Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Health Club Fraud

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 of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. This database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid.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

WHAT IS NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB FRAUD?
Every fraud essentially consists of one party obtaining an unfair advantage by some act or omission that is unconscientious or a violation of good faith. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act has a section that regulates the sale of New Jersey health club services -- services offered by a New Jersey health club for the preservation, maintenance, encouragement or development of physical fitness or physical well-being. If a New Jersey health club subject to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act fails to follow its requirements, the New Jersey health club could face a private action for New Jersey Consumer Fraud triple damages, attorney’s fees and litigation costs.

WHICH NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUBS MUST FOLLOW THE NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CONSUMER FRAUD LAWS?
The New Jersey health club laws apply to any establishment which devotes or will devote 40% or more of its square footage to providing services or facilities for the preservation, maintenance, encouragement or development of physical fitness or physical well-being through physical exercise, including an establishment designated as "reducing salon," "health spa," "spa," "exercise gym," "health studio," "New Jersey health club" or by other terms of a similar nature and where patron use is predominantly at will (that is, usage is permitted whenever the establishment is open or during specified time periods, such as "weekends", "weekdays", "mornings", etc.).

WHO IS EXEMPT FROM THE NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CONSUMER FRAUD LAWS?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act health club laws do not apply to the following:
• nonprofit public or private school, college or university;
• the State or any of its political subdivisions; or
• any bona fide nonprofit, religious, ethnic, or community organization.
• a single focus establishment/facility that is devoted to the development of one particular physical skill, or activity or enjoyment of one specific sport.
• basic aerobic and "dance exercise" centers operating on a scheduled lesson or hourly basis;
• children's gyms (commercial play-spaces with trampolines and other gymnastic equipment) operating on a scheduled lesson or hourly basis;
• martial arts schools (for example, karate institutes);
• dancing schools (for example, ballet and jazz);
• gymnastic schools operating on a scheduled lesson or hourly basis;
• tanning salons ("sun studios");
• weight control centers;
• metabolic and nutrition centers;
• other single sport centers (for example, swim clubs, tennis clubs and racquetball clubs).
• New Jersey health club facilities located in hotels, motels, condominiums, cooperatives, corporate offices or other business facilities and which charge fees comparable to other for-profit New Jersey health clubs where usage is limited to guests, residents or employees at no charge or at nominal cost.

WHAT MUST A NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB DO TO COMPLY WITH THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT HEALTH CLUB LAWS?
Each person who sells or offers for sale New Jersey health club services in New Jersey shall:
• Register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
• Renew its registration every two years.
• Upon the sale of the New Jersey health club facility or a change in the majority ownership of the stock of the corporate owner, the New Jersey health club facility shall reregister with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and pay the registration fee.
• Provide the full name and address of each business location where New Jersey health club services are sold in New Jersey as well as any other information regarding the ownership and operation of each New Jersey health club as required by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
• For each New Jersey health club facility operated in New Jersey, maintain a bond issued by a surety authorized to transact business in New Jersey or maintain an irrevocable letter of credit by a bank or maintain with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs securities, moneys or other security acceptable to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to fulfill the requirements of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act health club laws. The bond, letter of credit or securities, moneys or other security shall be filed or deposited with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs for the use of any person who, after entering into a New Jersey health club services contract, is damaged or suffers any loss by reason of breach of contract or bankruptcy by the seller. In the case of a bond, the New Jersey health club shall file a copy of the bond with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and a certificate by the surety that the surety will notify the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at least 10 days in advance of the date of any cancellation or material change in the bond. The bond requirements of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act health club laws do not apply to a person selling or offers for sale New Jersey health club services in which the buyer of the New Jersey health club services purchases or becomes obligated to purchase New Jersey health club services to be rendered over a period no longer than three months and in which the seller of the New Jersey health club services requires or collects no more than three months' payment in advance.
• File with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs no later than January 15 of every even-numbered year, a declaration, executed under penalty of perjury, stating he sells or offers for sale only New Jersey health club services under such contracts. Any person who files such a declaration and who intends to sell or offer for sale New Jersey health club services under contracts with longer terms or greater payments in advance must thereafter comply with the bond requirements.
• Complete an application and pay to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs a registration fee every two years for each New Jersey health club facility operated and upon verification of the information, payment of the registration fee and posting of a security, if not exempt from that requirement pursuant to the rules, they shall be issued a certificate of registration and a Notice which must be displayed in a prominent place at the main entrance of each New Jersey health club facility. The notice shall state the following: NOTICE -- This facility is registered as a seller of New Jersey health club services by the State of New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs, 124 Halsey Street, Newark, New Jersey 07102. Such registration does not mean that this facility has been approved or endorsed by that agency. Patrons are advised that under New Jersey law, facilities offering contracts for New Jersey health club services for longer than a three-month period must post with the Division of Consumer Affairs security against failure to provide such services. A registrant may note in advertising that it is a registered New Jersey health club but shall not state or imply that the facility has been approved or endorsed by the Division.
• Where a New Jersey health club claims exemption from registration because less than 40 percent of its square footage is devoted to New Jersey health club services, the facility shall calculate the 40 percent square footage on the basis of the total indoor square footage of the establishment including the exercise equipment area(s), sauna(s), swimming pool(s), locker facilities and shower areas. The facility shall return a completed application form to the Division of Consumer Affairs along with documentation of the "less than 40 percent" claim, which shall include: 1. A schematic drawing noting the dimensions and use of each area of the facility; 2. A list of the various rooms/spaces with the total square footage of each room/space; 3. A statement of the total square footage of the facility; and 4. Two sample advertisements or brochures if any have been published by the have been published by the facility within a three month period prior to the date documentation is filed.
• If, after the filing of the claim of exemption from registration, a New Jersey health club makes an internal or external change in space allocation which changes the relationship of the New Jersey health club services area to the total premises, the facility shall file a revised schematic diagram with the Division within 90 days after the date when the change in space allocation is completed. A claim of exemption from registration because less than 40 percent of the facility's square footage is devoted to New Jersey health club services shall be subject to on-site verification at the discretion of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
• A separate Declaration of Exemption from Security Requirement shall be filed for each facility claiming exemption from the bond/letter of credit/security requirement because its membership contracts are for a period no longer than three months, accompanied by a copy of a written contract as proof that the New Jersey health club contract duration is for a period of no longer than three months.
• Each establishment which has posted a bond as security shall maintain complete and accurate records relating to the bond and premium payments made thereon.
• Each establishment which has posted a letter of credit or provided other security acceptable to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs of the Division shall maintain complete and accurate records relating to those items and these records shall be available on the premises of the establishment for review by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs or his or her designated representative on any operating day.

WHAT ARE THE REQUREMENTS THAT A NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB SERVICES CONTRACT MUST MEET TO SATISFY THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT HEALTH CLUB LAWS?
To comply with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act health club laws, every contract for New Jersey health club services must:
• Be in writing, with a copy being given to the buyer at the time the buyer signs the New Jersey health club contract.
• Specifically set forth in a conspicuous manner on the first page of the New Jersey health club contract the buyer's total payment obligation for New Jersey health club services to be received pursuant to the New Jersey health club contract.
• If the New Jersey health club facility maintains a bond, irrevocable letter of credit or securities, moneys or other security pursuant to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act health club laws, set forth that a bond, irrevocable letter of credit or securities, moneys or other security is filed or deposited with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to protect buyers of these contracts who are damaged or suffer any loss by reason of breach of contract or bankruptcy by the seller.
• Shall not obligate the buyer for more than three years from the date the New Jersey health club contract is signed by the buyer.
• If for new or increased New Jersey health club services, provide that it may be cancelled by the buyer for any reason at any time before midnight of the third operating day after the buyer receives a copy of the New Jersey health club contract. To cancel a contract the buyer shall notify the New Jersey health club of cancellation in writing, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or personal delivery, to the address specified in the New Jersey health club contract. All moneys paid pursuant to the cancelled contract shall be fully refunded within 30 days of receipt of the notice of cancellation. If the customer has executed any credit or loan agreement through the New Jersey health club to pay all or part of New Jersey health club services, the negotiable instrument executed by the buyer shall also be returned within 30 days. The New Jersey health club contract shall contain a conspicuous notice printed in at least 10-point bold-faced type as follows: "NOTICE TO CUSTOMER You are entitled to a copy of this contract at the time you sign it. You may cancel this contract at any time before midnight of the third operating day after receiving a copy of this contract. If you choose to cancel this contract, you must either: 1. Send a signed and dated written notice of cancellation by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested; or 2. Personally deliver a signed and dated written notice of cancellation to: ..................................... (Name of New Jersey health club) ..................................... (Address of New Jersey health club). If you cancel this contract within the three-day period, you are entitled to a full refund of your money. If the third operating day falls on a Sunday or holiday, notice is timely given if it is mailed or delivered as specified in this notice on the next operating day. Refunds must be made within 30 days of receipt of the cancellation notice to the New Jersey health club. 'Operating day' means any calendar day on which patrons may inspect and use the New Jersey health club's facilities and services during a period of at least eight hours, except holidays and Sundays."
• Shall provide that it is subject to cancellation by notice sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or personally delivered, to the address of the New Jersey health club specified in the New Jersey health club contract upon the buyer's death or permanent disability, if the permanent disability is fully described and confirmed to the New Jersey health club by a physician. In a cancellation under this subsection, the New Jersey health club may retain the portion of the total contract price representing the services used plus reimbursement for expenses incurred in an amount not to exceed 10% of the total contract price.
• Shall provide that it is subject to cancellation by notice sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested or personally delivered, to the address of the New Jersey health club specified in the New Jersey health club contract upon the buyer's change of permanent residence to a location more than 25 miles from the New Jersey health club or an affiliated New Jersey health club offering the same or similar services and facilities at no additional expense to the buyer. In such a cancellation, the New Jersey health club may require proof of the new permanent residence and may retain a prorated share of the total contract price based upon the date the notice was received plus reimbursement for expenses incurred in an amount not to exceed 10% of the total contract price.
• Shall provide that if a New Jersey health club facility is closed for a period longer than 30 days through no fault of the buyer of the New Jersey health club services contract, the buyer is entitled to either extend the New Jersey health club contract for a period equal to that during which the facility is closed or to receive a prorated refund of the amount paid by the buyer under the New Jersey health club contract.
• Shall not obligate the buyer to renew the New Jersey health club contract.
• If the New Jersey health club facility is not in existence on the date the New Jersey health club contract is executed, the New Jersey health club contract shall provide that a buyer of a contract may cancel the New Jersey health club contract if the facility is not open for business on a date which shall be set forth in the New Jersey health club contract and receive a full refund of any deposit or payment on the New Jersey health club contract.
• Shall not require the execution of any note or series of notes by the buyer which, if separately negotiated, will cut off as to third parties any right of action or defense which the buyer has against the New Jersey health club.

A right of action or defense arising out of a New Jersey health club services contract which the buyer has against the New Jersey health club shall not be cut off by assignment of the New Jersey health club contract, regardless of whether the assignee acquires the New Jersey health club contract in good faith and for value.

A New Jersey health club may not charge and accept a down payment exceeding 25% of the total contract price prior to opening the New Jersey health club facility.

WHEN CAN A NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CUSTOMER CANCEL A NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CONTRACT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT HEALTH CLUB LAWS?
• Any New Jersey health club services contract entered into in reliance upon any fraudulent or substantially and willfully false or misleading information, representation, notice or advertisement of the New Jersey health club is voidable at the buyer’s option.
• Any New Jersey health club services contract which does not comply with the applicable provisions of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act health club laws is voidable at the buyer’s option.
• Any waiver by the buyer of the provisions of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act health club laws is void.

WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Many of us have heard the Latin phrase caveat emptor: “let the buyer beware.” That statement allows little relief to a New Jersey consumer. That statement does not reflect current law in New Jersey. Here, we have a more ethical approach in business dealings with one another. 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.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD CLAIMS?
There are three possible bases for responsibility under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Two New Jersey Consumer Fraud violations are violations of section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act; the third New Jersey Consumer Fraud violation is derived from either specific-situation New Jersey law violations or New Jersey Consumer Fraud regulation violations. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act itself declares two general categories of conduct as unlawful. The first category of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations 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 violations involves the “knowing concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact.” These are considered conduct by omission. The third basis for responsibility under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act involves either a specific-situation New Jersey law or administrative regulations enacted to interpret the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act itself. Such New Jersey law and regulations define specific conduct prohibited by law.

IS THE SALE OF A NEW JERESY HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP COVERED UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, a “sale” includes transfer of ownership; rental; distribution; offer to sell, rent, or distribute; and attempt to sell, rent or distribute, either directly or indirectly. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applies to New Jersey health club contracts. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the term “merchandise” includes any objects, goods, commodities, services or anything offered directly or indirectly to the public for sale including New Jersey health club services and New Jersey health club contracts.

WHAT TYPE OF DAMAGES CAN A SUCCESFUL NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD PLAINTIFF RECOVER AND HOW DOES A NEW JERSEY PLAINTIFF PROVE THEY SUFFERED DAMAGES UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
New Jersey Consumer Fraud triple damages, also called New Jersey Consumer Fraud treble damages, are available to certain New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiffs. The tripling of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud award is meant to punish the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant. To win New Jersey Consumer Fraud triple damages under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff must prove that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff lost money or property as a result of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff is allowed to receive an award of money for the New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff’s Consumer Fraud loss proximately caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant. If the New Jersey court finds that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act was violated and the New Jersey court awards New Jersey Consumer Fraud damages, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act requires the New Jersey court to triple whatever amount of damages that the New Jersey court awards to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff.

IF I AM A NEW JERSEY VICTIM OF NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD IN A NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CONTRACT SITUATION, CAN I DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?
The following are some of the remedies available to New Jersey consumer fraud victims:
• Cancellation or New Jersey fraudulent debts.
• New Jersey Consumer Fraud treble damages for New Jersey ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• New Jersey attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• New Jersey Consumer Fraud refund of money lost due to the health club’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.

Whenever there is a fraud in the execution or consideration of a New Jersey health club contract, the New Jersey health club fraud victim defrauded at any time thereafter may institute a New Jersey lawsuit to recover the money owing on such New Jersey health club contract although, by its terms, the debt contracted or the money secured to be paid thereby is not then due or payable; and the New Jersey fraud victim may, upon discovery of the fraud, either rescind the New Jersey health club contract entirely and recover the money or property obtained by the fraud, or, sue on the New Jersey health club contract to recover thereon.

In certain situations, a New Jersey plaintiff could assert that, since the New Jersey health club contract was the product of fraud, a New Jersey plaintiff is entitled to rescind the New Jersey health club contract and/or to recover the money and/or lien on property obtained under same.

New Jersey health club contract rescission is the equivalent of New Jersey health club contract cancellation. It is an equitable remedy which is only available in limited circumstances. Aside from situations where parties consent to New Jersey health club contract rescission, New Jersey health club contracts may normally only be rescinded where there is either original invalidity, fraud, failure of consideration, a material breach or default. Even where grounds for New Jersey health club contract rescission exist, the remedy is discretionary in nature. New Jersey health club contract rescission will not be granted where the party seeking same has not acted within a reasonable time or where substantial performance has already occurred. Indeed, delay in the rescission of a New Jersey health club contract is evidence of an election to treat a New Jersey health club contract as valid. However, the duty to rescind a New Jersey health club contract does not first arise until the party seeking New Jersey health club contract rescission discovers the grounds for same. To grant New Jersey health club contract rescission, a New Jersey court must be able to return the parties to their position before they entered into the New Jersey health club contract. Accordingly, a party cannot usually simply rescind a New Jersey health club contract and at the same time keep possession of goods or services received under the New Jersey health club contract. To complete a New Jersey health club contract rescission following partial performance, the party seeking to rescind the New Jersey health club contract must return or tender the consideration previously received. New Jersey health club contracts are subject to rescission where they are obtained by fraud. Indeed, the very existence of a fraudulently procured New Jersey health club contract causes damage, so that where fraud is found, damage may be presumed. In the absence of actual fraud, undue influence or misrepresentation, New Jersey health club contract rescission will not be permitted.

A unilateral mistake of a fact unknown to the other party to a New Jersey health club contract is not ordinarily grounds for New Jersey health club contract rescission. To qualify for such relief, a party must show special circumstances justifying a departure from the generally controlling principle that parties are bound by the New Jersey health club contracts they make for themselves. Accordingly, the circumstances providing for New Jersey health club contract rescission due to a unilateral mistake fact are: [1] the mistake is of such a great consequence that to enforce the New Jersey health club contract as actually made would be unconscionable; [2] the matter as to which the mistake was made must relate to the material feature of the New Jersey health club contract; the mistake must have occurred notwithstanding the exercise of reasonable care by the party making the mistake; and [4] the requested New Jersey health club contract rescission cannot cause serious prejudice to the other party, except for loss of bargain.

ARE NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY’S FEE AWARDS AVAILABLE TO A SUCCESFUL NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD PLAINTIFF?
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 compel the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant to pay whatever reasonable 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.

WHEN IS A NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CONTRACT INVALID BECAUSE IT WAS ENTERED INTO THROUGH FRAUD?
In the absence of a trust or confidential relationship, statements of opinion or matters of judgment, though known to be false when actually made, do not constitute New Jersey fraud. However, false representations as to material elements of the New Jersey health club contract are grounds for rescission. Fraudulent misconduct is not excused by the credulity or negligence of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud victim or by the fact that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud victim might have discovered the New Jersey Consumer Fraud through prior investigation.

Purposeful concealment can be as destructive as an affirmative false statement. There exists a duty upon a New Jersey party to a New Jersey health club contract to disclose to the other New Jersey party facts basic to the transaction if the first party knows that the other is about to enter into the transaction under a mistake as to the facts and that the other, because of the relationship between the parties, the customs of the trade or other objective circumstances, would reasonably expect disclosure of the facts. Where such a duty to speak exists, the failure to speak constitutes unfair conduct likely to cause harm. An unconscionable bargain is one such as no person in their senses and not under delusion would make and as no honest and fair person would accept.

HOW DO I PROVE NEW JERSEY COMMON LAW FRAUD IN A NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CONTRACT CASE?
Under New Jersey common law, there are two types of New Jersey common law fraud: New Jersey equitable fraud and New Jersey legal fraud. To prove a claim for New Jersey common law equitable fraud, a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff must show the following:

• a material misrepresentation of a presently existing or past fact;

• made with the intent that a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff rely upon it; and

• detrimental reliance by a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff.

Even an innocent misrepresentation can constitute New Jersey equitable fraud justifying rescission of a New Jersey health club contract. But the only remedy available for New Jersey equitable fraud is equitable in nature: rescission or reformation of the New Jersey health club contract.

To prove a claim for New Jersey common law legal fraud, a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff must show the following:

• a material misrepresentation of a presently existing or past fact;

• knowledge or belief by a New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant of its falsity;

• made with the intent to mislead the a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff;

• that such misrepresentation was justifiably relied upon by a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff; and

• that a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff sustained damages therfrom.

NEW JERSEY ORAL CONTRACT NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES AND NO CONTRACT NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES FAQS

DOES THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT APPLY TO ORAL NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUD CONTRACTS?
• You don’t always need a written contract to have a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act case.
• The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applies equally to both oral misrepresentations & written ones.
• Not every erroneous statement is an affirmative misrepresentation prohibited by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
• To constitute an affirmative misrepresentation, the statement must be:
o a statement of fact made contemporaneously with the formation of the bargain;
o material to the transaction;
o made to induce the New Jersey buyer to make the New Jersey purchase; and
o found to be false.
• The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claimant does not have to receive the misrepresentation to have standing.
• If the misrepresentation is made to someone acting as the New Jersey consumer’s agent & the agent was thereby induced into entering into a New Jersey health club contract with the merchant, the New Jersey consumer has standing to bring a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A WRITTEN NEW JERSEY HEALTH CLUB CONTRACT TO HAVE A NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASE?
• You don’t always need a New Jersey oral or written contract to have a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act case.
• Privity of contract = having a New Jersey health club contract with someone else.
• Privity of contract is not a prerequisite to New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act standing.
• If representations are made in connection with the New Jersey sale of merchandise, indirect promises are actionable.
• Parties may conclude a New Jersey health club contract for the New Jersey sale of goods notwithstanding whether they agreed upon a price.
• The absence of privity of contract no longer bars a buyer from reaching through the chain of distribution to a product’s manufacturer.
• But absence of a New Jersey health club contract may affect a New Jersey party’s amount of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act damages.


CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT DISPUTE BY MYSELF?
Some people can and do successfully handle cases themselves, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a judgment. However, many other people also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their cases or that result in the entry of a money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your case:
• court fees often change
• court rules often change
• court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees
• court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in court
• each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect complaints that result in the complaints or answers to complaints being rejected by the court or being dismissed by the 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 case.
• a court has the power to punish unprepared parties or parties who make mistakes, such as by throwing their case out of court or limiting what they can present at trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, court rules and rules of evidence that are very tricky and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at trial.
• it is very common for courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at trial 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 court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at 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 court expecting the judge hearing your case to explain court rules, evidence rules, court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your case. The judge hearing your 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 case. No attorney can guarantee results in civil disputes. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide the assistance you need to win your case, to settle your case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT DISPUTES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• represented consumers and the sellers of goods and services in New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act disputes.
• appeared in court in cases involving New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act disputes.
• mediated, arbitrated and tried New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act cases.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEW JERSEY CASE?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS AND NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing 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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