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New Jersey Home Repair Contractor Law

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NEW JERSEY CONTRACTORS’ REGISTRATON ACT

56:8-136. Short title. ["Contractors' Registration Act."] This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Contractors' Registration Act."

56:8-137. Definitions relative to home improvement contractors. As used in this act:
"Contractor" means a person engaged in the business of making or selling home improvements and includes a corporation, partnership, association and any other form of business organization or entity, and its officers, representatives, agents and employees.

"Director" means the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

"Division" means the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

"Home improvement" means the remodeling, altering, renovating, repairing, restoring, modernizing, moving, demolishing, or otherwise improving or modifying of the whole or any part of any residential or non-commercial property. Home improvement shall also include insulation installation, and the conversion of existing commercial structures into residential or non-commercial property.

"Home improvement contract" means an oral or written agreement for the performance of a home improvement between a contractor and an owner, tenant or lessee, of a residential or noncommercial property, and includes all agreements under which the contractor is to perform labor or render services for home improvements, or furnish materials in connection therewith.

"Residential or non-commercial property" means any single or multi-unit structure used in whole or in part as a place of residence, and all structures appurtenant thereto, and any portion of the lot or site on which the structure is situated which is devoted to the residential use of the structure.

56:8-138. Registration for contractors; application, fee. a. On or after December 31, 2005, no person shall offer to perform, or engage, or attempt to engage in the business of making or selling home improvements unless registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs in accordance with the provisions of this act.

b. Every contractor shall annually register with the director. Application for registration shall be on a form provided by the division and shall be accompanied by a reasonable fee, set by the director in an amount sufficient to defray the division's expenses incurred in administering and enforcing this act.

c. Every contractor required to register under this act shall file an amended registration within 20 days after any change in the information required to be included thereon. No fee shall be required for the filing of an amendment.

56:8-139. Act applicable to contractors who publicly advertise. Except for persons exempted pursuant to section 5 of this act, any person who advertises in print or puts out any sign or card or other device on or after December 31, 2005, which would indicate to the public that he is a contractor in New Jersey, or who causes his name or business name to be included in a classified advertisement or directory in New Jersey on or after December 31, 2005, under a classification for home improvements covered by this act, is subject to the provisions of this act. This section shall not be construed to apply to simple residential alphabetical listings in standard telephone directories.

56:8-140. Inapplicability of act. The provisions of this act shall not apply to:

a. Any person required to register pursuant to "The New Home Warranty and Builders' Registration Act," P.L.1977, c.467(C.46:3B-1 et seq.);

b. Any person performing a home improvement upon a residential or non-commercial property he owns, or that is owned by a member of his family, a bona fide charity, or other non-profit organization;

c. Any person regulated by the State as an architect, professional engineer, landscape architect, land surveyor, electrical contractor, master plumber, or any other person in any other related profession requiring registration, certification, or licensure by the State, who is acting within the scope of practice of his profession;

d. Any person who is employed by a community association or cooperative corporation;

e. Any public utility as defined under R.S.48:2-13;

f. Any person licensed under the provisions of section 16 of P.L.1960, c.41 (C.17:16C-77); and

g. Any home improvement retailer with a net worth of more than $50,000,000, or employee of that retailer.

56:8-141. Additional requirements; refusal to issue or suspend or revoke registration; grounds. In addition to any other procedure, condition or information required by this act:

a. Every applicant shall file a disclosure statement with the director stating whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime, which for the purposes of this act shall mean a violation of any of the following provisions of the "New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice," Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or the equivalent under the laws of any other jurisdiction:

(1) Any crime of the first degree;

(2) Any crime which is a second or third degree crime and is a violation of chapter 20 or 21 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; or

(3) Any other crime which is a violation of N.J.S.2C:5-1, 2C:5-2, 2C:11-2 through 2C:11-4, 2C:12-1, 2C:12-3, 2C:13-1, 2C:14-2, 2C:15-1, subsection a. or b. of 2C:17-1, subsection a. or b. of 2C:17-2, 2C:18-2, 2C:20-4, 2C:20-5, 2C:20-7, 2C:20-9, 2C:21-2 through 2C:21-4, 2C:21-6, 2C:21-7, 2C:21-12, 2C:21-14, 2C:21-15, or 2C:21-19, chapter 27 or 28 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, N.J.S.2C:30-2, 2C:30-3, 2C:35-5, 2C:35-10, 2C:37-1 through 2C:37-4.

b. The director may refuse to issue or may suspend or revoke any registration issued by him upon proof that the applicant or holder of the registration:

(1) Has obtained a registration through fraud, deception or misrepresentation;

(2) Has engaged in the use or employment of dishonesty, fraud, deception, misrepresentation, false promise or false pretense;

(3) Has engaged in gross negligence, gross malpractice or gross incompetence;

(4) Has engaged in repeated acts of negligence, malpractice or incompetence;

(5) Has engaged in professional or occupational misconduct as may be determined by the director;

(6) Has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude or any crime relating adversely to the activity regulated by this act. For the purpose of this subsection a plea of guilty, non vult, nolo contendere or any other such disposition of alleged criminal activity shall be deemed a conviction;

(7) Has had his authority to engage in the activity regulated by the director revoked or suspended by any other state, agency or authority for reasons consistent with this section;

(8) Has violated or failed to comply with the provisions of any act or regulation administered by the director;

(9) Is incapable, for medical or any other good cause, of discharging the functions of a licensee in a manner consistent with the public's health, safety and welfare.

c. An applicant whose registration is denied, suspended, or revoked pursuant to this section shall, upon a written request transmitted to the director within 30 calendar days of that action, be afforded an opportunity for a hearing in a manner provided for contested cases pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

d. An applicant shall have the continuing duty to provide any assistance or information requested by the director, and to cooperate in any inquiry, investigation, or hearing conducted by the director.

e. If any of the information required to be included in the disclosure statement changes, or if additional information should be added after the filing of the statement, the applicant shall provide that information to the director, in writing, within 30 calendar days of the change or addition.

f. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (6) of subsection b. of this section, no individual shall be disqualified from registration or shall have registration revoked on the basis of any conviction disclosed if the individual has affirmatively demonstrated to the director clear and convincing evidence of the individual's rehabilitation. In determining whether an individual has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation, the following factors shall be considered:

(1) The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted individual would hold;

(2) The nature and seriousness of the offense;

(3) The circumstances under which the offense occurred;

(4) The date of the offense;

(5) The age of the individual when the offense was committed;

(6) Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;

(7) Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and

(8) Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work-release programs, or the recommendation of persons who have had the individual under their supervision.

56:8-142. Proof of commercial general liability insurance; requirements. a. On or after December 31, 2005, every registered contractor who is engaged in home improvements shall secure, maintain and file with the director proof of a certificate of commercial general liability insurance in a minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence.

b. Every registered contractor engaged in home improvements whose commercial general liability insurance policy is cancelled or nonrenewed shall submit to the director a copy of the certificate of commercial general liability insurance for a new or replacement policy which meets the requirements of subsection a. of this section before the former policy is no longer effective.

56:8-143. Refusal to issue, renew, revocation, suspension of registration; procedures. a. The director may refuse to issue or renew, and may revoke, any registration for failure to comply with, or violation of, the provisions of this act or for any other good cause shown within the meaning and purpose of this act. A refusal or revocation shall not be made except upon reasonable notice to, and opportunity to be heard by, the applicant or registrant.

b. The director, in lieu of revoking a registration, may suspend the registration for a reasonable period of time, or assess a penalty in lieu of suspension, or both, and may issue a new registration, notwithstanding the revocation of a prior registration, if the applicant is found to have become entitled to the new registration.

56:8-144. Display of registration number; requirements. a. All registrants shall prominently display their registration numbers within their places of business, in all advertisements distributed within this State, on business documents, contracts and correspondence with consumers of home improvement services in this State, and on all commercial vehicles registered in this State and leased or owned by registrants and used by registrants for the purpose of providing home improvements, except for vehicles leased or rented to customers of registrants by a registrant or any agent or representative therof.

b. Any invoice, contract or correspondence given by a registrant to a consumer shall prominently contain the toll-free telephone number provided pursuant to section 14 of this act.
56:8-145. Applicability of act of out-of-State contractors. The provisions of this act shall apply to any person engaging in any of the activities regulated by this act in this State, including persons whose residence or principal place of business is located outside of this State.

56:8-146. Violations, fourth degree crime. a. It is an unlawful practice and a violation of P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) to violate any provision of this act.

b. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person who knowingly violates any of the provisions of this act is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

56:8-147. Supersedure of municipal ordinance, regulation. a. This act shall supersede any municipal ordinance or regulation that provides for the licensing or registration of contractors or for the protection of homeowners by bonds or warranties required to be provided by contractors, exclusive of those required by water, sewer, utility, or land use ordinances or regulations.

b. No municipality shall issue a construction permit for any home improvement to any contractor who is not registered pursuant to the provisions of this act.

56:8-148. Municipal powers preserved. This act shall not deny to any municipality the power to inspect a contractor's work or equipment, the work of a contractor who performs improvements to commercial property, or the power to regulate the standards and manners in which the contractor's work shall be done.

56:8-149. Public information campaign, toll free number. a. The director shall establish and undertake a public information campaign to educate and inform contractors and the consumers of this State of the provisions of this act. The public information campaign shall include, but not be limited to, the preparation, printing and distribution of booklets, pamphlets or other written pertinent information.

b. The director shall provide a toll-free telephone number for consumers making inquiries regarding contractors.

56:8-150. Applicability of C.56:8-1 et seq. Nothing in this act shall limit the application of P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.), or any regulations promulgated thereunder, in regard to the registration or regulation of contractors.

56:8-151. Contracts, certain, required to be in writing; contents. a. On or after December 31, 2005, every home improvement contract for a purchase price in excess of $500, and all changes in the terms and conditions of the contract, shall be in writing. The contract shall be signed by all parties thereto, and shall clearly and accurately set forth in legible form and in understandable language all terms and conditions of the contract, including but not limited to:

(1) The legal name, business address, and registration number of the contractor;

(2) A copy of the certificate of commercial general liability insurance required of a contractor pursuant to section 7 of this act and the telephone number of the insurance company issuing the certificate; and

(3) The total price or other consideration to be paid by the owner, including the finance charges.

b. On or after December 31, 2005, a home improvement contract may be cancelled by a consumer for any reason at any time before midnight of the third business day after the consumer receives a copy of it. In order to cancel a contract the consumer shall notify the contractor of the cancellation in writing, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal delivery, to the address specified in the 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 consumer has executed any credit or loan agreement through the contractor to pay all or part of the contract, the agreement or note shall be cancelled without penalty to the consumer and written notice of that cancellation shall be mailed to the consumer within 30 days of receipt of the notice of cancellation. The contract shall contain a conspicuous notice printed in at least 10-point bold-faced type as follows:

"NOTICE TO CONSUMER

YOU MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT AT ANY TIME BEFORE MIDNIGHT OF THE THIRD BUSINESS DAY AFTER RECEIVING A COPY OF THIS CONTRACT. IF YOU WISH 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 Contractor)

(Address of Contractor)

(Phone Number of Contractor)

If you cancel this contract within the three-day period, you are entitled to a full refund of your money. Refunds must be made within 30 days of the contractor's receipt of the cancellation notice."

56:8-152. Rules, regulations. The director, pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.

56:8-153. Definitions relative to unsolicited credit cards, checks. As used in this act:

"Check" means a demand draft drawn on or payable through an office of a depository institution located in the United States that has imprinted on it the account holder's name and the depository institution's name, location and routing number.

"Credit card" means any card, plate, coupon book, or other single credit device that may be used from time to time to obtain credit.

"Unsolicited check" means any check mailed or otherwise delivered to a person for the purpose of drawing on an existing account that is an extension of credit or activating an account to obtain credit other than:

(1) in response to a request or application for a check or account; or

(2) as a substitute for a check or account previously issued to the person to whom the check is mailed or otherwise delivered.

"Unsolicited credit card" means any credit card mailed or otherwise delivered to a person other than:

(1) in response to a request or application for a credit card; or

(2) as a renewal or substitute for a credit card previously issued to the person to whom the credit card is mailed or otherwise delivered.

56:8-154. Delivery of unsolicited credit card, unlawful practice. It shall be an unlawful practice for any person to mail or otherwise deliver an unsolicited credit card to a person in this State.

56:8-155. Unsolicited credit card, unaccepted, immunity from liability for use. No person in whose name an unsolicited credit card is issued shall be liable for any amount resulting from use of that card, from which that person or a member of that person's family or household derives no benefit, unless the person has accepted the card by activating the card or using the card, or by authorizing use of the card by another person. Failure to destroy or return an unsolicited credit card shall not constitute acceptance of the card.

56:8-156. Unsolicited check, unaccepted, immunity from liability for use. No person in whose name an unsolicited check is issued shall be liable for any amount resulting from use of that check or account, unless the person who is the holder of the account upon which the check is to be drawn, or who is the payee on the check, as the case may be, has accepted the check or account by using the check or account. Failure to destroy or return an unsolicited check shall not constitute acceptance of the check or account.

56:8-157. Definitions relative to certain unsolicited advertisements over telephone lines. As used in this act:
"Existing business relationship" means a relationship formed by a voluntary two-way communication between a person or entity and a residential or business subscriber with or without an exchange of consideration, on the basis of an inquiry, application, purchase, membership or transaction by the residential or business subscriber regarding products or services offered by such person or entity.

"Nonprofit organization" means a nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. s. 501(c)(3)) or section 501(c)(6) of the federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. s.501(c)(6)).

"Telephone facsimile machine" means equipment which has the capacity to transcribe text or images, or both, from paper into an electronic signal and to transmit that signal over a regular telephone line or to transcribe text or images, or both, from an electronic signal received over a regular telephone line onto paper.

"Unsolicited advertisement" means any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services which is transmitted to any person without that person's prior express invitation or permission.

56:8-158. Sending unsolicited advertisement to telephone facsimile machine prohibited, exceptions. a. A person within this State shall not use any telephone facsimile machine, computer or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine within this State. This subsection shall not be construed to cover the actions of an internet service provider or telecommunications service provider in the transmission, routing, relaying, handling, or storing of the facsimile through an automatic technical process.

b. Subsection a. of this section shall not apply where there is an existing business relationship between the sender of the unsolicited advertisement and the residential or business subscriber or where a member of a nonprofit organization including, but not limited to, professional or trade associations, sends an unsolicited advertisement to a member of the same organization, directly and not through a centralized facsimile database or facsimile number list maintained by the organization, provided that such unsolicited advertisement, whether sent pursuant to an existing business relationship between the sender and the residential or business subscriber or whether sent from one member of a nonprofit organization to another member of the same organization, shall provide clear and conspicuous notice on the first page of the unsolicited advertisement. Such notice shall include:

(1) disclosure to the recipient that the recipient may request the sender of the unsolicited advertisement not to send any future unsolicited advertisements to the recipient's telephone facsimile machine; and

(2) the domestic address and facsimile machine number for the recipient to transmit such a request to the sender.

c. A request not to send future unsolicited advertisements to a telephone facsimile machine shall:

(1) identify the telephone number of the telephone facsimile machine to which the request relates;

(2) be made to the sender's domestic address or the facsimile machine number of the sender provided in the notice to the recipient; and

(3) be sent in written form to the sender's domestic address or sent by return facsimile transmission to the sender's facsimile machine number, in order to be effective.

Such request is effective unless subsequently the person making the request provides express invitation or permission to the sender, in written form or by facsimile transmission, to send future unsolicited advertisements to such person at such telephone facsimile machine.

d. Failure to honor a valid request, in written form or by facsimile transmission, not to send future unsolicited advertisements pursuant to subsections c. through g. of this section, as applicable, shall constitute a violation of P.L.2005, c.114 (C.56:8-157 et seq.).

e. Nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to, professional or trade associations, shall be exempt from subsection a. of this section and shall be allowed to send unsolicited advertisements to their new and existing members in furtherance of the organization's purpose, without penalty, provided that the organization provides to each of its prospective new members at the time of membership application or to each of its existing members at the time of membership renewal, as the case may be, clear and conspicuous notice of:

(1) the member's right to request the organization not to send any future unsolicited advertisements to the member's telephone facsimile machine;

(2) the organization's domestic address and facsimile machine number to which its members may transmit such a request to the organization; and

(3) the requirement that any such request to the organization shall be sent in written form to the organization's domestic address or sent by return facsimile transmission to the organization's facsimile number, in order to be effective.

A request by a member to a nonprofit organization not to send future unsolicited advertisements to a member's telephone facsimile machine shall comply with the requirements of this subsection and with the requirements of subsection c. of this section, as applicable. Failure of a nonprofit organization to honor a valid request, in written form or by facsimile transmission, from a member not to send future unsolicited advertisements pursuant to the requirements of this subsection and the requirements of subsection c. of this section, as applicable, shall constitute a violation of P.L.2005, c.114 (C.56:8-157 et seq.).

f. Members of nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to, professional or trade associations, who send unsolicited advertisements to the telephone facsimile machines of other members of the same organization by initially sending such advertisements to a centralized facsimile database or facsimile number list maintained by the organization for the purpose of distributing such advertisements to its membership shall be exempt from subsection a. of this section and shall be allowed to send such unsolicited advertisements through such centralized facsimile database or facsimile number list to other members of the same organization, without penalty, provided that the organization provides to each of its prospective new members at the time of membership application or to each of its existing members at the time of membership renewal, as the case may be, clear and conspicuous notice of:

(1) the member's right to request that the organization not send any future unsolicited advertisements from one or more other members of the same organization through such centralized facsimile database or facsimile number list to the member's telephone facsimile machine;

(2) the organization's domestic address and facsimile machine number to which its members may transmit such a request to the organization; and

(3) the requirement that any such request to the organization shall be sent in written form to the organization's domestic address or sent by return facsimile transmission to the organization's facsimile number, in order to be effective.

A request by a member to a nonprofit organization that the organization not send any future unsolicited advertisements from one or more other members of the same organization through such centralized facsimile database or facsimile number list to a member's telephone facsimile machine shall comply with the requirements of this subsection and with the requirements of subsection c. of this section, as applicable. Failure of the nonprofit organization to honor a valid request, in written form or by facsimile transmission, from a member of the same organization not to send any future unsolicited advertisements from one or more other members through such centralized facsimile database or facsimile number list pursuant to the requirements of this subsection and the requirements of subsection c. of this section, as applicable, shall constitute a violation of P.L.2005, c.114 (C.56:8-157 et seq.).

g. Nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to, professional or trade associations, shall be exempt from subsection a. of this section and shall be allowed to send unsolicited advertisements to the telephone facsimile machine of any person, other than a new or existing member of the sending organization, within this State, without penalty, provided that such advertisements are intended to give the person notice of an event that is in furtherance of the organization's purpose, and further provided that, any such unsolicited advertisements to the person's telephone facsimile machine shall provide clear and conspicuous notice on the first page of the unsolicited advertisement. Such notice shall include:

(1) disclosure to the person that the person may request the organization not to send any such future unsolicited advertisements to the person's telephone facsimile machine;

(2) the domestic address and facsimile machine number for the person to transmit such a request to the organization; and

(3) the requirement that any such request to the organization shall be sent in written form to the organization's domestic address or sent by return facsimile transmission to the organization's facsimile number, in order to be effective.

A request by a person to a nonprofit organization that the organization not send future unsolicited advertisements to the person's telephone facsimile machine shall comply with the requirements of this subsection and with the requirements of subsection c. of this section, as applicable. Failure of a nonprofit organization to honor a valid request, in written form or by facsimile transmission, from a person not to send future unsolicited advertisements pursuant to the requirements of this subsection and the requirements of subsection c. of this section, as applicable, shall constitute a violation of P.L.2005, c.114 (C.56:8-157 et seq.).

56:8-159. Action by aggrieved person. a. Any person aggrieved by a violation of this act may bring an action in the Superior Court in the county where the transmission was sent or was received, or in which the plaintiff resides, for damages or to enjoin further violations of this act.

b. The court shall proceed in a summary manner and shall, in the event the plaintiff establishes a violation of this act, enter a judgment for the actual damages sustained, or $500 for each violation, whichever amount is greater, together with costs of suit and reasonable attorney's fees.

c. If the plaintiff establishes that the sender was notified by return facsimile or written means of communication to cease and desist transmission of such unsolicited advertisements, the court shall enter a judgment, on account of each subsequent transmission, for actual damages or $1,000 for each transmission, whichever amount is greater, together with costs of suit and reasonable attorney's fees, not to exceed $1,000.

56:8-160. Violation constitutes unlawful practice. A violation of this act shall constitute an unlawful practice pursuant to P.L. 1960, c. 39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) and shall be subject to all remedies and penalties available pursuant to P.L 1960, c. 39 (C. 56:8-1 et seq.), in addition to the remedies provided to an aggrieved person by section 3 of this act.

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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