise the same against any juror, unless all parties pass successive challenges.
 (f) Conference Before Examination. Prior to the examination of the prospective jurors, the court shall hold a conference on the record to determine the areas of inquiry during voir dire. Attorneys shall submit proposed voir dire questions in writing in advance. If requested, the court shall determine whether the attorneys may participate in the questioning of the prospective jurors and, if so, to what extent. During the course of the questioning, additional questions of prospective jurors may be requested and asked as appropriate under the circumstances. The judge shall rule on the record on the proposed voir dire questions and on any requested attorney participation.
Note: Source - R.R. 3:7-2(b)(c), 4:48-1, 4:48-3. Paragraphs (c) and (d) amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (d) amended July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraph (d) amended July 22, 1983 to be effective September 12, 1983; paragraph (d) amended July 26, 1984 to be effective September 10, 1984; paragraph (d) amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (c) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraph (e) added July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; paragraph (b) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (f) added July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; paragraph (f) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
1:8-4. Foreperson
Juror number one shall be the foreperson; but if that juror is thereafter selected as an alternate juror or otherwise discharged, then the juror next drawn on the impanelling of a jury, who remains on the jury for the determination of the issues, shall be the foreperson.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-2(e), 4:48-2 (last phrase). Amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971, former rule deleted and new rule adopted June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; caption and text amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990.
1:8-5. Availability of Petit Jury List
The list of the general panel of petit jurors shall be made available by the clerk of the court to any party requesting the same at least ten days prior to the date fixed for trial. In cases where the death penalty may be imposed, the list shall be made available to any party requesting it at least twenty days prior to the date fixed for trial.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-2(a). Amended July 16, 1979 to be effective September 10, 1979; amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately.
1:8-6. Sequestration of Juries
 (a) Prior to Instructing of Jury. The jury shall not be sequestered in any action, civil or criminal, prior to the instructing of the jury by the court, unless the court, in its discretion so orders on its finding that there are extraordinary circumstances requiring sequestration for the protection of the jurors or in the interests of justice.
 (b) Following Instructing of Jury. Following the instructing of the jury by the court and during the course of deliberations, the court may, in its discretion, in both civil and criminal actions, permit the dispersal of the jury for the night, for meals, and during other authorized intermissions in the deliberations.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-2(f). Amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972.
1:8-7. Requests to Charge the Jury
 (a) Generally. Either within the time provided by R. 4:25-7 or thereafter but before the close of the evidence, as to issues not anticipated prior to trial, any party may submit written requests that the court instruct the jury on the law as set forth in the requests. The requests shall make specific reference to the Model Civil Jury Charges, if applicable, or to applicable law. Copies of the requests shall be furnished all parties at the time they are submitted to the court. The court shall, on the record, rule on the requests prior to closing arguments to the jury. A verbatim record shall be made of any charge conference the court holds. Objections to the instructions to the jury shall be in accordance with R. 1:7-2.
 (b) In Criminal Cases. Prior to closing arguments, the court shall hold a charge conference on the record in all criminal cases. At the conference the court shall advise counsel of the offenses, defenses and other legal issues to be charged and shall rule on requests made by counsel.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-7(a), 4:52-1 (first and second sentences); amended July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (a) caption and new paragraph (b) added July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; paragraph (a) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
1:8-8. Materials to be Submitted to the Jury; Note-taking; Juror Questions
 (a) Materials. The jury may take into the jury room the exhibits received in evidence, and if the court so directs in a civil action, a list of the claims made by the parties and of the defenses to such claims, a list of the various items of damage upon which proof was submitted at the trial and a list of the verdicts that may be properly found by the jury. Any such list may be prepared by a New Jersey Small Claims attorney or the court, but before delivery to the jury, it shall be submitted to all parties. The court, in its discretion, may submit a copy of its instructions to the jury for its consideration in the jury room. In civil cases, the court may consider the following factors in exercising its discretion to provide a copy of its instructions to the jury: (1) the track to which the case is assigned; (2) a request of one or more parties for submission of written instructions to the jury; (3) the length of the trial; (4) the complexity of the issues and charge; (5) whether the parties timely submitted a proposed charge to the court; (6) whether providing written instructions would unreasonably delay the proceedings; and (7) any other factor based upon the circumstances of the case. The court may also, in its discretion and at such time and in such format as it shall determine, permit the submission to the jury of individual copies of any exhibit provided an appropriate request to employ that technique was made prior to trial on notice to all parties and provided further that the court finds that no party will be unduly prejudiced by the procedure.
 (b) Juror Note-taking. Prior to opening statements, the attorneys or any party may request that the jury be permitted to take notes during the trial or portion thereof, including opening and closing statements. If the court determines to permit note-taking after all parties have had an opportunity to be heard, it shall provide the jurors with note-taking materials and shall take such steps as will ensure the security and confidentiality of each juror's notes.
 (c) Juror Questions. Prior to the commencement of the voir dire of prospective jurors in a civil action, the court shall determine whether to allow jurors to propose questions to be asked of the witnesses. The court shall make its determination after the parties have been given an opportunity to address the issue, but they need not consent. If the court determines to permit jurors to submit proposed questions, it shall explain to the jury in its opening remarks that subject to the rules of evidence and the court's discretion, questions by the jurors will be allowed for the purpose of clarifying the testimony of a witness. The jurors' questions shall be submitted to the court in writing at the conclusion of the testimony of each witness and before the witness is excused. The court, with counsel, shall review the questions out of the presence of the jury. Counsel shall state on the record any objections they may have, and the court shall rule on the permissibility of each question. The witness shall then be recalled, and the court shall ask the witness those questions ruled permissible. Counsel shall, on request, be permitted to reopen direct and cross-examination to respond to the jurors' questions and the witness's answers. A witness who has been excused shall not be recalled to respond to juror questions unless all counsel and the court agree or unless the court otherwise orders for good cause shown.
Note: Source – R.R. 4:52-2; caption and text amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; amended and paragraphs (a) and (b) designated July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; new paragraph (c) added July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; caption amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004; paragraph (c) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006; paragraph (a) amended July 19, 2012 to be effective September 4, 2012.
1:8-9. Return of Verdict
In every trial by jury the verdict shall be returned by the jury to the judge in open court. The verdict shall be unanimous in all criminal actions and shall be rendered in civil actions by the number required by R. 1:8-2(c).
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-9(a), 4:40-4, 7:8-6; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
1:8-10. Polling of Jury
Before the verdict is recorded, the jury shall be polled at the request of any party or upon the court's motion, and it shall be polled in every civil action if the verdict is not unanimous. If the poll discloses that there is not unanimous concurrence in a criminal action or concurrence by the number required by R. 1:8-2(c) in a civil action, the jury may be directed to retire for further deliberations or discharged.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7B9(d), 4:49B2; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
RULE 1:9. Subpoenas
1:9-1. For Attendance of Witnesses; Forms; Issuance; Notice in Lieu of Subpoena
A subpoena may be issued by the clerk of the court or by a New Jersey Small Claims attorney or party in the name of the clerk or as provided by R. R. 7:7-8 (subpoenas in certain cases in the municipal court). It shall state the name of the court and the title of the action and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at the time and place specified therein. If the witness is to testify in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the subpoena shall so note, and shall contain an order to appear without the prepayment of any witness fee. The testimony of a party who could be subpoenaed may be compelled by a notice in lieu of subpoena served upon the party's attorney demanding that the attorney produce the client at trial. If the party is a corporation or other organization, the testimony of any person deposable on its behalf, under R. 4:14-2, may be compelled by like notice. The notice shall be served in accordance with R. 1:5-2 at least 5 days before trial. The sanctions of R. 1:2-4 shall apply to a failure to respond to a notice in lieu of a subpoena.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(a)(b), 4:46-1, 6:3-7(a), 7:4-3 (second paragraph), 8:4-9(a)(b); caption and text amended November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; amended January 5, 1998 to be effective February 1, 1998.
1:9-2. For Production of Documentary Evidence and Electronically Stored Information; Notice in Lieu of Subpoena
A subpoena or, in a civil action, a notice in lieu of subpoena as authorized by R. 1:9-1 may require production of books, papers, documents, electronically stored information, or other objects designated therein. The court on motion made promptly may quash or modify the subpoena or notice if compliance would be unreasonable or oppressive and, in a civil action, may condition denial of the motion upon the advancement by the person in whose behalf the subpoena or notice is issued of the reasonable cost of producing the objects subpoenaed. The court may direct that the objects designated in the subpoena or notice be produced before the court at a time prior to the trial or prior to the time when they are to be offered in evidence and may upon their production permit them or portions of them to be inspected by the parties and their attorneys and, in matrimonial actions and juvenile proceedings, by a probation officer or other person designated by the court. Except for pretrial production directed by the court pursuant to this rule, subpoenas for pretrial production shall comply with the requirements of R. 4:14-7(c).
Note: Source - R.R. 3:5-10(c), 4:46-2, 6:3-7(b), 7:4-3 (second paragraph), 8:4-9(c); amended November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975; amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990; caption and text amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
1:9-3. Service
A subpoena may be served by any person 18 or more years of age. Service of a subpoena shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to the person named together with tender of the fee allowed by law, except that if the person is a witness in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the fee shall be paid before leaving the court at the conclusion of the trial by the sheriff or, in the municipal court, by the clerk thereof.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(b) (last sentence), 3:5-10(d), 4:46-3, 5:2-2, 6:3-7(c), 7:4-6(a) (last sentence), 8:4-9(d); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:9-4. Place of Service
A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a hearing in any court may be served at any place within the State of New Jersey.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(e), 6:3-7(d), 7:4-6(b), 8:4-9(e).
1:9-5. Failure to Appear
Failure without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon any person may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena issued.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(f), 6:3-7(e), 8:4-9(f); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:9-6. Enforcement of Subpoena of Public Officer or Agency
 (a) Ex Parte Application for Compliance. Where by statute a public officer or agency may apply ex parte to the court to compel a person to testify or to produce or file books, papers, documents or other objects in accordance with the subpoena or direction of the officer or agency, or to refrain from certain misconduct, the application may be made by motion supported by affidavit. The court may order the person to appear before the officer or agency and there to proceed as may be directed in the order.
 (b) Application for Compliance on Notice. If in such a case the statute does not provide for an application ex parte, an order to show cause may issue on the motion and supporting affidavit. The order shall be made returnable in not less than 2 nor more than 10 days, requiring such person to show cause before the court why the subpoena or other direction should not be complied with or such misconduct refrained from, and upon the return of the order the court shall afford the person an opportunity to be heard under oath. The court may order a person determined by it to have failed, without justification, to obey the subpoena or other direction, answer a proper question, produce any such thing, or to have been guilty of misconduct, to appear before the officer or agency at a time or times and place mentioned in the order and there to proceed as may be directed in the order.
 (c) Application for Sanctions. Where a statute provides that failure of a person to obey a subpoena or order of a public officer or administrative agency or a receiver, to testify, to answer a proper question, or to produce books, papers, documents or other objects, or that misconduct on the part of a person attending a hearing, shall be punishable by the court in the same manner as like failure or misconduct is punishable in an action pending in the court, the matter shall be brought before the court by motion supported by affidavit stating the circumstances. Upon the motion the court may issue an order to show cause, returnable in not less than 2 nor more than 10 days, requiring the person to show cause before the court why punishment should not be ordered; or the court may issue an attachment. If the court determines that the failure or misconduct above mentioned was without justification, it may punish as for a contempt of court.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:46-5(a)(b)(c); paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
RULE 4:35. Trial By Jury Or By The Court
4:35-1. Demand for Jury Trial
 (a) Demand; Time; Manner. Except as otherwise provided by R. 4:67-5 (summary actions), any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other parties a demand therefor in writing not later than 10 days after the service of the last pleading directed to such issue. Such demand may be appended to the party's pleading.
 (b) Demand; Specification of Issues. A party's demand may specify the issues to be so tried; otherwise the party shall be deemed to have demanded trial by jury for all issues so triable. If the demand is for trial by jury for only some of the issues, any other party within 10 days after service of the demand or such shorter or longer time as the court orders, may serve a demand for trial by jury of any other or all of the issues so triable.
 (c) Waiver. The failure of a party to serve a demand as required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this rule constitutes a waiver of trial by jury.
 (d) Withdrawal of Demand; Consent. When trial by jury has been demanded as provided by this rule, the trial of all issues so demanded shall be by jury, unless all parties or their attorneys, by written and filed stipulation or oral stipulation made in open court and entered on the record, consent to trial by the court without a jury, or unless the court on a party's or its own motion finds that a right of trial by jury of some or all of those issues does not exist.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:39-1, 4:39-2, 4:39-3, 4:40-3. Paragraph (d) amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:35-2. Advisory Jury and Trial by Consent
The court on motion or its own initiative may try with an advisory jury any issue not triable of right by a jury, or it may, with the consent of all parties appearing at the trial, order a trial of any such issue with a jury whose verdict has the same effect as if trial by jury had been a matter of right.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:40-1.
4:35-3. Trial by the Court
Except as provided by R. 4:35-1(d) and 4:35-2, all issues of fact not triable of right by a jury shall be decided by the court without a jury, whether or not any other issues are submitted to a jury. If certain of the issues are to be decided by a jury and others by the court, the court shall determine the sequence in which the issues shall be tried.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:40-2.
4:35-4. Continuous Trials
Insofar as practicable, all jury and non-jury trials should be continuous and uninterrupted, and should run for the full day as fixed by R. 1:30-3.
Note: Adopted July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
RULE 4:37. Dismissal Of Actions
4:37-1. Voluntary Dismissal; Effect Thereof
 (a) By Plaintiff; By Stipulation. Subject to the provisions of R. 4:32-2(e) (class actions), R. 4:53-1 (receivership actions) and R. 4:60-18 (attachment actions), an action may be dismissed by the plaintiff without court order by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service by the adverse party of an answer or of a motion for summary judgment, whichever first occurs; or by filing a stipulation of dismissal specifying the claim or claims being dismissed, signed by all parties who have appeared in the action. Unless otherwise stated in the notice or stipulation, the dismissal is without prejudice.
 (b) By Order of Court. Except as provided by paragraph (a) hereof, an action shall be dismissed at the plaintiff's instance only by leave of court and upon such terms and conditions as the court deems appropriate. If a counterclaim has been filed and served by the Burlington County Small Claims defendant prior to being served with plaintiff's motion to dismiss, the action shall not be dismissed against the defendant's objection unless the counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication by the court. Unless otherwise specified in the order, a dismissal under this paragraph is without prejudice.
Note: Source -- R.R. 4:42-1(a)(b); paragraph (b) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended August 1, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
4:37-2. Involuntary Dismissal; Effect Thereof
 (a) For Failure to Comply With Rule or Order. For failure of the plaintiff to cause a summons to issue within 15 days from the date of the Track Assignment Notice or to comply with these rules or any order of court, the court in its discretion may on defendant's motion dismiss an action or any claim against the defendant. Such a dismissal shall be without prejudice unless otherwise specified in the order.
 (b) At Trial-Generally. After having completed the presentation of the evidence on all matters other than the matter of damages (if that is an issue), the plaintiff shall so announce to the court, and thereupon the defendant, without waiving the right to offer evidence in the event the motion is not granted, may move for a dismissal of the action or of any claim on the ground that upon the facts and upon the law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. Whether the action is tried with or without a jury, such motion shall be denied if the evidence, together with the legitimate inferences therefrom, could sustain a judgment in plaintiff's favor.
 (c) At Trial-Claim for Contribution. When a claim for contribution has been asserted pursuant to R. 4:7-5, a motion for dismissal as to any defendant against whom such claim has been asserted shall be held in abeyance until the close of all the evidence, and at that time the granting of the motion shall constitute an adjudication upon the merits of the claim for contribution. If the motion is denied, the claim for contribution need not be separately submitted to the jury but the verdict as to the liability of each defendant shall determine which of the parties are joint tort feasors. If the amount of the contribution of each defendant may be determined as a matter of law, the judge shall enter judgment thereon at the request of any party. If any party asserts any settlement or part payment or other matter not determined in the negligence action which may affect the amount of the contribution, and there is a dispute as to any material fact, a separate trial shall be held to determine the same.
 (d) Dismissal With Prejudice; Exceptions. Unless the order of dismissal otherwise specifies, a dismissal under R. 4:37-2(b) or (c) and any dismissal not specifically provided for by R. 4:37, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction, operates as an adjudication on the merits.
 (e) Continued Participation in Subsequent Proceedings. If a claim is dismissed as to the Burlington County Small Claims defendant before final judgment as to all issues and all parties, that defendant shall have notice of and the right to participate in any subsequent proceedings in the case.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:12-2(a)(b) (first four sentences), 4:13-6(b)(2); paragraph (c) caption and text amended January 16, 1975 to be effective April 1, 1975; paragraph (e) adopted July 17, 1975 to be effective September 8, 1975; paragraphs (a), (b) and (e) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended November 1, 2002 to be effective immediately.
4:37-3. Dismissal of Counterclaim, Cross-Claim or Third-Party Claim
The provisions of R. 4:37-1 and 4:37-2(a), (b) apply to the dismissal of any counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party claim. A voluntary dismissal by the claimant alone pursuant to R. 4:37-1(a) shall be made before a responsive pleading is served or, if there is none, before the introduction of evidence at the trial or hearing.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:42-3.
4:37-4. Costs of Previously Dismissed Action
If the Burlington County Small Claims plaintiff who has once dismissed an action in any court commences an action based upon or including the same claim against the same defendant, the court, on motion of said defendant made before service of the answer, may make such order for the payment of costs of the action previously dismissed as it deems appropriate and may stay the proceedings in the action until the plaintiff has complied therewith.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:42-4; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
RULE 4:38. Consolidation; Separate Trials
4:38-1. Consolidation
 (a) Actions in the Superior Court. When actions involving a common question of law or fact arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions are pending in the Superior Court, the court on a party's or its own motion may order the actions consolidated. If the actions are not triable in the same county or vicinage, the order shall be made by the Assignment Judge of the county in which the venue is laid in the action first instituted on a party's motion, the judge's own initiative, or on certification of the matter to the judge by a judge of the Law or Chancery Division. A motion to consolidate an action pending in the Special Civil Part with an action pending in the Chancery Division or the Civil Part of the Law Division shall be heard, regardless of which action was first filed, in the county in which venue is laid in the Chancery or Law Division, Civil Part action. If the motion is granted, the Special Civil Part action shall be consolidated with the Chancery or Law Division, Civil Part action.
 (b) Actions in the Superior and Other Courts. When an action is pending in the Superior Court, and another action involving a common question of law or fact arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions is pending in any other court, the Superior Court on a party's or its own motion may remove the action from the other court and consolidate it with the action in the Superior Court.
 (c) Order; Further Proceedings. Unless the court otherwise directs in the order of consolidation, all papers thereafter filed in the consolidated action shall (1) include the caption and docket number of each separate action, that of the earliest instituted action to be listed first, and (2) state with specificity the pleading or motion to which the paper is responsive. If actions pending in different venues are consolidated, the order shall specify the venue in which the consolidated action shall proceed and the party having the responsibility to file a copy of the order with the deputy clerk of the Superior Court in each county from which an action is being transferred. The order of consolidation may also include such terms as the court may prescribe to expedite further proceedings. In addition to the filing required by R. 1:6-4, a copy of the order of consolidation shall be included in the deputy clerk of the Superior Court's file of each separate action.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:43-1(a)(b)(c)(d)(e); paragraph (b) amended, paragraphs (c) and (d) deleted and former paragraph (e) redesignated as paragraph (c) July 26, 1984 effective September 10, 1984; paragraph (c) amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990; paragraph (a) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (c) amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996; paragraph (a) amended July 9, 2008 to be effective September 1, 2008.
4:38-2. Separate Trials
 (a) Severance of Claims. The court, for the convenience of the parties or to avoid prejudice, may order a separate trial of any claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, third-party claim, or separate issue, or of any number of claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, third-party claims, or issues.
 (b) Separation of Liability and Damage Claims. Whenever multiple parties, issues or claims are presented in individual or consolidated actions and the nature of the action or actions is such that a trial of all issues as to liability and damages may be complex and confusing, or whenever the court finds that a substantial saving of time would result from trial of the issue of liability in the first instance, the court may on a party's or its own motion, direct that the issues of liability and damages be separately tried. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the issue of liability shall be tried first, and if the order of bifurcation otherwise directs, the reasons therefor shall be explicitly stated therein.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:43-2(a)(b). Caption of paragraph (b) amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (b) amended January 19, 1989 to be effective February 1, 1989.
RULE 4:39. Verdicts
4:39-1. Special Verdicts
The court may require a jury to return only a special verdict in the form of a special written finding upon each issue of fact, in which case it may submit to the jury either written questions which can be categorically or briefly answered or written forms of the several special findings which might properly be made under the pleadings and evidence; or it may use such other method of submitting the issues and requiring written findings thereon as it deems appropriate. The court shall instruct the jury concerning the matters submitted as is necessary to enable it to make its findings upon each issue. If in so doing the court omits any issue of fact raised by the pleadings or by the evidence, each party waives the right to a trial by jury of the issues so omitted unless before the jury retires submission to the jury is demanded. The court may make a finding as to an issue omitted without such demand, or, if it fails to do so, it shall be deemed to have made a finding in accord with the judgment on the special verdict.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:50-1; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:39-2. General Verdict Accompanied by Answer to Interrogatories
The court may submit to the jury, together with appropriate forms for a general verdict, written interrogatories upon one or more issues of fact the decision of which is necessary to a verdict. The court shall direct the jury both to make written answers and to render a general verdict, and shall instruct it, as is necessary, to enable it to do so. If the general verdict and the answers are consistent, the court shall direct the entry of the appropriate judgment upon the verdict and answers. When the answers are consistent with each other but one or more is inconsistent with the general verdict, the court may direct the entry of judgment in accordance with the answers, notwithstanding the general verdict, or may return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict, or may order a new trial. When the answers are inconsistent with each other and one or more is likewise inconsistent with the general verdict, the court shall not direct the entry of judgment but may return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict or may order a new trial.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:50-2.
4:39-3. Omissions in Verdict in Action to Recover Personal Property
If, in an action to recover personal property unlawfully detained, or on an issue concerning several things in one count, the verdict fails to find for part of them, such verdict shall stand, but the plaintiff shall be barred of title to the things omitted.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:50-3; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
RULE 4:40. Motion For Judgment
4:40-1. Motion for Judgment at Trial
A motion for judgment, stating specifically the grounds therefor, may be made by a party either at the close of all the evidence or at the close of the evidence offered by an opponent. If the motion is made prior to the close of all the evidence and is denied, the moving party may then offer evidence without having reserved the right to do so. A motion for judgment which is denied is not a waiver of trial by jury even if all parties to the action have so moved.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:51-1.
4:40-2. Reservation of Decision on Motion; Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict
 (a) Reservation of Decision. The court may reserve decision on a motion for judgment made at the close of all the evidence, submit the case to the jury and then decide the motion either before or within 10 days after the verdict, or if no verdict is returned, within 10 days after the jury's discharge. The court may enter judgment in accordance with the motion or in the interest of justice order a new trial.
 (b) Renewal of Motion. If a motion for judgment is denied and the case submitted to the jury, the motion may be renewed in accordance with the procedure prescribed by R. 4:49-1 (new trial) within 20 days after the verdict or the jury's discharge. A motion so renewed may include in the alternative a motion for a new trial, and every motion made by a party for a new trial shall be deemed to include, in the alternative, a renewal of any motion for judgment made by that party at the close of the evidence. If the motion is granted on renewal thereof, the court shall nevertheless rule on the motion for a new trial determining whether it should be granted if the judgment is thereafter reversed or vacated. Briefs shall be submitted with the renewal of the motion for judgment. Failure to renew the motion shall not preclude appellate review of the denial of the motion made at trial.
 (c) Motion of Party Aggrieved by Setting Aside. Within 20 days after service of an order setting aside a verdict or judgment under this rule, the party thereby aggrieved may move for a new trial or renew a motion for judgment.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:51-2(a)(b)(c)(d)(e); paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
RULE 4:47. Entry Of Judgement
Subject to the provisions of R. 4:42-2 (judgment on multiple claims) judgment shall be entered as follows:
 (a) Unless the court otherwise orders, the clerk shall forthwith prepare, sign and enter the judgment in the Civil Docket without awaiting further direction by the court: (1) upon a general verdict of a jury; (2) upon a decision by the court that a party shall recover only a sum certain or costs or that all relief shall be denied, and (3) upon a special verdict or general verdict accompanied by answers to interrogatories which is forthwith convertible by the court into a money judgment or a judgment that relief shall be denied. Upon payment by the proponent of the judgment of the fee prescribed by N.J.S.A. 22A:2-7, the judgment shall be entered in the Civil Judgment and Order Docket in accordance with R. 4:101-2.
 (b) Where the decision of the court grants other than monetary relief, or is reserved or where a special verdict or a general verdict accompanied by answers to interrogatories is not convertible pursuant to paragraph (a), the court shall promptly approve the form of judgment and the clerk of the court shall enter it.
The notation of a judgment in the Civil Docket constitutes the entry of the judgment, and the judgment shall not take effect before such entry unless the court in the judgment shall, for reasons specified therein, direct that it take effect from the time it is signed, but no such direction shall affect the lien or priority of the judgment. The entry of the judgment shall not be delayed for the taxing of costs.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:59. Amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraphs (a) and (b) amended July 26, 1984 to be effective September 10, 1984; amended November 2, 1987 to be effective January 1, 1988; paragraph (a) amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996.
RULE 4:49. New Trials; Amendment Of Judgments
4:49-1. Motion for New Trial
 (a) Grounds of Motion. A new trial may be granted to all or any of the parties and as to all or part of the issues on motion made to the trial judge. On a motion for a new trial in an action tried without a jury, the trial judge may open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact and conclusions of law or make new findings and conclusions, and direct the entry of a new judgment. The trial judge shall grant the motion if, having given due regard to the opportunity of the jury to pass upon the credibility of the witnesses, it clearly and convincingly appears that there was a miscarriage of justice under the law.
 (b) Time for Motion, Cross-Motion; Affidavits. A motion for a new trial shall be served not later than 20 days after the court's conclusions are announced in nonjury actions or after the return of the verdict of the jury. The motion shall be noticed for hearing and argued no later than the second regular motion day following the service thereof, unless the court for good cause shown orders the hearing fixed for either an earlier or a later date. The opposing party may, within 10 days after service of the motion, serve a cross-motion for a new trial returnable at the same time and place as the motion. If a motion for a new trial is based upon affidavits they shall be served with the motion; opposing affidavits shall be served within 10 days thereafter which period may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 20 days either by written stipulation of the parties or court order. The court may permit reply affidavits. Except in special circumstances the motion shall be decided by the judge on trial notes without awaiting a transcript of the testimony.
 (c) On Initiative of Court. Not later than 20 days after entry of judgment the court on its own motion may order a new trial for any reason for which it might have granted a new trial on motion of a party. After giving the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard on the matter the court may grant a motion for a new trial timely served, for a reason not stated in the motion. In either case, the court shall specify in the order the grounds therefor.
 (d) Motion for New Trial as Not Barring Appeal. A motion for a new trial or any action or adverse determination on the motion shall not bar an appeal or the review of any matter on appeal.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:61-1(a), 4:61-2, 4:61-3, 4:61-4, 4:61-5. Paragraph (a) amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (b) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
4:49-2. Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment or Order
Except as otherwise provided by R. 1:13-1 (clerical errors) a motion for rehearing or reconsideration seeking to alter or amend a judgment or order shall be served not later than 20 days after service of the judgment or order upon all parties by the party obtaining it. The motion shall state with specificity the basis on which it is made, including a statement of the matters or controlling decisions which counsel believes the court has overlooked or as to which it has erred, and shall have annexed thereto a copy of the judgment or order sought to be reconsidered and a copy of the court's corresponding written opinion, if any.
Note: Source — R.R. 4:61-6. Amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; amended July 19, 2012 to be effective September 4, 2012.
RULE 4:50. Relief From Judgment Or Order
4:50-1. Grounds of Motion
On motion, with briefs, and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or the party's legal representative from a final judgment or order for the following reasons: (a) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (b) newly discovered evidence which would probably alter the judgment or order and which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under R. 4:49; (c) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (d) the judgment or order is void; (e) the judgment or order has been satisfied, released or discharged, or a prior judgment or order upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment or order should have prospective application; or (f) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment or order.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (first sentence); amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:50-2. Time of Motion
The motion shall be made within a reasonable time, and for reasons (a), (b) and (c) of R. 4:50-1 not more than one year after the judgment, order or proceeding was entered or taken.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (second sentence).
4:50-3. Effect of Motion
A motion under R. 4:50 does not suspend the operation of any judgment, order or proceeding or affect the finality of a final judgment, nor does this rule limit the power of a court to set aside a judgment, order or proceeding for fraud upon the court or to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order or proceeding.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (third and fourth sentences).
Website Builder