Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

New Jersey Law Division Case Tips


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 at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

The information in this article is only for New Jersey Law Division, Civil Part cases and not for other New Jersey court cases, such as those in New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court!!! Do not use this article if you have a New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court case!!! Also, no website is a substitute for competent advice from a New Jersey lawyer!

Warning – this article does not necessarily include each and every New Jersey court rule 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of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not been amended, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law.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this database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid.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 statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website 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 an 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.

HERE ARE 10 TIPS FOR HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Here are 10 suggestions that might be of use to you when handling your New Jersey case! The information in this article is only for New Jersey Law Division, Civil Part cases and not for other New Jersey courts such as New Jersey Special Civil, New Jersey Small Claims or New Jersey Chancery!!!
Also, no website is a substitute for competent advice from a New Jersey lawyer!

ONE – PREPARE NEW JERSEY COMPLAINTS AND NEW JERSEY ANSWERS VERY CAREFULLY!!!
If you are a New Jersey plaintiff, prepare your New Jersey complaint carefully. Make sure your New Jersey complaint includes all: (a) claims – “causes of action” – that you are able to raise against the New Jersey defendants and that you have a legal and factual basis to bring against the New Jersey defendants; and (b) requests for relief – types of damages or “help” from the New Jersey court - to which you might be entitled against the New Jersey defendants. Failing to include all proper New Jersey claims and New Jersey requests for relief in your New Jersey complaint may doom your New Jersey case to failure! If you are a New Jersey defendant, prepare your New Jersey answer carefully. Make sure that your New Jersey answer accurately answers all allegations of the New Jersey complaint paragraph for paragraph and that your New Jersey answer includes all defenses you are able to raise against the New Jersey complaint. Failing to include all proper New Jersey defenses in your New Jersey answer or answering New Jersey complaints improperly may doom your New Jersey case to failure and may expose you to a New Jersey money judgment!

TWO – DON’T EXPECT NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO!!!
New Jersey court personnel are generally not allowed to give New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants legal advice. New Jersey court personnel are generally not allowed to tell you how to handle your case. Many New Jersey court personnel are not lawyers or certified paralegals. Be careful to avoid relying on the advice of New Jersey court personnel. Don’t expect a New Jersey judge to be convinced if you argue that you relied on of New Jersey court personnel when making certain decisions in your New Jersey case!

THREE – PREPARE FOR YOUR NEW JERSEY TRIAL IMMEDIATELY!
Depending on the type of case you have New Jersey trials can occur fairly rapidly after a New Jersey complaint is answered (in as quickly as under one year). Failure to take certain steps to prepare your New Jersey case for a New Jersey arbitration or New Jersey trial may result in you losing your New Jersey case because you failed to secure New Jersey case documents, to secure New Jersey interrogatory answers or to locate New Jersey witnesses and issue New Jersey subpoenas to New Jersey witnesses! Don’t wait until the day or week before New Jersey trial to prepare for your New Jersey trial! Far in advance of your New Jersey arbitration and New Jersey trial, documents have to be requested collected and New Jersey witnesses subpoenaed. It is not uncommon for a New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant show up at a New Jersey trial asking for an adjournment because they are not ready to try their New Jersey case, with the New Jersey judge refusing to grant the request! New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants often appear at a New Jersey trial unprepared only to learn the hard way that, very often, the key to winning a New Jersey trial is careful preparation. Make sure your New Jersey case is assigned to the right New Jersey discovery case track and if it is not assigned to the right New Jersey discovery case track, file the proper New Jersey court paperwork to get the New Jersey case reassigned to the proper New Jersey discovery case track. Here are some examples of New Jersey case tracks:

Track I – assigned 150 days of New Jersey discovery
151 Name Change
175 Forfeiture
302 Tenancy
399 Real Property
502 Book Account (debt collection matters only)
505 Other Insurance Claim (including declaratory judgment
actions)
506 PIP Coverage
510 UM or UIM Claim
511 Action on a Negotiable Instrument
512 Lemon Law
801 Summary Action
802 Open Public Records Act (Summary Action)
999 Other

Track II – assigned 300 days of New Jersey discovery
305 Construction
509 Employment (other than CEPA or LAD)
599 Contract/Commercial Transaction
603 Auto Negligence – Personal Injury
605 Personal Injury
610 Auto Negligence – Property Damage
699 Tort – Other

Track III – assigned 450 days of New Jersey discovery
005 Civil Rights
301 Condemnation
602 Assault and Battery
604 Medical Malpractice
606 Products Liability
607 Professional Malpractice
608 Toxic Tort
609 Defamation
616 Whistleblower/Conscientious Employee Protection Act
(CEPA) Cases
617 Inverse Condemnation
618 Law Against Discrimination (LAD) Cases
620 False Claims Act

Track IV – assigned to an individual judge for 450 days of New Jersey discovery managed by that judge
discovery
156 Environmental/Environmental Coverage Litigation
303 Mt. Laurel
508 Complex Commercial
513 Complex Construction
514 Insurance Fraud
701 Action in Lieu of Prerogative Writs

From time to time, the New Jersey Court changes New Jersey track assignments for types of New Jersey cases. The New Jersey court issues a New Jersey Track Assignment Notice after a
New Jersey complaint is filed and the New Jersey court mails that New Jersey Track Assignment Notice to the New Jersey plaintiff with the docketed copy of
the New Jersey complaint or within 10 days of the filing of the New Jersey complaint. The New Jersey Track Assignment Notice will advise the New Jersey plaintiff of the New Jersey track, New Jersey court team and New Jersey judge to which the New Jersey case is assigned. The New Jersey Track Assignment Notice must be attached to, and served with, the New Jersey summons, New Jersey complaint and New Jersey case information statement on all New Jersey case parties. Within 30 days of receipt of the New Jersey Track Assignment Notice, the New Jersey plaintiff may apply to the New Jersey court for a change of the initial New Jersey case track assignment by filing a certification of good cause. Also, any party other than the New Jersey plaintiff can ask the New Jersey court to change the initial New Jersey case track assignment by filing and serving a New Jersey certification of good cause with the party’s first New Jersey pleading (such as a New Jersey answer). Objections to the New Jersey certification of good cause for change of the New Jersey track assignment must be made in 10 days by filing with the New Jersey court a responding New Jersey certification. Thereafter, the New Jersey court issues a written response telling the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants of the New Jersey court’s decision on the request to change the New Jersey track assignment. In 15 days of the entry of any such decision by the New Jersey court, any New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant that is dissatisfied with the New Jersey court’s decision on the request to change the New Jersey track assignment may file a New Jersey motion asking the New Jersey court to reassign the case to another New Jersey case track. After that 15 day period is over in which to challenge the New Jersey track assignment, further requests to change the New Jersey track assignment must be made by a New Jersey motion or on the New Jersey court’s own motion only if the fundamental cause or causes of action in the New Jersey case change or if the New Jersey case type or New Jersey case track was mistakenly identified on a New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant’s New Jersey case information statement or mistakenly
entered by New Jersey court staff into the New Jersey Civil Automated Case Management System.

FOUR – DON’T THINK THAT YOU ARE CERTAIN TO WIN YOUR SPECAL CIVIL CASE SIMPLY BY FILING PAPERS AND SHOWING UP AT YOUR NEW JERSEY TRIAL!!
Winning a New Jersey case is not simply a matter of preparing and filing a New Jersey complaint or answer and showing up at New Jersey court. Many people think that their New Jersey proofs are certain to result in their winning their New Jersey case. But most likely, you only know your side of the story of your New Jersey case and you don’t know your New Jersey opponent’s side of that story. To be prepared to try your New Jersey case, you need to know your New Jersey opponent’s side of your New Jersey case. Otherwise, you may learn for the first time too late at the New Jersey trial that you are not certain to win your New Jersey case. To get your New Jersey opponent’s side of the case, well before a New Jersey arbitration or New Jersey trial begins, you may have to ask for a New Jersey plaintiff’s deposition or a New Jersey defendant’s deposition, secure New Jersey interrogatory answers and secure New Jersey case documents for use at your New Jersey trial!

FIVE – SERVE YOUR OPPONENT WITH WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION BEFORE YOUR NEW JERSEY TRIAL!!
Timely serve your opponents with detailed New Jersey discovery requests. If you are a New Jersey plaintiff, be sure to ask for documents and information to prove your New Jersey complaint; if you are a New Jersey defendant, be sure to ask for documents and information to prove your denials of the New Jersey complaint and defenses to the New Jersey complaint. You ask for information in a formal way – a written New Jersey request sent to your New Jersey opponent.

SIX – GET COMPLETE RESPONSES TO WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION BEFORE YOUR NEW JERSEY TRIAL!!
It is your duty to follow the New Jersey court rules and use them to get complete responses to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents). Unless you take action to make sure you get complete responses to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents), you may go to your New Jersey trial unprepared and lose your New Jersey case! The New Jersey court rules include penalties for New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants failing to answer properly prepared and served New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents). Take advantage of the New Jersey court rules to get complete responses to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents). If a New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant only gives you objections or incomplete answers to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents), you can prepare and file papers to seek New Jersey penalties against the offending parties! Many times, New Jersey plaintiffs or New Jersey defendants win their New Jersey cases by refusing to be satisfied with unresponsive or incomplete responses to New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents)!

SEVEN – DON’T EXPECT THE NEW JERSEY COURT TO BE FAMILIAR WITH THE DETAILS OF YOUR CASE
New Jersey courts are very busy with New Jersey cases other than your New Jersey case. Don’t ever expect New Jersey court personnel to be familiar with the details of your New Jersey case. Usually, many New Jersey court personnel who deal with your New Jersey case never read your New Jersey complaints, New Jersey answers and New Jersey motions unless they must do so because performing a job requires them to read it. When dealing with New Jersey court personnel, be prepared to explain those details of your New Jersey case that are necessary for them to understand your New Jersey case.

EIGHT – IF YOU EXPECT TO CALL NEW JERSEY WITNESSES AT YOUR NEW JERSEY TRIAL, MAKE SURE TO ISSUE NEW JERSEY SUBPOENAS FOR THEIR APPEARANCE
To make certain that a New Jersey witness will appear to give testimony in your New Jersey trial, prepare proper New Jersey subpoenas and have them properly served on the New Jersey witness well in advance of your New Jersey trial. Otherwise the New Jersey witness may not show up at your New Jersey trial and you may be without crucial evidence to prove your New Jersey case!

NINE – IF YOU WANT TO USE NEW JERSEY CASE DOCUMENTS AT YOUR NEW JERSEY TRIAL, BE PREPARED TO HAVE THE RIGHT PERSON PRESENT TO TESTIFY ABOUT THOSE NEW JERSEY CASE DOCUMENTS
You cannot always use New Jersey case documents at your New Jersey trial. Even affidavits are often unusable at a New Jersey trial. Often, New Jersey plaintiffs or New Jersey defendants are prevented from using documents at their New Jersey trials because they don’t have the right person to testify about the document’s authenticity/accuracy. You may need to call and serve a New Jersey subpoena New Jersey witnesses to testify about the documents that you want to use at your New Jersey trial!

TEN – WRITE OUT THE QUESTIONS YOU SHALL ASK AT YOUR NEW JERSEY TRIAL BEFORE IT STARTS
New Jersey judges usually want you to be prepared to start your New Jersey trial as soon as your New Jersey case is called to be tried. New Jersey judges don’t want to wait for you to decide what questions you will ask your New Jersey witnesses during the New Jersey trial. How you ask your questions during your New Jersey trial could affect whether you win your New Jersey case. Take the time to prepare your New Jersey direct examination and New Jersey cross examination in advance of your New Jersey trial.

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 New Jersey 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 NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey 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 New Jersey Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
The New Jersey Court usually provides certain types of New Jersey Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on New Jersey Court forms provided by the New Jersey Court – the New Jersey 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. New Jersey Court forms don’t talk and New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case:
• New Jersey Court fees often change
• New Jersey Court rules often change
• New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey 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
• New Jersey 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 New Jersey Court complaints that result in the New Jersey Court complaints or answers to New Jersey Court complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Court or being dismissed by the New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the New Jersey Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants stumble into New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 an attorney, you could lose your New Jersey case. Hiring an 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 New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

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

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN 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.
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