Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

New Jersey Repair Fraud Examples

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

Warning – this article does not necessarily include each and every New Jersey court rule that may apply to your New Jersey case! The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not been amended, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. The New Jersey Statutes, United States Statutes, New Jersey Administrative Code and Federal Code in this database are not annotated. Accordingly, this database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Further, effective dates of the laws are not necessarily included in the database. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website contained in this database for any purpose and before taking any legal measures, you instead should read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney for any changes in the laws. Be certain to cross reference all applicable rules before preparing, filing or serving any papers!!! For example, Special Civil Part Rules often cross reference other rules – rules that apply to Special Civil Part Cases as well as to other types of civil cases not being heard in Special Civil Part.

WHAT ARE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR REGULATIONS?
New Jersey car repair shops engaging in unfair and fraudulent business practices and the abuses New Jersey car repair shops heap upon New Jersey car repair shop customers are one of the areas that New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act specifically targets. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs adopted a series of New Jersey Consumer Fraud car repair shop regulations that protect New Jersey car repair shop customers from New Jersey car repair shops that commit unfair and fraudulent business practices.

A violation of any of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud car repair shop regulations violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. New Jersey car repair shops can commit a violation of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act even when the shop acts in good faith, since the New Jersey car repair shop’s intent to violate New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act makes no difference at all. Mere proof of a New Jersey Consumer Fraud car repair shop regulation combined with proof of a loss of money or property as a direct result of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud car repair shop regulation violation, is enough to establish wrongful conduct under New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR SHOPS MUST NOT DO WHEN PROVIDING NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR SERVICES?
• Making or authorizing in any manner or by any means whatever any statement, written or oral, untrue or misleading & which is known, or by which the exercise of reasonable care should be known.
• Commencing work for compensation without securing authorization required by the regulations.
• Commencing work for compensation without providing a price estimate.
• Failure to provide a customer with a copy of any receipt or document signed by customer at time of signing.
• Making deceptive or misleading statements or false promises of a character likely to influence, persuade or induce a customer to authorize the repair, service or maintenance of a motor vehicle.
• Charging the customer for work done or parts supplied over estimated price without oral or written consent obtained after the estimated price is insufficient & before the work not estimated is done or the parts not estimated are supplied.

EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR SHOP REGULATION VIOLATIONS AND OF NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD VIOLATIONS
The following are examples of situations where New Jersey courts found that out of state or New Jersey car repair shops violated New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:

• A Pennsylvania car repair shop violated New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive repair regulations by failing to obtain written authorization for work signed by the New Jersey car's owner and failing to give the New Jersey car repair shop customer a written New Jersey car repair estimate of the price of repairs.

• A New Jersey Consumer Fraud lawsuit involving a New Jersey car repair shop performing New Jersey car repairs and customization work to turn a New Jersey car into a show-quality, off-the-road vehicle able to be entered in car shows. The New Jersey car repair shop neither gave the New Jersey car repair shop customer a written New Jersey car repair estimate nor made them sign a waiver of the need for a written New Jersey car repair estimate and later, the New Jersey car repair shop presented the New Jersey car repair shop customer with a final bill that far exceeds the anticipated cost of car repairs.

• A New Jersey car repair shop that performed repairs to a New Jersey car repair shop customer’s 427 cubic inch engine and on the New Jersey car repair shop customer’s 1968 and 1986 Chevrolet Camaros violated New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by failing to provide the New Jersey car repair shop customer with a written New Jersey car repair estimate and obtain a written authorization to perform work on the New Jersey car. While the New Jersey car repair shop’s violations of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act did not cause the New Jersey car repair shop customer to sustain any damages, the New Jersey car repair shop customer was still entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit from the New Jersey car repair shop.

• A New Jersey car repair shop customer left his accident damaged 2001 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck at an automotive repair shop with the understanding that the New Jersey car repair would be performed after the New Jersey car repair shop customer’s insurance company inspected the damage and authorized repairs and that the New Jersey car repair shop would follow up with the insurance company. While the insurance company ultimately covered the claim, the New Jersey car repair shop violated New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by commencing work without first providing the New Jersey car repair shop customer with a written New Jersey car repair estimate and without obtaining a written waiver or authorization from the New Jersey car repair shop customer to proceed with repairs not in excess of a specific dollar amount. While the New Jersey car repair shop’s violations of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act did not cause the New Jersey car repair shop customer to sustain any damages, the New Jersey car repair shop customer was still entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit from the New Jersey car repair shop.

• The New Jersey car repair shop customer of a 1995 Ford Explorer brought the vehicle to an automotive repair shop for installation of a Class III trailer hitch and brake control system. The New Jersey car repair shop agreed to perform the work and gave plaintiff a verbal New Jersey car repair estimate for labor and material, stating "it was going to be a couple hundred dollars." The New Jersey car repair shop customer thought the bill would only be $250 but he was billed $138 more than he anticipated for the New Jersey car repair because the New Jersey car repair shop failed to supply a written New Jersey car repair estimate for the repairs prior to performing the work. In addition to receiving triple damages for violation of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the New Jersey car repair shop customer was also entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit in the amount of $4,000.

IF I AM A NEW JERSEY VICTIM OF NEW JERSEY FRAUD, CAN I DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?
Whenever there is a fraud in the execution or consideration of a New Jersey contract, the New Jersey car sales fraud victim defrauded at any time thereafter may institute a New Jersey lawsuit to recover the money owing on such New Jersey 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 contract entirely and recover the money or property obtained by the fraud, or, sue on the New Jersey contract to recover thereon.

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

New Jersey contract rescission is the equivalent of New Jersey contract cancellation. It is an equitable remedy which is only available in limited circumstances. Aside from situations where parties consent to New Jersey contract rescission, New Jersey 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 contract rescission exist, the remedy is discretionary in nature. New Jersey 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 contract is evidence of an election to treat a New Jersey contract as valid. However, the duty to rescind a New Jersey contract does not first arise until the party seeking New Jersey contract rescission discovers the grounds for same. To grant New Jersey contract rescission, a New Jersey court must be able to return the parties to their position before they entered into the New Jersey contract. Accordingly, a party cannot usually simply rescind a New Jersey contract and at the same time keep possession of goods or services received under the New Jersey contract. To complete a New Jersey contract rescission following partial performance, the party seeking to rescind the New Jersey contract must return or tender the consideration previously received. New Jersey contracts are subject to rescission where they are obtained by fraud. Indeed, the very existence of a fraudulently procured New Jersey 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 contract rescission will not be permitted.

A unilateral mistake of a fact unknown to the other party to a New Jersey contract is not ordinarily grounds for New Jersey 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 contracts they make for themselves. Accordingly, the circumstances providing for New Jersey contract rescission due to a unilateral mistake fact are: [1] the mistake is of such a great consequence that to enforce the New Jersey 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 contract; the mistake must have occurred notwithstanding the exercise of reasonable care by the party making the mistake; and [4] the requested New Jersey contract rescission cannot cause serious prejudice to the other party, except for loss of bargain.

WHEN IS A NEW JERSEY 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 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 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.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY FRAUD VICTIMS WHO SIGN FRAUDULENT NEW JERSEY CONTRACTS?
Whenever there is a fraud in the execution or consideration of a New Jersey contract, the New Jersey fraud victim at any time thereafter may institute a civil action, to recover the money owing on such New Jersey 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 Consumer Fraud victim may, upon discovery of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud, either rescind the New Jersey contract entirely and recover the money or property obtained by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud, or, sue on the New Jersey contract to recover thereon.

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

New Jersey contract rescission is the equivalent of New Jersey contract cancellation. It is an equitable remedy which is only available in limited circumstances. Aside from situations where parties consent to New Jersey contract rescission, New Jersey 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 contract rescission exist, the New Jersey remedy is discretionary in nature. New Jersey 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 contract is evidence of an election to treat a New Jersey contract as valid. However, the duty to rescind a New Jersey contract does not first arise until the party seeking New Jersey contract rescission discovers the grounds for same. To grant New Jersey contract rescission, a New Jersey court must be able to return the parties to their position before they entered into the New Jersey contract. Accordingly, a New Jersey party cannot usually simply rescind a New Jersey contract and at the same time keep possession of goods or services received under the New Jersey contract. To complete a New Jersey contract rescission following partial performance, the party seeking to rescind the New Jersey contract must return or tender the consideration previously received. New Jersey contracts are subject to rescission where they are obtained by fraud. Indeed, the very existence of a fraudulently procured New Jersey 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 contract rescission will not be permitted.

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

HOW DO I PROVE FRAUD IN A NEW JERSEY 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 contract. But the only remedy available for New Jersey equitable fraud is equitable in nature: rescission or reformation of the New Jersey 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 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 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 NEW JERSEY 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 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 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 contract may affect a New Jersey party’s amount of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act damages.

EXAMPLES OF CASES WHERE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD CLAIMANTS DID NOT HAVE VALID NEW JERSEY CONTRACTS BUT HAD POTENTIAL NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES
• The post-repossession conduct of the assignee of retail installment New Jersey car sales contract who is not in privity with a New Jersey Consumer Fraud victim.
• A New Jersey car, New Jersey truck and New Jersey SUV New Jersey buyer sued an New Jersey used car dealership for misrepresentation of the advertisement for sale of a New Jersey car, New Jersey truck or New Jersey SUV at a specific price. Even though the parties never entered into a binding agreement, claimant’s recovered the difference between the New Jersey car, New Jersey truck or New Jersey SUV’s advertised price & that provided via a subsequent offer.
• A New Jersey car, New Jersey truck and New Jersey SUV New Jersey buyer placed a phone order with an New Jersey used car dealer but never executed a New Jersey contract for the New Jersey car, New Jersey truck and New Jersey SUV’s purchase.
• New Jersey buyers of a New Jersey home infested with termites brought a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim against various parties, including the seller’s real estate broker. Since the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act granted a remedy to any person suffering any New Jersey ascertainable loss caused by a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation, claimants were entitled to relief for losses sustained from the selling broker’s concealment of termite damage.
• A builder failed to construct a house on New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiffs’ lot & after the construction stalled, the property owners sued the builder for damages. At a proof hearing, New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiffs failed to establish the existence of an enforceable contract.
• Residents of a development’s second phase brought New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claims against a builder & bank for flooding of second phase property caused by development of third phase authorized after alleged misrepresentations & omissions to the planning board. The alleged New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations were committed “in connection with the New Jersey sale of real estate” & sufficient nexus existed between alleged misrepresentations & flooding.
• New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claims against successor landlord stepping into shoes of the original landlord that contracted with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claimants were viable, notwithstanding the fact that the claims arose after the New Jersey consumers’ tenancies commenced.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE 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 contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.

ARE NEW JERSEY CONTRACTS THAT VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT ABLE TO BE CANCELLED?
• New Jersey contracts that violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and New Jersey debts that are caused by violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act may be cancelled by a New Jersey court. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, fraudulent debts are subject to cancellation via the equitable relief afforded to New Jersey Consumer Fraud victims.
• If a merchant violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act so as to render the contract unenforceable, the merchant is typically precluded from recovering any profit for the services rendered & instead, might only recover via quantum meruit, if at all.
• Even recovery via quantum meruit is questionable, as those who commit New Jersey Consumer Fraud should not profit from their misconduct.
• Before filing suit on behalf of a merchant seeking to collect debts that may be the product of New Jersey Consumer Fraud, attorneys should warn their clients in writing of the possibility that, if the debt is found to be the product of New Jersey Consumer Fraud, the suit may result in their:
o recovering nothing or far less than the amount sought;
o facing a judgment for their New Jersey consumer’s fees & costs in defending the collection action, regardless of proof of any New Jersey ascertainable loss ; &
o Facing New Jersey Consumer Fraud treble damages for causally related New Jersey ascertainable loss.

WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY DEBTS THAT ARE NOT ABLE TO BE COLLECTED BECAUSE THE BUSINESS OWED THE DEBT VIOLATED THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
The following are some examples of New Jersey debts that are not able to be collected because the business owed the debt violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Temporary help service firm not registered as a temporary help service firm with the Attorney General, sued another temporary help service firm for breach of contract for failure to pay for the first firm’s subcontractors’ services.
• NJ corporation recruiting & placing temporary computer consultants which was not registered as a temporary help service firm with the Attorney General, entered into an employment agreement with a computer consultant & sued him when he left the job.
• Mechanic’s efforts to collect on an outstanding bill via a counterclaim. Notwithstanding complete good-faith in performance, mechanic committed per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations of the automotive repair New Jersey Consumer Fraud regulations. mechanic’s efforts to collect on an outstanding bill via a counterclaim. Notwithstanding his being an impressive witness & showing complete good-faith in the performance of the parties’ agreement, the mechanic committed per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations of the automotive repair New Jersey Consumer Fraud regulations & the New Jersey consumer recovered New Jersey Consumer Fraud treble damages, fees & costs.
• Unlicensed landscape irrigation contractor sued to collect an unpaid bill for a sprinkling system. The collection complaint was dismissed & the New Jersey consumer obtained a New Jersey Consumer Fraud refund & an award of fees & costs.
• Owner of cleaning & restoration franchise specializing in mitigating damage following a fire or flood filed a collection action. New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff’s failure to provide a written estimate & obtain a written authorization placed the cost of his services in doubt.

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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