Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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How To Defend A Special Civil Part Debt Collection Lawsuit 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 Court rule, code or law that may apply to your New Jersey lawsuit!  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or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws.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 lawsuit law and consult with an attorney.  Court addresses, hours of operation 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 lawsuits, since there are different rules for different lawsuit types!


HOW TO DEFEND A SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT FAQS


WHAT IS A SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT?
To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit you must understand what exactly the lawsuit is.   A Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit is a civil court lawsuit filed in the Special Civil Part – a branch of the New Jersey Superior Court.  These lawsuits involve New Jersey civil disputes for damages of $15,000.00 (but attorney’s fees and court costs or litigation costs may exceed the Special Civil Part damages limit of $15,000.00).  In a debt collection lawsuit, a person or business that claims they are owed a debt files a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit against the person or business that supposedly owes the debt at a Courthouse.  The Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit usually seeks the recovery of money damages from the person or business who allegedly owes the debt.  The purpose of the lawsuit is normally for the Plaintiffs – the persons or businesses filing the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit – to recover a money judgment against the Defendants identified in the complaint.   This article discusses how To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit.


WHAT ARE SOME TYPES OF NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUITS?
To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit you must understand that there are different types of these lawsuits, such as:
Bills for the sale of goods or services
Bounced check disputes
Condominium dues disputes 
Contract disputes
Credit card bill disputes 
Defaults and deficiency balances on car loans and leases
Medical bill disputes
Security deposit disputes
Unpaid rent disputes


HOW DO I DEFEND A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT? 
To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit, you must take a series of specific steps.  If you are sued in a New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit, you shall be named to a New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuit called a Special Civil Part “collection complaint” or to a Counterclaim and must file a written response to the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint or Counterclaim, called a Special Civil Part “answer”.   Failure to do so will normally result in your being defaulted and exposes you to the risk of having a Money judgment entered against you and thereafter, possibly losing money or property.  You may file a Answer in civil court by preparing a written Answer disputing claims made against you in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint or Counterclaim and requesting that the New Jersey Special Civil Part dismiss the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit.  If a Plaintiff or someone that isn’t named in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint owes you money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint or facts related to the dispute, in addition to filing a Answer, you may also be able to file a Counterclaim or Special Civil Part third party collection complaint to recover the money or property (discussed below).  Forms are often available at the appropriate Court office and via the worldwide web.  However, neither Court forms, websites nor advice from Court personnel are good substitutes for an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer’s legal services.  Each Special Civil Part collection lawsuit has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges.  It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints that result in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints or Answers to New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints being rejected by the court or being dismissed by the court after filing and before or after a Trial because of procedural deficiencies.  It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when answering New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints and Counterclaims.   It is extremely important that you prepare your Answer very carefully and make sure that you include in the Answer a detailed list of all defenses against the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint or Counterclaim that you are responding to, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit.  Accordingly, To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney to prepare your response to the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint or Counterclaim, to prepare written requests for information to the Party that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney represent you in Court.  After your Answer is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Superior Court of Court Finance Office in the county where the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary Paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  You must pay a fee to file your Answer that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of Trial you want and whether you intend to add parties to the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit (discussed below).   Only persons age 18 or older are able to file a New Jersey Special Civil Part  answer for themselves (minors must file a Answer through their parent or guardian).   If you are not represented by an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney in a case, you are called a  “pro se litigant”.  Most complaints filed in Special Civil Part that go to trial are not Jury trials but what are called Special Civil Part “bench trials”, meaning that only a Special Civil Part judge hears the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit.  For an extra fee paid only when you first file your first Special Civil Part collection complaint (or paid when you file your first Answer, if you are responding to the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint), you may demand a Trial by 6 jurors in New Jersey Special Civil Part.  In the Law Division, Civil Part, you merely file the appropriate jury request with no additional fee beyond the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint filing fee necessary to secure a Jury trial.   Jury trials are much more complex than Special Civil Part nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive paperwork.  However, a Jury trial demand may result in the facts of your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit being decided by a Special Civil Part jury of ordinary people rather than by a single Special Civil Part judge.  Even where a party requests a Jury trial, the legal issues in the Trial are normally decided by the judge hearing the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit. 


CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY FORMS PROVIDED BY THE COURT?
To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit, the New Jersey Special Civil Part usually provides certain types of Court forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful.  However, beware relying on New Jersey Forms provided by the Court – the forms are often deceptively simple, while Special Civil Part collection lawsuits often are much more complex than they first appear to be.   There is simply no substitute for an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer who has experience handling New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuits.  Forms don’t talk and Forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuit.  Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges.   If you can afford an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer, it is best to have an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer prepare your Paperwork for you.  
 
WHAT IF I AM SUED IN NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART BUT SOMEONE OWES ME MONEY BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COLLECTION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ME?
To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit you must understand about counterclaims and third party complaints.   If you are a Defendant and Plaintiff in a New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuit or someone that isn’t named in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint owes you money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint or facts related to the dispute, in addition to filing a New Jersey Special Civil Part  answer, you may also be able to file a New Jersey Special Civil Part  counterclaim or third party collection complaint to recover the money or property (discussed below).  If there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, a Defendant can file their own lawsuit against a Plaintiff, called a “Counterclaim If you are sued and someone who is not named in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuit is partially or totally responsible for the Plaintiff’s damages or for damages you suffered and there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, a Defendant can file their own collection complaint, called a “third party collection complaint”.  By doing so, the Defendant names parties not originally named to the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint as additional parties to the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit.  Counterclaims and Special Civil Part third party collection complaints must be prepared in writing and filed with the appropriate court where the original collection complaint is being heard normally require extra fees above the cost of filing a Answer to the original Special Civil Part collection complaint.  In the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit of a Special Civil Part third party collection complaint, once properly filed, the court serves it on the Plaintiff.  Forms may be available at the appropriate office of the Special Civil Part and via the worldwide web.  However, neither Court forms, websites nor advice from Court personnel are good substitutes for an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer’s legal services.  Each Special Civil Part collection lawsuit has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges.  It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints or Counterclaims that result in the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints or Answers to New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints or Counterclaims being rejected by the Special Civil Part or being dismissed by the Special Civil Part after filing and before or after the Trial because of procedural deficiencies.  It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when answering New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaints and filing Counterclaims and Special Civil Part third party collection complaints.   It is extremely important that you prepare your Answer, Counterclaim or third party collection 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 New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit.  Accordingly, when you are sued and when you want to file a Counterclaim or third party collection complaint, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer to prepare your response to the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint or Counterclaim, to prepare written Requests for information to the Party that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney represent you in Court.  After your Counterclaim or third party collection complaint is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  You must pay a fee to file the document that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of Trial you want and it may also be based on whether you intend to add parties to the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuit.


WHAT HAPPENS IF A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT INVOLVES A CORPORATION, PARTNERSHIP OR LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY?
The officers of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and the like cannot generally appear in Special Civil Part collection lawsuits involving disputes exceeding $3,000 or in Special Civil Part collection lawsuits heard in the Law Division, Civil Part, since the corporation, partnership or limited liability company must usually be represented by an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer.  There may be some exceptions to this rule, such as where the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit involves a summary action for possession of premises.   Also, if you sue a company and the company represents itself at the Trial and you thereafter win the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit and recover a Judgment, it is possible that the company shall get the Judgment overturned because they were not permitted to appear in Court for themselves in the first place!


IF I AM A DEFENDANT IN A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT, WILL THE OTHER SIDE HAVE AN EXPERIENCED SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT DEFENSE ATTORNEY?
To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit.  If you are not represented by an attorney in a case, you are called a “pro se litigant”.  While people can and often do represent themselves in  court, their opponent may be represented by an attorney, which often places the unrepresented party at a major disadvantage.  If possible, hire an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer to at least prepare any necessary court paperwork and if you can afford it, to also appear and represent you in Court at any Motions or Trials.   The proper preparation of Special Civil Part legal papers and preparation of a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit for a Trial often requires knowledge of legal issues that only attorneys 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 attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey are not able to give you legal advice about court disputes that are heard by Courts, regardless of whether the people work for a Court or work for an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney.  


IF THE OTHER SIDE HIRES AN ATTORNEY IN MY CASE, SHOULD I DEAL WITH THE ATTORNEY OR THEIR CLIENTS?
If a party is represented by an attorney in a case, you must generally avoid having oral or written contact regarding the case with the represented party and instead, must make all communications involving the case through the represented party’s attorney.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A DEBT COLLECTOR FILES A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COLLECTION COMPLAINT AGAINST ME?
After the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint is filed, Court staff shall serve the complaint on the Defendants, usually by mailing it by certified and regular mail.  To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit, you must understand deadlines to answer it.   the Defendant has 35 days following service of the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint to file a Answer.  The Summons should state the date on which the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint was served.  If a Defendant fails to file a written Answer to the complaint, the Court clerk should automatically enter a Default on the court’s docket.  The court mails the Plaintiff a notice stating the date on which lawsuits are automatically defaulted (35 days after service of the answer).  In Law Division, Civil Part, parties entitled to a Default must file papers with the court to enter default.  If a Defendant files a written answer and pays the necessary fee, the court normally sends a notice of that a Answer was filed.  Once a complaint and answer are filed in the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit, whenever one party sends any kind of paperwork to the court, they must generally send complete copies of the paperwork to all other Parties involved in their Special Civil Part collection lawsuit (or if they are represented, to the Parties’ attorneys).  If a party fails to follow this procedure, they may be punished by the court for the failure and any relief they ask for and receive from the court can often be reversed for the failure.  The Parties may engage in discovery – a factfinding process during which each party tries to find out more about the other party’s position.  Discovery often involves parties serving each other with written Requests for information called interrogatories, notices to produce (sometimes also called requests for production of documents) and requests for admissions.  These requests are served by you and not the court by mailing the documents via regular and certified mail, return receipt requested (if the other party is unrepresented) on the other Parties or by regular mail only on the other Parties’ attorney, if they are represented by attorney.  However, it is often best to send all documents to any opponent by regular main and also by certified mail, return receipt requested to make sure you have proof that the documents were received by your opponent.  If either party fails to answer these requests in writing or fails to answer the requests with sufficient thoroughness, the Court may punish the delinquent party, such as by throwing their collection complaint out of court or suppressing their answer.  Many people trying to defend New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuits ignore discovery demands served on them and thereafter have their answer suppressed and a Money judgment entered against them.  At some point after the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint is filed and answered, the Court will schedule a Trial date.   Failure to carefully prepare and serve thorough written Requests for information could result in your losing your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit, since you may be in the dark about what the other Party intends to do at the Trial.  If a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit is coming up for arbitration and/or trial and you never received responses to your written Requests for information, you may have a right to get more time from the court to get the requests answered.  Discovery can be a very tricky and important part of the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit and to make sure that it is conducted right, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney to prepare your written Requests for information to your Opponents or to other Parties involved in the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit or even to witnesses and if you can afford it, to have an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney represent you in Court.


WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM DEFAULTED IN A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT?
If a Defendant is defaulted by the court in a New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit, then no Trial will occur (unless the court vacates the Default) and the Plaintiff has a certain amount of time from the date of the entry of default to file additional paperwork with the court to seek a Default judgment against a Defendant.  In some cases, securing a Default judgment only requires the Plaintiff to submit paperwork, while in other cases, the Plaintiff has to prepare and file a Motion and the Court may require the Plaintiff and defendant to appear at a Court hearing – a “proof hearing”.


WHAT HAPPENS IF A DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS ENTERED AGAINST YOU IN A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT AND YOU IGNORE IT?
If you ignore a Judgment entered in a lawsuit, the following may happen to you:
you may be forced to answer detailed questions about the location and value of your savings, personal property and bank accounts
you may be forced to appear for a deposition (a question and answer session conducted under oath) during which an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney will ask you questions about the location and value of your savings, personal property and bank accounts
your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the Judgment holder
some of your wages may be taken from you
your personal property may be seized by the New Jersey sheriff and sold to satisfy the Judgment
a New Jersey lien may be put against a house you own
If the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint is for money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the Judgment requires a Defendant to pay $500 or more, the Defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the Plaintiff may file papers asking the court to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the 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 for the court to refuse to help such latecomers from taking issue with the debt collection efforts unless they file papers with the court for relief.  However, once a Judgment is entered against you in a New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit, you may ask the court to remove or “vacate” the Judgment (discussed below).


WHAT HAPPENS AT THE TRIAL OF MY NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT?
On the day that your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit goes to trial, To understand how to defend a Special Civil Part collection lawsuit you must appear at court.  Usually, many lawsuits are heard on the day that your case is called for a 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 New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit!  If a Plaintiff fails to appear when their case is called (which usually does not happen in these kinds of suits), the Special Civil Part is likely to dismiss the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint.  If a Defendant fails to appear when the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit is called, the Court shall likely enter a Default.  If a Default is entered, you shall have to prepare and file Paperwork with the court asking the court to enter a Default judgment in your favor.  If no default is entered, you must be prepared to present your 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 case.  A Court has the power to punish unprepared parties, such as by throwing their answer out of court or limiting what they can present at the Trial.  You must bring all documents, photographs, videos and other items with you to the Trial that are necessary to prove your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit (preferably originals).  Even if you bring such documents and items to court, the Court may refuse to allow you to use them at your Trial.  New Jersey has published lawsuits, 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 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 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 a party to use or refer to documents or items that the person themselves never prepared.  Often Parties stumble into 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 Special Civil Part.  Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the Trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published lawsuits.  If you have any witnesses that you need to testify for you at the Trial, then in advance of the Trial and as required by court rules, laws and published lawsuits, you must prepare a written subpoena (or subpoenas if the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit 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 Special Civil Part collection lawsuit to testify as part of your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit, since they might not show up at the 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 Trial, you should have a process server serve them with a Special Civil Part subpoena or  if they are a party to the dispute, a notice in lieu of subpoena.  Without witnesses to testify at the Trial (especially experts, discussed above), you may lose your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit.  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 a Trials to get adjourned because someone is not ready to present their Special Civil Part collection lawsuit for a valid reason (but you can never expect that you shall automatically get a Special Civil Part adjournment and you must always be fully ready to try your New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit on the date that the Trial is scheduled since Courts often refuse adjournment requests and enter judgment if a defendant isn’t prepared to proceed with their defense on the Trial date).  It is best to have your questions for any witnesses prepared in advance.  At the end of Trial, the court enters a Judgment for or against you.  The Court may also withhold or “reserve” judgment for a later date, which normally results in the court taking time to write up its reasons for its decision and mailing it to the Parties’ last known addresses (or to their attorneys, if they are represented).  


WHAT IS COURT MEDIATION IN NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUITS?
In most lawsuits heard in Special Civil Part, before the Trial occurs the court requires the Parties to mediate their dispute.  Mediation is an informal hearing normally held in a conference room.  You and the other party and any attorneys involved in the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit appear at the Mediation.  The Mediation is conducted by a neutral Court appointed mediator.  The Court mediator is trained in resolving disputes through the process of Mediation.  Accordingly, the Court mediator attempts to resolve the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit by suggesting a possible settlement to both parties.  During the Mediation, none of the Parties is required to settle the case.  Indeed, one or all of the Parties may not even make any offer to settle.   Note that New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuits do not always undergo Mediation.  If the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection lawsuit cannot be settled before the Trial and your case is called to be tried, you must be prepared to present your defenses.


IS IT POSSIBLE TO SETTLE MY NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT?
Parties may voluntarily agree to settle their case but preparing the proper settlement agreement requires great care.  Normally, at any Trial proceeding, the court has settlement forms for the Parties to complete if they settle their New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit.  However, neither Court forms, websites nor advice from Court personnel are good substitutes for an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer’s legal services.  Each New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit 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 a New Jersey Special Civil Part settlement agreement if it is unclear what the Parties agreed to.  Also, if a party fails to honor a New Jersey Special Civil Part settlement, you may have to return to Court if you want to enforce the New Jersey Special Civil Part settlement, which normally requires you to file a Motion.  If you can afford an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney, it is best to have an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer prepare the Special Civil Part 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 New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit yourself, you should notify the New Jersey Special Civil Part as soon as possible – with a phone call and then followed up in writing.  If the New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection lawsuit is settled before trial, you should make every effort to advise the New Jersey Special Civil Part of the Special Civil Part settlement before the Trial occurs.


WHAT IF A DEFAULT AND/OR DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS ENTERED AGAINST YOU IN A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT AND YOU STILL WANT A TRIAL?
If a 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 Special Civil Part asking that the Default and/or Default judgment be vacated.   The Court normally has forms available at the Courthouse and on the worldwide web.  However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from Court personnel are good substitutes for an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer’s legal services.  Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges.   If you can afford an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney, it is best to have an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer perform the steps necessary to prepare the proper Motion.  If you ignore the Default, it may lead to the entry of a Judgment against you.  If you ignore a Judgment, your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the Judgment holder, some of your wages may be taken from you, your personal property may be seized by the New Jersey sheriff and sold to satisfy the Judgment and/or a lien may be put against a house you own.  If the New Jersey Special Civil Part collection complaint is for money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the Judgment requires a Defendant to pay $500 or more, the Defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the Plaintiff may file papers asking the Special Civil Part to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the Defendant's driving and registration privileges until that Judgment is paid.
 
WHAT IF I LOSE MY TRIAL OR THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART REFUSES TO VACATE A DEFAULT JUDGMENT AND YOU STILL WANT A TRIAL?
 If you disagree with the Trial court’s decision, such as if a Judgment is entered against you at the Trial or your request to vacate a Default judgment is denied, you may ask the Special Civil Part to reconsider its decision.  To do so, you must file papers with the court, called a Motion for reconsideration.  In some Special Civil Part collection lawsuits, the Motion for reconsideration must be made in 20 days from the date of the Court’s order that caused you to lose your case and/or which entered judgment against you.  Motions for reconsideration must generally meet certain requirements.  If you intend to file such a Motion, you should seriously consider consulting a Trial attorney who is experienced in preparing such Motions.  


If your Motion for reconsideration is unsuccessful or if you do not believe that a Motion for reconsideration shall be successful, as well as or instead of filing a Motion for reconsideration, you may appeal the case to a higher court -- the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.  There are very strict deadlines for filing appeals.   To appeal a final Judgment or final order that resolves all issues in the Special Civil Part collection lawsuit, 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 – for example, Special Civil Part appeals are not heard by the Special Civil court and you should not try to file appellate papers with the 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.  Special Civil Part appeals are some of the most complex proceedings in the court system.  The Courts normally has forms available on the worldwide web.  However, neither Court forms or New Jersey appellate court forms, websites nor advice from Court personnel or New Jersey appellate court personnel are good substitutes for an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer’s legal services.  Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges.   If you can afford an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense attorney, it is best to have an experienced Special Civil Part debt defense lawyer perform the steps necessary to take an appeal.  Appeals from orders or Judgments that are not final are called “interlocutory appeals” and the procedure for such appeals is somewhat different than those for appeals from final Judgments or final orders.


NEED HELP WITH YOUR LAWSUIT?
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your lawsuit.  Not all lawsuits require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.  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.  
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