Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

New Jersey Construction Defect Case FAQs

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or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws.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


NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION DEFECT CASE FAQS


WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION DEFECT CASE
A New Jersey construction defect case is a case between a Homeowner and a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer that fail to properly construct a New Jersey home.  The New Jersey construction defect case may involve a New Jersey breach of construction contract, New Jersey breach of construction warranty or a New Jersey construction defect consumer fraud case.


WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY BREACH OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT LAWSUIT?
Some New Jersey construction defect cases involve a construction contract between a builder or developer and a homeowner.  A New Jersey construction contract lawsuit is usually a disagreement between a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer and a Home buyer about a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer’s failure to honor the New Jersey construction contract or the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer’s failure to perform the New Jersey construction contract, such as by failing to complete the New Jersey home’s construction or failing to honor some promise under the New Jersey construction contract, such as by by failing to make repairs or do something else required of the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer.


WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR BREACH OF A NEW JEREY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT?
In a New Jersey construction contract lawsuit, where a Home buyer and a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer have made New Jersey construction contract, which one of them has broken, the damages which the other party ought to receive, in respect of such a New Jersey breach, should be such as may fairly be considered either arising naturally, i.e., according to the usual course of things, from such a New Jersey breach of contract itself, or such as may reasonably be supposed to have been in the contemplation of both the Home buyer and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer at the time they made the New Jersey construction contract, as the probable result of the New Jersey breach of it.  Contract damages are generally designed to put the injured party in as good a position as if the New Jersey construction contract had been performed.    For example, in a lease transaction, the lessee is generally entitled to recover the value of the lease term, which, in the absence of special circumstances, is the difference between the actual rental value and the rent reserved.    A Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer is not generally chargeable for New Jersey construction contract loss that the Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer had no reason to foresee as a probable result of the alleged New Jersey breach when the New Jersey construction contract was made.   Further, the loss must be a reasonably certain consequence of the New Jersey breach.  


CAN HOME BUYER FORCE NEW JERSEY BUILDER OR NEW JERSEY DEVELOPER TO PERFORM OBLIGATIONS UNDER NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT (NEW JERSEY SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE)?
New Jersey construction contract lawsuit, New Jersey specific performance is an equitable remedy available to a Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer to a New jersey breach of construction contract lawsuit if they can establish that mere legal relief such as an award of damages would be insufficient to make the claimant whole.  Under the doctrine of New Jersey specific performance, the New Jersey court orders a Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer guilty of a New Jersey breach of contract to, under the danger of court penalties, perform under the New Jersey construction contract or if they already began to perform and stopped, to complete performance under the New Jersey construction contract.   To establish a right to the New Jersey remedy of New Jersey specific performance, a Home buyer must demonstrate that the New Jersey construction contract in question is valid and enforceable at law, that the terms of the New Jersey construction contract are expressed in such fashion that the New Jersey court can determine, with reasonable certainty, the duties of a Home buyer and a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer and the conditions under which performance is due and that an order compelling performance of the New Jersey construction contract will not be harsh or oppressive.   The right to New Jersey specific performance turns not only on whether the claimant has demonstrated a right to legal relief but also whether the performance of the New Jersey construction contract represents an equitable result.   The New Jersey remedy of New Jersey specific performance is in the New Jersey court’s discretion to grant or deny.   When New Jersey specific performance is sought, the New Jersey court is required to do more than merely determine whether the New Jersey construction contract is valid and enforceable; the New Jersey court of equity must also appraise the respective conduct and situation of the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers, the clarity of the New Jersey agreement itself notwithstanding that it may be legally enforceable and the impact that an order of New Jersey specific performance could have (i.e., whether such an order is harsh or oppressive to the wrongdoer or whether a denial of New Jersey specific performance leaves the claimant with an adequate remedy).   In addition, the Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer seeking New Jersey specific performance must stand in conscientious relation to his adversary – that party’s conduct in the matter must have been fair, just and equitable rather than sharp or aiming at unfair advantage.  Such weighing of equitable considerations must represent, in each New Jersey case, a conscious attempt on the New Jersey court’s part to render complete justice to both the Home buyer and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer regarding their contractual relationship.  The New Jersey court will often direct performance of such New Jersey construction contract because, when there is no excuse for the failure to perform, The New Jersey construction contract law of equity regards and treats as done what in good conscience ought to be done.  However, New Jersey specific performance of New Jersey construction contract will not be awarded where the New Jersey construction contract is incomplete, uncertain or too indefinite in its material terms to be specifically enforced in equity.  


WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENFORCEABLE THE NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT?
To win a New Jersey construction contract lawsuit the party bringing the lawsuit must prove a contract existed between the homebuyer and builder or developer.  There are 5 essential elements to a valid New Jersey construction contract:


1. mutuality of assent;
2. legal capacity of the parties;
3. valuable consideration;
4. legality of subject matter; and
5. a writing.


The New Jersey court must first determine whether some type of New Jersey construction contract existed between the Home buyer and the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer.  New Jersey construction contract may be expressed or implied or may be a mixture of the two.  An express New Jersey construction contract is one in which the Home buyer and the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer have shown their agreement by words.  Express New Jersey construction contracts include those in which the Home buyer and the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer have orally stated the terms to each other or have placed the terms in writing.   An implied New Jersey construction contract is one in which the Home buyer and the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer show their agreement by conduct.  For example, if someone provides services to another under circumstances that do not support the idea that they were donated or free, New Jersey construction contract law implies an obligation to pay the reasonable value of services.  Thus, an implied New Jersey construction contract is an agreement inferred from the Home buyer and the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer’s conduct or from the circumstances surrounding their relationship.  In other words, a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer may be obligated to pay for services rendered for the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer by the Home buyer if the circumstances are such that the Home buyer reasonably expected the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer to compensate the Home buyer and if a reasonable person in The New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer’s position would know that The Home buyer was performing the services expecting that The New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer would pay for them.  Under the requirement of mutuality of assent, for Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers to enter into a New Jersey construction contract, a meeting of the minds must take place between the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers.  The mutuality of assent must be real and not the result of mistake, misrepresentation, New Jersey legal fraud, New Jersey consumer fraud, duress or undue influence. Since, a New Jersey breach of contract is never presumed; rather, the burden of establishing a New Jersey breach of contract rests with the Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer asserting the New Jersey breach.   A New Jersey construction contract is an exchange of promises and thus is the result of a “bargain,” an “exchange of equivalents.”   An enforceable bilateral New Jersey agreement requires an offer, an acceptance, consideration and a meeting of the minds upon all the essential terms of the New Jersey agreement.    To have a valid New Jersey construction contract, there must be a meeting of the minds, as a New Jersey construction contract does not come into being unless the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers agree to the same terms.   Thus, an enforceable contract only results from the Home buyers’ and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers’ agreeing upon essential terms and manifesting an intention to be bound by those terms and where the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers do not agree to one or more essential terms, the New Jersey agreement may be unenforceable.   Indeed, it is fundamental that the essential element to the valid consummation of a New Jersey construction contract is a meeting of the minds of the New Jersey construction contracting parties.  Thus, doubt or difference between the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers to an alleged contract is normally incompatible with the claim that the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers agreement to terms.   If the contemplated agreement is to be bilateral, the offeror and offeree alike must express agreement as to every term of the New Jersey construction contract.  The offerror does this in the offer; the offeree must do it in his acceptance.  When interpreting a New Jersey construction contract, it is not the real intent that controls but rather the intent expressed or apparent in the writing.  Further, normally it is not the New Jersey court’s role to make a new contract or to supply any material stipulations or conditions which contravene the New Jersey agreements of the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers.   The mere fact that a New Jersey construction contract is somewhat harsh or unfair in its operation does not excuse the performance of same and the New Jersey court cannot create contractual obligations that are not based on the expressed intention of the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers.   Indeed, the New Jersey court will not normally rewrite the New Jersey agreement to provide the protection which a Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer failed to obtain for themselves.   Instead, the judicial function of the New Jersey court is normally to enforce the New Jersey construction contract as it is written.     Thus, if a New Jersey construction contract contains ambiguous or doubtful terms, the New Jersey construction contract is generally construed against its drafter.   The interpretation of a New Jersey construction contract is often a legal question for the New Jersey court rather than for a New Jersey jury.


ARE ORAL NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS ENFORCEABLE IN A NEW JERSEY COURT?
In a New Jersey construction contract lawsuit, an oral New Jersey construction contract may be enforceable in a New Jersey Court, especially if there is proof that the terms of the New Jersey construction contract were sufficiently definite and that the Home buyers and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developers agreed to be bound to the oral agreement.  While there does exist a statute of frauds in New Jersey that requires that certain contracts be in writing, in certain situations, it can be overcome and you may be able to prove existence of an oral New Jersey construction contract.


HOW DOES A HOME BUYER PROVE A NEW JERSEY BREACH OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT LAWSUIT?
To establish a New jersey breach of construction contract lawsuit against a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer, the Home buyer must prove that:
1. The Home buyer and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer entered into a New Jersey construction contract containing certain terms – a valid New Jersey construction contract.  
2. The Home buyer did what the New Jersey construction contract required the Home buyer to do.  
3. The New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer did not do what the New Jersey construction contract required the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer to do.  This failure is called a New jersey breach of construction contract.  
4. The New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer’s breach, or failure to do what the New Jersey construction contract required, caused a loss to the Home buyer.  


One of the elements that the Home buyer must prove is the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer’s breach of contract.  Failure to perform a New Jersey construction contract in accordance with its terms constitutes a New Jersey construction contract breach of contract.  It does not matter if the failure was purposeful or inadvertent.  A New Jersey construction contract breach may be material or minor.  The generally accepted rule is that whether a New Jersey construction contract breach is material is a question of fact.   However, New Jersey courts will enforce a New Jersey construction contractual provision establishing that a particular New Jersey construction contract breach is grounds for termination of the New Jersey construction contract.   the Home buyer can sue for any New Jersey construction contract breach, even if minor providing the New Jersey construction contract breach causes the Home buyer measurable injury or damage.  When there has been a minor breach that may have caused the Home buyer injury or damage, it is possible for you to conclude that the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer has nevertheless substantially performed is the New Jersey construction contract.  To find that the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer substantially performed the New Jersey construction contract, the New Jersey Court must have to conclude from the evidence that the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer made a good faith effort that actually achieved the essential purpose of the New Jersey construction contract and provide the Home buyer with the fundamental benefits that the Home buyer was supposed to receive from is the New Jersey construction contract.  If the New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer substantially performed is the New Jersey construction contract, it will affect the amount of money damages that can be awarded for the New jersey breach of construction contract.  


HOW DOES A NEW JERSEY COURT DECIDE IF A NEW JERSEY BREACH OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT IS MATERIAL OR MINOR?
A New Jersey construction contract breach is material if it affects the purpose of the New Jersey construction contract in an important or vital way. A material breach defeats the purpose of the New Jersey construction contract and is inconsistent with the intention of the Home buyer and New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer to be bound by is the New Jersey construction contract terms.  When a New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer materially breaches a New Jersey construction contract, the Home buyer has a right to terminate is the New Jersey construction contract and may be excused from further performance of plaintiff’s remaining obligations under is the New Jersey construction contract.  The New Jersey Court may use the following criteria for determining whether a New Jersey construction contract breach is material:
(1) the extent to which the injured party will be deprived of the benefit which he/she reasonably expected; 
(2) the extent to which the injured party can be adequately compensated for the part of that benefit of which he will be deprived;  
(3) the extent to which the Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer failing to perform or to offer to perform will suffer forfeiture;
(4) the likelihood that the Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer failing to perform or to offer to perform will cure his failure, taking account of all the circumstances including any reasonable assurances; 
(5) the extent to which the behavior of the Home buyer or New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer failing to perform or to offer to perform comports with standards of good faith and fair dealing.


WHAT IS A BREACH OF A NEW JERSEY HOME WARRANTY CASE?
Some New Jersey construction defect cases involve a breach of the New Jersey Home Warranty.   In a New Jersey construction breach of warranty case, usually the warranty issued by the builder or developer is at the center of the case.  The New Jersey New Home Warranty Act had been in existence for decades and it standardizes the responsibilities of New Jersey new home builders and through its New Jersey New Home Warranty program, is supposed to protect Home buyers by providing a source of payment to correct deficiencies caused by New Jersey new home builders liable for those deficiencies.   In 1978, the New Jersey Legislature adopted the New Jersey New Home Warranty Act, which establishes a New Jersey New Home Warranty program requiring that newly constructed New Jersey homes conform with certain construction and quality standards and provides New Jersey new home buyers with insurance-backed warranty protection in the event such standards are not met.  In addition to authorizing New Jersey home warranty coverage through private insurance programs, the New Jersey New Home Warranty And Builders’ Registration Act requires that a New Jersey new home warranty security fund be maintained by the New Jersey State Treasurer and administered by the New Jersey Commissioner of Community Affairs on behalf of New Jersey new home buyers.  Moneys payable to the New Jersey new home Warranty Fund are solely for the purpose of paying proven New Jersey new home warranty claims, providing reasonable reserves, including appropriate forms of reinsurance, and covering the costs of New Jersey new home warranty program administration. Accordingly, New Jersey new home warranty program premiums, fees and other charges must be adequate to these purposes.  Since the New Jersey new home warranty premiums, fees and other charges assessed by the New Jersey new home Warranty Fund are solely for the protection of New Jersey new home buyers enrolled in the New Jersey New Home Warranty program and since such charges bear directly on the affordability of the new New Jersey homes, the fees should be set in an actuarially sound manner, including prudent reinsurance, with provision for the distribution of any accumulated surplus to New Jersey new home buyers enrolled in the New Jersey new home Warranty Fund.  The purposes of the New Jersey New Home Warranty and Builders' Registration Act is furthered through the creation of a Board of Trustees to provide independent oversight over the New Jersey new home Warranty Fund on behalf of those whose new New Jersey homes are covered by it.


WHO IS A NEW JERSEY NEW HOME BUILDER SUBJECT TO THE NEW JERSEY NEW HOME WARRANTY ACT?
New Jersey construction breach of warranty cases involving new homes are typically brought against a "builder" - entities "engaged in the construction of new homes."  That definition does not automatically include anyone "participating in" or "playing a role in" the construction of a New Jersey new home or anyone "working on the premises" of a New Jersey new home under construction. 


REMEDIES UNDER THE NEW JERSEY NEW HOME WARRANTY ACT
In New Jersey new home warranty cases, the New Jersey New Home Warranty Act’s principally available remedy is embodied in its warranty program. New Jersey new home builders must either participate in that program and make the New Jersey new home warranty available to Home buyers or must qualify for the alternate New Jersey new home warranty security program and make that relief available to new home buyers. In either event, the statute provides that New Jersey new home buyer can elect to access the New Jersey New Home Warranty which, by and large, is focused on major systems or structural defects that might be found in a New Jersey new home.


MAKING CLAIMS FOR NEW JERSEY NEW HOME WARRANTY CASES UNDER THE NEW JERSEY NEW HOME WARRANTY FUND
In a New Jersey construction breach of warranty case, a New Jersey new home buyer may bring a New Jersey New Home Warranty case against a New Jersey new home builder – an arbitration instead of a lawsuit.  The purpose of the New Jersey New Home Warranty security fund to be maintained by the State Treasurer in a trust account,  is:  (1) to provide moneys sufficient to pay claims by owners against builders participating in the New Jersey New Home Warranty fund for defects in new homes covered by the New Jersey New Home Warranty; and (2) to pay the costs of administering the New Jersey New Home Warranty  program established including the costs of obtaining sufficient reinsurance to prudently protect the New Jersey New Home Warranty fund against unanticipated risks and costs incurred by the board in the discharge of its duties. The New Jersey New Home Warranty Fund is funded by payments from the New Jersey new home builders of new homes, and, in the event the New Jersey New Home builder fails to make repairs within a reasonable time or are not satisfactory to the New Jersey New home buyer, participating home buyers are permitted to make claims against the New Jersey New Home Warranty fund for defects caused by (1) "faulty workmanship and defective materials due to noncompliance with the building standards," (2) "faulty installation of plumbing, electrical, [and] heating and cooling delivery systems," or "major construction defects."  The New Jersey New Home Warranty specifically authorizes and directs the Commissioner of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to prescribe by rule or regulation procedures for the implementation and processing of claims against the New Jersey New Home Warranty security fund.    In compliance with that statutory mandate, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has adopted a series of regulations concerning the implementation and processing of claims against the New Jersey New Home Warranty fund.    In particular, the Commissioner has adopted regulations that govern the claims procedure for New Jersey New Home Warranty cases. Those procedures require a five-step process for implementation when, as here, there has been a default by the New Jersey New Home builder. First, the New Jersey New home buyer may file a request for payment with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.   If the New Jersey New home buyer takes that step, then the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs "shall inspect the home for the purpose of determining if the defect is covered by the New Jersey New Home Warranty.   If the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs determines that the defect is covered by the New Jersey New Home Warranty, the New Jersey New home buyer is obliged to submit to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs "two or more bona fide estimates acceptable to the Division for the work intended to be covered."  If the New Jersey New home buyer satisfies that obligation, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs must select "the lower or lowest" of the estimates.   Once the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs accepts an estimate, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs "shall certify the amount of the award to the Treasurer, who shall make payment from the New Jersey New Home Warranty fund."  As a final safeguard for the trust funds held by the New Jersey New Home Warranty fund, the regulations make clear that "[p]ayment shall be made only for work authorized in writing by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and upon completion to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs’ satisfaction." 


NEW JERSEY NEW HOME WARRANTY ELECTION OF REMEDIES
In a New Jersey construction breach of warranty case, before bringing the case, you should to first consult with a New Jersey attorney because you may be limited in seeking certain relief against a New Jersey new home builder once you bring a New Jersey new home warranty case!   The New Jersey New Home Warranty program does not necessarily replace traditionally available remedies and that even though arbitration is a central feature of the New Jersey New Home Warranty  program, "[t]he owner's right to sue . . . remains intact." In spite of that, the New Jersey New Home Warranty program is the statute's essential method for protecting New Jersey new home buyers and its scope can extend to matters not otherwise included within that remedy.   For example, a Home buyer accepting warranty remedy extending to contractual obligation normally outside warranty protection is foreclosed from litigating that claim.  Therefore, although resort to the New Jersey New Home Warranty is not an exclusive avenue for relief under the New Jersey New Home Warranty Act, the statute provides that the Home buyer's decision to avail himself or herself of that avenue for relief is an affirmative election of remedies. As a result, reliance on the New Jersey New Home Warranty will also preclude suit based on a defect within the scope of the New Jersey New Home Warranty that the Home buyer knew or should have known about.  Even though the Legislature provided new home buyers with the ability to select either the New Jersey New Home Warranty or traditional remedies, the New Home Warranty Act, by making the provision of a warranty its central focus, necessarily limits the meaning of the definition of contractors to whom the statute can apply.  The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is applicable to a New Jersey new home builder.   Therefore, if a Home buyer intends to bring a New Jersey construction defect consumer fraud case, the Home buyer should avoid bringing a New Jersey new home warranty case without first speaking to a New Jersey attorney. 


NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES AGAINST BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS
Some New Jersey construction defect cases involve violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act – a powerful consumer law that makes certain types of conduct illegal.  For most Home buyers, the purchase of a New Jersey home is the biggest purchase that the Home buyer will make in their life!     What if a builder or developer hides defects from a home buyer and the home buyer doesn’t learn about the defects until after they make settlement on their home?   Many of us have heard the phrase:   “let the buyer beware.”   That statement allows little relief to a Home buyer.  That statement does not reflect current law in New Jersey.  New Jersey home sale fraud victims are not left without a remedy under New Jersey law. In New Jersey, we have a more ethical approach in business dealings with one another in New Jersey home construction.  Therefore, each of us may rely on representations made by another in a New Jersey business transaction. This approach is reflected in a New Jersey law, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  In 1975, the Legislature amended the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to include unlawful practices in the sale or advertisement of real estate.  Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, “real estate” is land and, if there is an improvement on the land, that improvement as well.  The New Jersey legislature recognized New Jersey home sale as a very important issue and decided to include New Jersey real estate broker fraud as a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act attempts to eliminate deception in the marketplace.  As business expanded in New Jersey, the public was increasingly victimized by fraudulent conduct.   The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act attempts to protect New Jersey Consumer Fraud victims from shady business practices by increasing their leverage in the marketplace.  The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is aimed at unlawful sales and advertising practices that deceive New Jersey Consumer Fraud victims into purchasing many kinds of goods and services, regardless of whether those practices involve affirmative misrepresentations or the failure to disclose crucial information.    The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act emphasizes disclosure of information that helps New Jersey Consumer Fraud victims to make informed decisions when buying goods and services.   The Act applies to New Jersey builders and New Jersey developers and their New Jersey construction contracts between them and homeowners.


WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY HOMEOWNWERS WHO ARE CONSUMER FRAUD VICTIMS?
In a New Jersey construction defect consumer fraud case, by allowing New Jersey Consumer Fraud victims losing money or property as a result of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations to recover triple their losses, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act seeks to discourage unfair and deceptive sales practices and to force businesses to take action to prevent consumer fraud.  New Jersey Consumer Fraud triple damages, also called New Jersey Consumer Fraud treble damages, are available to certain New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiffs.  New Jersey Consumer Fraud triple damages are an important part of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  The tripling of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud damages award is meant to punish the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant.  In addition to allowing New Jersey Consumer Fraud victims to recover New Jersey Consumer Fraud treble damages, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act focuses on allowing individual consumers to recover New Jersey Consumer Fraud refunds for losses caused by New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations Any person violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act shall be liable for a New Jersey Consumer Fraud refund of all moneys acquired by means of any practice declared in the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to be unlawful.   The New Jersey Consumer Fraud refund of moneys may be recovered in a private action.   In a consumer fraud action, the Legislature has recognized that the right of access to the courts is meaningless unless the injured party has the resources to launch a suit.  New Jersey Consumer Fraud Attorney’s Fee Awards provide incentives to competent New Jersey attorneys to undertake high-risk cases and to represent victims of fraud who suffer relatively minor losses.  In this way, New Jersey Consumer Fraud Attorney’s Fee Awards is the Legislature's attempt to provide equal access to the courts by encouraging private enforcement of law.   The Legislature intended plaintiffs to have access to the court system to pursue relatively small claims against deceptive retailers.  In that respect, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Attorney's Fees provision one of the deterrent aspects of the legislation, and therefore, fraudulent retailers should beware.   If the New Jersey court award damages to a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act also requires the New Jersey court to award New Jersey Consumer Fraud attorney’s fees against the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant.   The New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant could face a judgment to pay whatever reasonable New Jersey Consumer Fraud attorney’s fees that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff incurred in the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act case.  Only a New Jersey judge decides the proper amount of a New Jersey Consumer Fraud attorney’s fee award.  


HOW DOES A NEW JERSEY BUILDER OR NEW JERSEY DEVELOPLER COMMIT CONSUMER FRAUD?
In a New Jersey construction defect consumer fraud case, the two most common types of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations are affirmative acts and knowing omissions committed by builders or developers.  The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act itself declares two general categories of conduct as unlawful.  The first category of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation makes “any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise or misrepresentation” unlawful.  These are considered affirmative acts.  The second category of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation involves the “knowing concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact.”  These are considered conduct by omission.  


WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY BUILDER CONSUMER FRAUD OR NEW JERSEY DEVELOPER CONSUMER FRAUD?
The following are some examples of possible New Jersey construction defect consumer fraud cases:
A New Jersey builder or New Jersey developer violates the New Jersey Offsite Disclosure Law and thereafter fails to disclose offsite conditions which affect a development where new homes are being built.
Home buyers who received oral or written representations concerning the homes’ allegedly defective windows could pursue claims against the New Jersey builder.
New home builder who built the home’s retaining wall told Home buyers that the house was well-built with good materials and following purchase, the Home buyer noticed that the home’s driveway gates were uneven and that the retaining wall was leaning. Inspection thereafter resulted in the collapse of the wall and disclosure that a seepage pit shown on the plot plan (the pit being to assist in drainage) had not been built and that the wall was built with materials different from those specified in the plan.
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