Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Trial Court Rules

2013 NEW JERSEY TRIAL RULES

RULE 1:7. General Provisions For Trials
1:7-1. Opening and Closing Statement
 (a) Opening Statement. Before any evidence is offered at trial, the State in a criminal action or the plaintiff in a civil action, unless otherwise provided in the pretrial order, shall make an opening statement. A defendant who chooses to make an opening statement shall do so immediately thereafter.
 (b) Closing Statement. After the close of the evidence and except as may be otherwise ordered by the court, the parties may make closing statements in the reverse order of opening statements. In civil cases any party may suggest to the trier of fact, with respect to any element of damages, that unliquidated damages be calculated on a time-unit basis without reference to a specific sum. In the event such comments are made to a jury, the judge shall instruct the jury that they are argument only and do not constitute evidence.
Note: Source - R.R. 3:7-3, 4:44-1, 7:8-4; former rule redesignated as paragraph (a), paragraph (b) adopted and caption amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; paragraph (a) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (b) amended July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; paragraph (b) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
1:7-2. Objections
For the purpose of reserving questions for review or appeal relating to rulings or orders of the court or instructions to the jury, a party, at the time the ruling or order is made or sought, shall make known to the court specifically the action which the party desires the court to take or the party's objection to the action taken and the grounds therefor. Except as otherwise provided by R. 1:7-5 and R. 2:10-2 (plain error), no party may urge as error any portion of the charge to the jury or omissions therefrom unless objections are made thereto before the jury retires to consider its verdict, but opportunity shall be given to make the objection in open court, in the absence of the jury. A party shall only be prejudiced by the absence of an objection if there was an opportunity to object to a ruling, order or charge.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-7(b), 3:7-8, 4:47, 4:52-1 (third and fourth sentences); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:7-3. Record of Excluded Evidence
If an objection to a question propounded to a witness is sustained by the court, the examining attorney may, out of the hearing of the jury (if there is a jury), make a specific offer of what is expected to be proved by the answer of the witness, and the court may add such other and further statement as clearly shows the character of the evidence, the form in which it was offered, and the ruling thereon. In actions tried without a jury the court shall upon request permit the evidence and any cross-examination relating thereto or evidence in rebuttal thereof to be taken down by the court reporter in full, or otherwise preserved, unless it clearly appears to the court that the evidence is not admissible on any ground or that the witness is privileged or unless the interest of justice otherwise requires. In actions tried with a jury the court may, in its discretion and in the absence of the jury, permit such taking and preservation of the excluded evidence.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:44-3; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:7-4. Findings by the Court in Non-jury Trials and on Motions
 (a) Required Findings. The court shall, by an opinion or memorandum decision, either written or oral, find the facts and state its conclusions of law thereon in all actions tried without a jury, on every motion decided by a written order that is appealable as of right, and also as required by R. 3:29 The court shall thereupon enter or direct the entry of the appropriate judgment.
 (b) Motion for Amendment. On motion made not later than 20 days after service of the final order or judgment upon all parties by the party obtaining it, the court may grant a rehearing or may, on the papers submitted, amend or add to its findings and may amend the final order or judgment accordingly, but the failure of a party to make such motion or to object to the findings shall not preclude that party's right thereafter to question the sufficiency of the evidence to support the findings. The motion to amend the findings, which may be made with a motion for a new trial, shall state with specificity the basis on which it is made, including a statement of the matters or controlling decisions that counsel believes the court has overlooked or on which it has erred. Motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders shall be determined pursuant to R. 4:42-2.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-1(c), 4:53-1, 4:53-2, 8:7-2(c); caption and text amended November 1, 1985 to be effective January 2, 1986; caption and text amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; caption and text amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; amended and paragraphs (a) and (b) designated July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; paragraph (a) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
1:7-5. Trial Errors
Any error or omission which does not prejudice a substantial right shall be disregarded by the trial court before, during and after trial. The trial court, however, at every stage of the action, including a timely application after trial, may notice any error of such a nature as to have been clearly capable of producing an unjust result, even though such error was not brought to its attention by a party.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:63-1, 4:63-2.
1:7-6. Non-public Business Records
Where the original of a non-public business record has been produced at trial and a clear copy thereof is certified and offered to the court, the court, except for good cause shown, shall permit the copy to be marked into evidence and the original to be returned to its custodian. The parties may stipulate in advance as to the admissibility of such copy.
Note: Adopted November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975.
RULE 1:8. Jury
 (a) Criminal Actions. Criminal actions required to be tried by a jury shall be so tried unless the defendant, in writing and with the approval of the court, after notice to the prosecuting attorney and an opportunity to be heard, waives a jury trial. In sentencing proceedings conducted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(c)(1), the consent of prosecutor shall be required for such waiver.
 (b) Civil Actions. Issues in civil actions triable of right by a jury shall be so tried only if a jury trial is demanded by a party in accordance with R. 4:35-1 or R. 6:5-3, as applicable, and is not thereafter waived. If a jury of twelve is requested, that request shall be included in the jury demand.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-1(a), 4:40-3; paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraph (a) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; captions added to paragraphs (a) and (b) and paragraph (b) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
1:8-2. Number of Jurors
 (a) Number Deliberating in Criminal Actions. A deliberating jury in a criminal action shall consist of 12 persons, but at any time before verdict the parties may stipulate that the jury shall consist of any number less than 12 except in the trials of crimes punishable by death. Such stipulations shall be in writing and with the approval of the court.
 (b) Number Deliberating in Civil Actions. A deliberating jury in a civil action shall consist of six persons unless:
• (1) for good cause shown the court orders a jury of 12 persons pursuant to a demand made in accordance with R. 1:8-1(b); or
• (2) fewer than six jurors remain prior to commencement of deliberations and the parties then agree on the record to submit the case to the remaining jurors; or
• (3) more than six jurors remain prior to the commencement of deliberations and the parties then agree on the record that all remaining jurors shall deliberate.
 (c) Verdict in Civil Actions.
• (1) Unless the parties have agreed on the record prior to commencement of deliberations to accept a verdict or finding by a lesser number, the verdict or finding shall be by agreement of five jurors when six jurors deliberate, and by 10 jurors when 12 jurors deliberate.
• (2) If the parties have agreed on the record to submit the case to fewer than six jurors, pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this rule, the verdict or finding shall be unanimous, unless the parties have also agreed on the record prior to commencement of deliberations to a verdict or finding by a lesser number.
• (3) If the parties have agreed on the record to more than six jurors pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this rule, the verdict or finding shall be by agreement of five-sixths of the deliberating jurors, unless the parties have otherwise agreed on the record prior to commencement of deliberations.
 (d) Alternate Jurors; Civil and Criminal Actions.
• (1) All Actions. The court in its discretion may direct the impanelling of a jury of such number as it deems necessary to ensure that a sufficient number of jurors will remain to deliberate. If a juror is excused after being sworn but before opening statements begin, another juror may be impanelled and sworn, but no juror may be empaneled and sworn thereafter. All the jurors shall sit and hear the case, but the court for good cause shown may excuse any of them from service provided the number of jurors is not reduced to less than 12 or 6 as the case may be or such other number as may be stipulated to. If more than such number are left on the jury at the conclusion of the court's charge, the clerk of the court in the jury's presence shall randomly draw such number of names as will reduce the jury to the number required to determine the issues. Following the drawing of the names of jurors to determine the issues, the court may in its discretion order that the alternate jurors not be discharged, in which event the alternate jurors shall be sequestered apart from the other jurors and shall be subject to the same orders and instructions of the court, with respect to sequestration and other matters, as the other jurors. If the alternate jurors are not discharged and if at any time after submission of the case to the jury, a juror dies or is discharged by the court because of illness or other inability to continue, the court may direct the clerk to draw the name of an alternate juror to take the place of the juror who is deceased or discharged. When such a substitution of an alternate juror is made, the court shall instruct the jury to recommence deliberations and shall give the jury such other supplemental instructions as may be appropriate.
• (2) Civil Actions. In civil actions, instead of selecting alternate jurors, the parties may agree on the record, pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this rule, that all remaining jurors shall deliberate and that the verdict or finding shall be returned by such number as is provided by paragraph (c)(3) of this rule.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-1(b), 3:7-2(d), 4:48-2, 4:49-1(a)(b). Amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (d) amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972; paragraph (d) amended June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; paragraph (b) amended July 17, 1975 to be effective September 8, 1975; paragraph (d) amended July 29, 1977 to be effective September 6, 1977; paragraph (d) amended July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraph (d) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
1:8-3. Examination of Jurors; Challenges
 (a) Examination of Jurors. For the purpose of determining whether a challenge should be interposed, the court shall interrogate the prospective jurors in the box after the required number are drawn without placing them under oath. The parties or their attorneys may supplement the court's interrogation in its discretion. At trials of crimes punishable by death, the examination shall be made of each juror individually, as his name is drawn, and under oath.
 (b) Challenges in the Array; Challenges for Cause. Any party may challenge the array in writing on the ground that the jurors were not selected, drawn or summoned according to law. A challenge to the array shall be decided before any individual juror is examined. A challenge to any individual juror which by law is ground of challenge for cause must be made before the juror is sworn to try the case, but the court for good cause may permit it to be made after the juror is sworn but before any evidence is presented. All challenges shall be tried by the court.
 (c) Peremptory Challenges in Civil Actions. In civil actions each party shall be entitled to 6 peremptory challenges. Parties represented by the same attorney shall be deemed 1 party for the purposes of this rule. Where, however, multiple parties having a substantial identity of interest in one or more issues are represented by different attorneys, the trial court in its discretion may, on application of counsel prior to the selection of the jury, accord the adverse party such additional number of peremptory challenges as it deems appropriate in order to avoid unfairness to the adverse party.
 (d) Peremptory Challenges in Criminal Actions. Upon indictment for kidnapping, murder, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, aggravated arson, arson, burglary, robbery, forgery if it constitutes a crime of the third degree as defined by N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1b, or perjury, the defendant shall be entitled to 20 peremptory challenges if tried alone and to 10 such challenges when tried jointly; and the State shall have 12 peremptory challenges if the defendant is tried alone and 6 peremptory challenges for each 10 afforded defendants when tried jointly. In other criminal actions each defendant shall be entitled to 10 peremptory challenges and the State shall have 10 peremptory challenges for each 10 challenges afforded defendants. The trial judge shall have the discretionary authority to increase proportionally the number of peremptory challenges available to the defendant and the State in any case in which the sentencing procedure set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:11-3 might be utilized. When the case is to be tried by a foreign jury, each defendant shall be entitled to 5 peremptory challenges, and the State 5 peremptory challenges for each 5 peremptory challenges afforded defendants.
 (e) Order of Exercising of Peremptory Challenges.
• (1) In any case in which each side is entitled to an equal number of challenges, those challenges shall alternate one by one, with the State in a criminal case and the plaintiff in a civil case exercising the first challenge.
• (2) In any case in which there is more than one defendant and/or an uneven number of peremptory challenges, the court shall establish the order of challenge, which shall be set forth on the record prior to the commencement of the jury selection process.
• (3) The passing of a peremptory challenge by any party shall not constitute a waiver of the right thereafter to exercise the same against any juror, unless all parties pass successive challenges.
 (f) Conference Before Examination. Prior to the examination of the prospective jurors, the court shall hold a conference on the record to determine the areas of inquiry during voir dire. Attorneys shall submit proposed voir dire questions in writing in advance. If requested, the court shall determine whether the attorneys may participate in the questioning of the prospective jurors and, if so, to what extent. During the course of the questioning, additional questions of prospective jurors may be requested and asked as appropriate under the circumstances. The judge shall rule on the record on the proposed voir dire questions and on any requested attorney participation.
Note: Source - R.R. 3:7-2(b)(c), 4:48-1, 4:48-3. Paragraphs (c) and (d) amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (d) amended July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraph (d) amended July 22, 1983 to be effective September 12, 1983; paragraph (d) amended July 26, 1984 to be effective September 10, 1984; paragraph (d) amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (c) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraph (e) added July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; paragraph (b) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (f) added July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; paragraph (f) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
1:8-4. Foreperson
Juror number one shall be the foreperson; but if that juror is thereafter selected as an alternate juror or otherwise discharged, then the juror next drawn on the impanelling of a jury, who remains on the jury for the determination of the issues, shall be the foreperson.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-2(e), 4:48-2 (last phrase). Amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971, former rule deleted and new rule adopted June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; caption and text amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990.
1:8-5. Availability of Petit Jury List
The list of the general panel of petit jurors shall be made available by the clerk of the court to any party requesting the same at least ten days prior to the date fixed for trial. In cases where the death penalty may be imposed, the list shall be made available to any party requesting it at least twenty days prior to the date fixed for trial.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-2(a). Amended July 16, 1979 to be effective September 10, 1979; amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately.
1:8-6. Sequestration of Juries
 (a) Prior to Instructing of Jury. The jury shall not be sequestered in any action, civil or criminal, prior to the instructing of the jury by the court, unless the court, in its discretion so orders on its finding that there are extraordinary circumstances requiring sequestration for the protection of the jurors or in the interests of justice.
 (b) Following Instructing of Jury. Following the instructing of the jury by the court and during the course of deliberations, the court may, in its discretion, in both civil and criminal actions, permit the dispersal of the jury for the night, for meals, and during other authorized intermissions in the deliberations.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-2(f). Amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972.
1:8-7. Requests to Charge the Jury
 (a) Generally. Either within the time provided by R. 4:25-7 or thereafter but before the close of the evidence, as to issues not anticipated prior to trial, any party may submit written requests that the court instruct the jury on the law as set forth in the requests. The requests shall make specific reference to the Model Civil Jury Charges, if applicable, or to applicable law. Copies of the requests shall be furnished all parties at the time they are submitted to the court. The court shall, on the record, rule on the requests prior to closing arguments to the jury. A verbatim record shall be made of any charge conference the court holds. Objections to the instructions to the jury shall be in accordance with R. 1:7-2.
 (b) In Criminal Cases. Prior to closing arguments, the court shall hold a charge conference on the record in all criminal cases. At the conference the court shall advise counsel of the offenses, defenses and other legal issues to be charged and shall rule on requests made by counsel.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-7(a), 4:52-1 (first and second sentences); amended July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (a) caption and new paragraph (b) added July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; paragraph (a) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
1:8-8. Materials to be Submitted to the Jury; Note-taking; Juror Questions
 (a) Materials. The jury may take into the jury room the exhibits received in evidence, and if the court so directs in a civil action, a list of the claims made by the parties and of the defenses to such claims, a list of the various items of damage upon which proof was submitted at the trial and a list of the verdicts that may be properly found by the jury. Any such list may be prepared by an attorney or the court, but before delivery to the jury, it shall be submitted to all parties. The court, in its discretion, may submit a copy of its instructions to the jury for its consideration in the jury room. In civil cases, the court may consider the following factors in exercising its discretion to provide a copy of its instructions to the jury: (1) the track to which the case is assigned; (2) a request of one or more parties for submission of written instructions to the jury; (3) the length of the trial; (4) the complexity of the issues and charge; (5) whether the parties timely submitted a proposed charge to the court; (6) whether providing written instructions would unreasonably delay the proceedings; and (7) any other factor based upon the circumstances of the case. The court may also, in its discretion and at such time and in such format as it shall determine, permit the submission to the jury of individual copies of any exhibit provided an appropriate request to employ that technique was made prior to trial on notice to all parties and provided further that the court finds that no party will be unduly prejudiced by the procedure.
 (b) Juror Note-taking. Prior to opening statements, the attorneys or any party may request that the jury be permitted to take notes during the trial or portion thereof, including opening and closing statements. If the court determines to permit note-taking after all parties have had an opportunity to be heard, it shall provide the jurors with note-taking materials and shall take such steps as will ensure the security and confidentiality of each juror's notes.
 (c) Juror Questions. Prior to the commencement of the voir dire of prospective jurors in a civil action, the court shall determine whether to allow jurors to propose questions to be asked of the witnesses. The court shall make its determination after the parties have been given an opportunity to address the issue, but they need not consent. If the court determines to permit jurors to submit proposed questions, it shall explain to the jury in its opening remarks that subject to the rules of evidence and the court's discretion, questions by the jurors will be allowed for the purpose of clarifying the testimony of a witness. The jurors' questions shall be submitted to the court in writing at the conclusion of the testimony of each witness and before the witness is excused. The court, with counsel, shall review the questions out of the presence of the jury. Counsel shall state on the record any objections they may have, and the court shall rule on the permissibility of each question. The witness shall then be recalled, and the court shall ask the witness those questions ruled permissible. Counsel shall, on request, be permitted to reopen direct and cross-examination to respond to the jurors' questions and the witness's answers. A witness who has been excused shall not be recalled to respond to juror questions unless all counsel and the court agree or unless the court otherwise orders for good cause shown.
Note: Source – R.R. 4:52-2; caption and text amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; amended and paragraphs (a) and (b) designated July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; new paragraph (c) added July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; caption amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004; paragraph (c) amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006; paragraph (a) amended July 19, 2012 to be effective September 4, 2012.
1:8-9. Return of Verdict
In every trial by jury the verdict shall be returned by the jury to the judge in open court. The verdict shall be unanimous in all criminal actions and shall be rendered in civil actions by the number required by R. 1:8-2(c).
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-9(a), 4:40-4, 7:8-6; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
1:8-10. Polling of Jury
Before the verdict is recorded, the jury shall be polled at the request of any party or upon the court's motion, and it shall be polled in every civil action if the verdict is not unanimous. If the poll discloses that there is not unanimous concurrence in a criminal action or concurrence by the number required by R. 1:8-2(c) in a civil action, the jury may be directed to retire for further deliberations or discharged.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:7B9(d), 4:49B2; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
RULE 1:9. Subpoenas
1:9-1. For Attendance of Witnesses; Forms; Issuance; Notice in Lieu of Subpoena
A subpoena may be issued by the clerk of the court or by an attorney or party in the name of the clerk or as provided by R. R. 7:7-8 (subpoenas in certain cases in the municipal court). It shall state the name of the court and the title of the action and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at the time and place specified therein. If the witness is to testify in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the subpoena shall so note, and shall contain an order to appear without the prepayment of any witness fee. The testimony of a party who could be subpoenaed may be compelled by a notice in lieu of subpoena served upon the party's attorney demanding that the attorney produce the client at trial. If the party is a corporation or other organization, the testimony of any person deposable on its behalf, under R. 4:14-2, may be compelled by like notice. The notice shall be served in accordance with R. 1:5-2 at least 5 days before trial. The sanctions of R. 1:2-4 shall apply to a failure to respond to a notice in lieu of a subpoena.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(a)(b), 4:46-1, 6:3-7(a), 7:4-3 (second paragraph), 8:4-9(a)(b); caption and text amended November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; amended January 5, 1998 to be effective February 1, 1998.
1:9-2. For Production of Documentary Evidence and Electronically Stored Information; Notice in Lieu of Subpoena
A subpoena or, in a civil action, a notice in lieu of subpoena as authorized by R. 1:9-1 may require production of books, papers, documents, electronically stored information, or other objects designated therein. The court on motion made promptly may quash or modify the subpoena or notice if compliance would be unreasonable or oppressive and, in a civil action, may condition denial of the motion upon the advancement by the person in whose behalf the subpoena or notice is issued of the reasonable cost of producing the objects subpoenaed. The court may direct that the objects designated in the subpoena or notice be produced before the court at a time prior to the trial or prior to the time when they are to be offered in evidence and may upon their production permit them or portions of them to be inspected by the parties and their attorneys and, in matrimonial actions and juvenile proceedings, by a probation officer or other person designated by the court. Except for pretrial production directed by the court pursuant to this rule, subpoenas for pretrial production shall comply with the requirements of R. 4:14-7(c).
Note: Source - R.R. 3:5-10(c), 4:46-2, 6:3-7(b), 7:4-3 (second paragraph), 8:4-9(c); amended November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975; amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990; caption and text amended July 27, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
1:9-3. Service
A subpoena may be served by any person 18 or more years of age. Service of a subpoena shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to the person named together with tender of the fee allowed by law, except that if the person is a witness in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the fee shall be paid before leaving the court at the conclusion of the trial by the sheriff or, in the municipal court, by the clerk thereof.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(b) (last sentence), 3:5-10(d), 4:46-3, 5:2-2, 6:3-7(c), 7:4-6(a) (last sentence), 8:4-9(d); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:9-4. Place of Service
A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a hearing in any court may be served at any place within the State of New Jersey.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(e), 6:3-7(d), 7:4-6(b), 8:4-9(e).
1:9-5. Failure to Appear
Failure without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon any person may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena issued.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-10(f), 6:3-7(e), 8:4-9(f); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
1:9-6. Enforcement of Subpoena of Public Officer or Agency
 (a) Ex Parte Application for Compliance. Where by statute a public officer or agency may apply ex parte to the court to compel a person to testify or to produce or file books, papers, documents or other objects in accordance with the subpoena or direction of the officer or agency, or to refrain from certain misconduct, the application may be made by motion supported by affidavit. The court may order the person to appear before the officer or agency and there to proceed as may be directed in the order.
 (b) Application for Compliance on Notice. If in such a case the statute does not provide for an application ex parte, an order to show cause may issue on the motion and supporting affidavit. The order shall be made returnable in not less than 2 nor more than 10 days, requiring such person to show cause before the court why the subpoena or other direction should not be complied with or such misconduct refrained from, and upon the return of the order the court shall afford the person an opportunity to be heard under oath. The court may order a person determined by it to have failed, without justification, to obey the subpoena or other direction, answer a proper question, produce any such thing, or to have been guilty of misconduct, to appear before the officer or agency at a time or times and place mentioned in the order and there to proceed as may be directed in the order.
 (c) Application for Sanctions. Where a statute provides that failure of a person to obey a subpoena or order of a public officer or administrative agency or a receiver, to testify, to answer a proper question, or to produce books, papers, documents or other objects, or that misconduct on the part of a person attending a hearing, shall be punishable by the court in the same manner as like failure or misconduct is punishable in an action pending in the court, the matter shall be brought before the court by motion supported by affidavit stating the circumstances. Upon the motion the court may issue an order to show cause, returnable in not less than 2 nor more than 10 days, requiring the person to show cause before the court why punishment should not be ordered; or the court may issue an attachment. If the court determines that the failure or misconduct above mentioned was without justification, it may punish as for a contempt of court.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:46-5(a)(b)(c); paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
RULE 4:25. Pretrial Conferences
4:25-1. Pretrial Conferences
 (a) Actions to Be Pretried. Pretrial conferences in contested actions may be held in the discretion of the court either on its own motion or upon a party's written request. The request of a party for a pretrial conference shall include a statement of the facts and reasons supporting the request. The pretrial conference shall be recorded verbatim.
 (b) Pretrial Order. Immediately upon the conclusion of the conference, the court shall enter a pretrial order to be signed forthwith by the attorneys, which shall recite specifically:
• (1) A concise descriptive statement of the nature of the action.
• (2) The admissions or stipulations of the parties with respect to the cause of action pleaded by plaintiff or defendant-counterclaimant.
• (3) The factual and legal contentions of the plaintiff as to the liability of the defendant.
• (4) The factual and legal contentions of the defendant as to non-liability and affirmative defenses.
• (5) All claims as to damages and the extent of injury, and admissions or stipulations with respect thereto, and this shall limit the claims thereto at the trial. Where such claims have been disclosed in answers to interrogatories they may be incorporated by reference.
• (6) Any amendments to the pleadings made at the conference and, where necessary, the time fixed within which such amended pleadings shall be filed. Except when ordered on the court's own motion, no amendments of pleadings shall be granted at the conference which would justify an adverse party in demanding additional time for investigation and further discovery, and result in delay of the trial.
• (7) A specification of the issues to be determined at the trial including all special evidence problems to be determined at trial and issues, not raised by the pleadings, which occur to the trial judge, with an appropriate notation if the attorney concerned does not wish to advance such issues.
• (8) A specification of the legal issues raised by the pleadings which are abandoned or otherwise disposed of. No legal issue shall be ruled upon at the pretrial conference as to which there is any doubt or reasonably arguable question. If a ruling is sought on any such legal issue, the matter should be set forth with directions that formal motion be made thereon at a later time and before the pretrial judge if possible.
• (9) A list of the exhibits marked in evidence by consent.
• (10) Any limitation on the number of expert witnesses.
• (11) Any direction with respect to the filing of briefs. A request by the court for briefs should be included where the resolution of any general legal problem is not clear, or where special problems of evidence exist, as noted by the attorneys or on inquiry by the pretrial judge.
• (12) In special circumstances the order of opening and closing to the jury at the trial.
• (13) Any other matters which have been agreed upon in order to expedite the disposition of the case.
• (14) In the event that a particular member or associate of a firm is to try a case, or if outside trial counsel is to try the case, the name must be specifically set forth. No change in such designated trial counsel shall be made without leave of court if such change will interfere with the trial schedule. If the name of trial counsel is not specifically set forth, the court and opposing counsel shall have the right to expect any partner or associate to proceed with the trial of the case, when reached on the calendar.
• (15) The estimated length of the trial.
• (16) When the case shall be placed on the weekly call.
When entered, the pretrial order becomes part of the record, supersedes the pleadings where inconsistent therewith, and controls the subsequent course of action unless modified at or before the trial or pursuant to R. 4:9-2 to prevent manifest injustice. The matter of settlement may be discussed at the sidebar, but it shall not be mentioned in the order.
 (c) Trial Briefs. If trial briefs are ordered at a pretrial conference the pretrial order shall specify to which judge or other court official they shall be submitted and within what time. Where it appears that the trial will be presided over by a judge other than the pretrial judge, the pretrial judge shall file a copy of the pretrial order with the Assignment Judge or the Assignment Judge's designee, who shall make appropriate arrangements so that it may be determined after the briefs are received whether the action is one which requires study in advance by the trial judge. If so, a day certain shall be fixed and the action assigned to a particular trial judge for disposition at least 2 days in advance of the date so fixed.
 (d) Disposition by Pretrial Judge. Notwithstanding the provisions of (c) hereof, and even though a continuance is ordered during the conference because of inadequate preparation by the parties of any matter, in the absence of some unusual circumstance the pretrial judge shall retain the case until the completion of the conference. The Assignment Judge shall, whenever possible, assign the case for trial and all preliminary motions to the pretrial judge.
Note: Source -- R.R. 4:29-1(a)(b)(d)(e), 4:29-6. Paragraph (a) amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (a) amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972; paragraph (a), and paragraph (b)(7) amended July 17, 1975 to be effective September 8, 1975; paragraph (a) amended July 24, 1978 to be effective September 11, 1978; paragraph (a) amended December 20, 1983 to be effective December 31, 1983; paragraph (a) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraphs (c) and (d) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; paragraphs (a) and (b) amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.
4:25-2. Notices; Filing of Pretrial Memorandum
 (a) Notice of Pretrial Conference. Thirty days' notice of the pretrial conference shall be provided to all parties or their attorneys. The notice shall not be given earlier than 150 days after service of the original complaint on the defendant, except that the court may direct earlier notice either on its own motion or for good cause on the application of a party, with or without consent of the adverse party.
 (b) Filing and Service of Memorandum. The parties shall submit to the court and serve on all other parties a pretrial memorandum, as prescribed by R. 4:25-3, at least three days prior to the pretrial conference date specified in the notice of pretrial conference.
Note: Source -- R.R. 4:29-2(a) (b). Caption and paragraph (a) amended, paragraphs (b) and (c) adopted July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraphs (a) and (c) amended and paragraph (b) deleted July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972; paragraph (a) amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996; caption and paragraphs (a) and (b) amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.
4:25-3. Form of Pretrial Memoranda
Pretrial memoranda shall include the 16 items enumerated in R. 4:25-1(b), set forth in the same sequence and with corresponding numbers, and the following additional items, numbered as indicated:
 (17) The date the attorneys for the parties conferred and matters then agreed upon;
 (18) A certification that all pretrial discovery has been completed or, in lieu thereof, a statement as to those matters of discovery remaining to be completed;
 (19) A statement as to which parties, if any, have not been served and which parties, if any, have defaulted.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:29-3(a)(b)(c)(d)(e). Caption amended, paragraph (b) adopted, and former paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) deleted July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (b) amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972; caption amended, paragraph (a) deleted and caption of paragraph (b) deleted July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:25-4. Designation of Trial Counsel
Counsel shall, either in the first pleading or in a writing filed no later than ten days after the expiration of the discovery period, notify the court that designated counsel is to try the case, and set forth the name specifically. If there has been no such notification to the court, the right to designate trial counsel shall be deemed waived. No change in such designated counsel shall be made without leave of court if such change will interfere with the trial schedule. In Track I or II tort cases pending for more than two years, and in Track III or IV tort cases pending for more than three years, the court, on such notice to the parties as it deems adequate in the circumstances, may disregard the designation if the unavailability of designated counsel will delay trial. If the name of trial counsel is not specifically set forth, the court and opposing counsel shall have the right to expect any partner or associate to proceed with the trial of the case, when reached on the calendar.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:29-3A(a); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; caption and text amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; amended July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; amended July 9, 2008 to be effective September 1, 2008.
4:25-5. Scheduling of Pretrial Conferences
In cases to be pretried, the court shall schedule pretrial conferences at such times as may be necessary to maintain a full trial calendar. Not more than two actions shall be noticed for pretrial conferences within the same hour before the same judge. The court shall notice all cases of the same attorney or firm before the same judge and consecutively.
Note: Source -- R.R. 4:29-4(a) (b) (c); amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996; amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.
4:25-6. Pretrial Conference After Grant of New Trial
If a new trial is directed by either the trial court or the appellate court, a pretrial conference shall be scheduled if the action was originally pretried and in such other actions as the court directs.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:29-7.
4:25-7. Attorney Conferences
 (a) Prior to Pretrial. In cases that are to be pretried, the attorneys shall confer before the date assigned for the pretrial conference in order to reach agreement on as many matters as possible.
 (b) Exchange of Information. Except as otherwise provided by paragraph (d) of this rule, in cases that have not been pretried, attorneys shall confer and, seven days prior to the initial trial date, exchange the pretrial information as prescribed by Appendix XXIII to these rules. At trial and prior to opening statements, the parties shall submit to the court the following in writing: (1) copies of any Pretrial Information Exchange materials that have been exchanged pursuant to this rule, and any objections made thereto; and (2) stipulations reached on contested procedural, evidentiary, and substantive issues. In addition, in jury trials, the parties shall also exchange and submit (1) any proposed voir dire questions, (2) a list of proposed jury instructions pursuant to R. 1:8-7, with specific reference either to the Model Civil Jury Charges, if applicable, or to applicable legal authority, and (3) a proposed jury verdict form that includes all possible verdicts the jury may return. Failure to exchange and submit all the information required by this rule may result in sanctions as determined by the trial judge.
 (c) Continuing Obligation. Attorneys shall have the continuing obligation to report to the court any stipulations reached during the course of the trial.
 (d) Waiver of Exchange. The parties may, in writing, waive the requirement of the exchange of information as set forth in paragraph (b) of this rule, but such waiver shall not affect the obligation to provide that information to the court at the commencement of trial.
Note: Source of paragraph (a)-R. 4:25-3(a). New rule adopted July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; caption amended, paragraph (b) amended, and new paragraph (c) adopted July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; paragraph (b) amended and new paragraph (d) added July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002.
RULE 4:35. Trial By Jury Or By The Court
4:35-1. Demand for Jury Trial
 (a) Demand; Time; Manner. Except as otherwise provided by R. 4:67-5 (summary actions), any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other parties a demand therefor in writing not later than 10 days after the service of the last pleading directed to such issue. Such demand may be appended to the party's pleading.
 (b) Demand; Specification of Issues. A party's demand may specify the issues to be so tried; otherwise the party shall be deemed to have demanded trial by jury for all issues so triable. If the demand is for trial by jury for only some of the issues, any other party within 10 days after service of the demand or such shorter or longer time as the court orders, may serve a demand for trial by jury of any other or all of the issues so triable.
 (c) Waiver. The failure of a party to serve a demand as required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this rule constitutes a waiver of trial by jury.
 (d) Withdrawal of Demand; Consent. When trial by jury has been demanded as provided by this rule, the trial of all issues so demanded shall be by jury, unless all parties or their attorneys, by written and filed stipulation or oral stipulation made in open court and entered on the record, consent to trial by the court without a jury, or unless the court on a party's or its own motion finds that a right of trial by jury of some or all of those issues does not exist.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:39-1, 4:39-2, 4:39-3, 4:40-3. Paragraph (d) amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:35-2. Advisory Jury and Trial by Consent
The court on motion or its own initiative may try with an advisory jury any issue not triable of right by a jury, or it may, with the consent of all parties appearing at the trial, order a trial of any such issue with a jury whose verdict has the same effect as if trial by jury had been a matter of right.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:40-1.
4:35-3. Trial by the Court
Except as provided by R. 4:35-1(d) and 4:35-2, all issues of fact not triable of right by a jury shall be decided by the court without a jury, whether or not any other issues are submitted to a jury. If certain of the issues are to be decided by a jury and others by the court, the court shall determine the sequence in which the issues shall be tried.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:40-2.
4:35-4. Continuous Trials
Insofar as practicable, all jury and non-jury trials should be continuous and uninterrupted, and should run for the full day as fixed by R. 1:30-3.
Note: Adopted July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
RULE 4:37. Dismissal Of Actions
4:37-1. Voluntary Dismissal; Effect Thereof
 (a) By Plaintiff; By Stipulation. Subject to the provisions of R. 4:32-2(e) (class actions), R. 4:53-1 (receivership actions) and R. 4:60-18 (attachment actions), an action may be dismissed by the plaintiff without court order by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service by the adverse party of an answer or of a motion for summary judgment, whichever first occurs; or by filing a stipulation of dismissal specifying the claim or claims being dismissed, signed by all parties who have appeared in the action. Unless otherwise stated in the notice or stipulation, the dismissal is without prejudice.
 (b) By Order of Court. Except as provided by paragraph (a) hereof, an action shall be dismissed at the plaintiff's instance only by leave of court and upon such terms and conditions as the court deems appropriate. If a counterclaim has been filed and served by a defendant prior to being served with plaintiff's motion to dismiss, the action shall not be dismissed against the defendant's objection unless the counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication by the court. Unless otherwise specified in the order, a dismissal under this paragraph is without prejudice.
Note: Source -- R.R. 4:42-1(a)(b); paragraph (b) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended August 1, 2006 to be effective September 1, 2006.
4:37-2. Involuntary Dismissal; Effect Thereof
 (a) For Failure to Comply With Rule or Order. For failure of the plaintiff to cause a summons to issue within 15 days from the date of the Track Assignment Notice or to comply with these rules or any order of court, the court in its discretion may on defendant's motion dismiss an action or any claim against the defendant. Such a dismissal shall be without prejudice unless otherwise specified in the order.
 (b) At Trial-Generally. After having completed the presentation of the evidence on all matters other than the matter of damages (if that is an issue), the plaintiff shall so announce to the court, and thereupon the defendant, without waiving the right to offer evidence in the event the motion is not granted, may move for a dismissal of the action or of any claim on the ground that upon the facts and upon the law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. Whether the action is tried with or without a jury, such motion shall be denied if the evidence, together with the legitimate inferences therefrom, could sustain a judgment in plaintiff's favor.
 (c) At Trial-Claim for Contribution. When a claim for contribution has been asserted pursuant to R. 4:7-5, a motion for dismissal as to any defendant against whom such claim has been asserted shall be held in abeyance until the close of all the evidence, and at that time the granting of the motion shall constitute an adjudication upon the merits of the claim for contribution. If the motion is denied, the claim for contribution need not be separately submitted to the jury but the verdict as to the liability of each defendant shall determine which of the parties are joint tort feasors. If the amount of the contribution of each defendant may be determined as a matter of law, the judge shall enter judgment thereon at the request of any party. If any party asserts any settlement or part payment or other matter not determined in the negligence action which may affect the amount of the contribution, and there is a dispute as to any material fact, a separate trial shall be held to determine the same.
 (d) Dismissal With Prejudice; Exceptions. Unless the order of dismissal otherwise specifies, a dismissal under R. 4:37-2(b) or (c) and any dismissal not specifically provided for by R. 4:37, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction, operates as an adjudication on the merits.
 (e) Continued Participation in Subsequent Proceedings. If a claim is dismissed as to a defendant before final judgment as to all issues and all parties, that defendant shall have notice of and the right to participate in any subsequent proceedings in the case.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:12-2(a)(b) (first four sentences), 4:13-6(b)(2); paragraph (c) caption and text amended January 16, 1975 to be effective April 1, 1975; paragraph (e) adopted July 17, 1975 to be effective September 8, 1975; paragraphs (a), (b) and (e) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended November 1, 2002 to be effective immediately.
4:37-3. Dismissal of Counterclaim, Cross-Claim or Third-Party Claim
The provisions of R. 4:37-1 and 4:37-2(a), (b) apply to the dismissal of any counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party claim. A voluntary dismissal by the claimant alone pursuant to R. 4:37-1(a) shall be made before a responsive pleading is served or, if there is none, before the introduction of evidence at the trial or hearing.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:42-3.
4:37-4. Costs of Previously Dismissed Action
If a plaintiff who has once dismissed an action in any court commences an action based upon or including the same claim against the same defendant, the court, on motion of said defendant made before service of the answer, may make such order for the payment of costs of the action previously dismissed as it deems appropriate and may stay the proceedings in the action until the plaintiff has complied therewith.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:42-4; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
RULE 4:38. Consolidation; Separate Trials
4:38-1. Consolidation
 (a) Actions in the Superior Court. When actions involving a common question of law or fact arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions are pending in the Superior Court, the court on a party's or its own motion may order the actions consolidated. If the actions are not triable in the same county or vicinage, the order shall be made by the Assignment Judge of the county in which the venue is laid in the action first instituted on a party's motion, the judge's own initiative, or on certification of the matter to the judge by a judge of the Law or Chancery Division. A motion to consolidate an action pending in the Special Civil Part with an action pending in the Chancery Division or the Civil Part of the Law Division shall be heard, regardless of which action was first filed, in the county in which venue is laid in the Chancery or Law Division, Civil Part action. If the motion is granted, the Special Civil Part action shall be consolidated with the Chancery or Law Division, Civil Part action.
 (b) Actions in the Superior and Other Courts. When an action is pending in the Superior Court, and another action involving a common question of law or fact arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions is pending in any other court, the Superior Court on a party's or its own motion may remove the action from the other court and consolidate it with the action in the Superior Court.
 (c) Order; Further Proceedings. Unless the court otherwise directs in the order of consolidation, all papers thereafter filed in the consolidated action shall (1) include the caption and docket number of each separate action, that of the earliest instituted action to be listed first, and (2) state with specificity the pleading or motion to which the paper is responsive. If actions pending in different venues are consolidated, the order shall specify the venue in which the consolidated action shall proceed and the party having the responsibility to file a copy of the order with the deputy clerk of the Superior Court in each county from which an action is being transferred. The order of consolidation may also include such terms as the court may prescribe to expedite further proceedings. In addition to the filing required by R. 1:6-4, a copy of the order of consolidation shall be included in the deputy clerk of the Superior Court's file of each separate action.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:43-1(a)(b)(c)(d)(e); paragraph (b) amended, paragraphs (c) and (d) deleted and former paragraph (e) redesignated as paragraph (c) July 26, 1984 effective September 10, 1984; paragraph (c) amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990; paragraph (a) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (c) amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996; paragraph (a) amended July 9, 2008 to be effective September 1, 2008.
4:38-2. Separate Trials
 (a) Severance of Claims. The court, for the convenience of the parties or to avoid prejudice, may order a separate trial of any claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, third-party claim, or separate issue, or of any number of claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, third-party claims, or issues.
 (b) Separation of Liability and Damage Claims. Whenever multiple parties, issues or claims are presented in individual or consolidated actions and the nature of the action or actions is such that a trial of all issues as to liability and damages may be complex and confusing, or whenever the court finds that a substantial saving of time would result from trial of the issue of liability in the first instance, the court may on a party's or its own motion, direct that the issues of liability and damages be separately tried. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the issue of liability shall be tried first, and if the order of bifurcation otherwise directs, the reasons therefor shall be explicitly stated therein.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:43-2(a)(b). Caption of paragraph (b) amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (b) amended January 19, 1989 to be effective February 1, 1989.
RULE 4:39. Verdicts
4:39-1. Special Verdicts
The court may require a jury to return only a special verdict in the form of a special written finding upon each issue of fact, in which case it may submit to the jury either written questions which can be categorically or briefly answered or written forms of the several special findings which might properly be made under the pleadings and evidence; or it may use such other method of submitting the issues and requiring written findings thereon as it deems appropriate. The court shall instruct the jury concerning the matters submitted as is necessary to enable it to make its findings upon each issue. If in so doing the court omits any issue of fact raised by the pleadings or by the evidence, each party waives the right to a trial by jury of the issues so omitted unless before the jury retires submission to the jury is demanded. The court may make a finding as to an issue omitted without such demand, or, if it fails to do so, it shall be deemed to have made a finding in accord with the judgment on the special verdict.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:50-1; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:39-2. General Verdict Accompanied by Answer to Interrogatories
The court may submit to the jury, together with appropriate forms for a general verdict, written interrogatories upon one or more issues of fact the decision of which is necessary to a verdict. The court shall direct the jury both to make written answers and to render a general verdict, and shall instruct it, as is necessary, to enable it to do so. If the general verdict and the answers are consistent, the court shall direct the entry of the appropriate judgment upon the verdict and answers. When the answers are consistent with each other but one or more is inconsistent with the general verdict, the court may direct the entry of judgment in accordance with the answers, notwithstanding the general verdict, or may return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict, or may order a new trial. When the answers are inconsistent with each other and one or more is likewise inconsistent with the general verdict, the court shall not direct the entry of judgment but may return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict or may order a new trial.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:50-2.
4:39-3. Omissions in Verdict in Action to Recover Personal Property
If, in an action to recover personal property unlawfully detained, or on an issue concerning several things in one count, the verdict fails to find for part of them, such verdict shall stand, but the plaintiff shall be barred of title to the things omitted.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:50-3; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
RULE 4:40. Motion For Judgment
4:40-1. Motion for Judgment at Trial
A motion for judgment, stating specifically the grounds therefor, may be made by a party either at the close of all the evidence or at the close of the evidence offered by an opponent. If the motion is made prior to the close of all the evidence and is denied, the moving party may then offer evidence without having reserved the right to do so. A motion for judgment which is denied is not a waiver of trial by jury even if all parties to the action have so moved.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:51-1.
4:40-2. Reservation of Decision on Motion; Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict
 (a) Reservation of Decision. The court may reserve decision on a motion for judgment made at the close of all the evidence, submit the case to the jury and then decide the motion either before or within 10 days after the verdict, or if no verdict is returned, within 10 days after the jury's discharge. The court may enter judgment in accordance with the motion or in the interest of justice order a new trial.
 (b) Renewal of Motion. If a motion for judgment is denied and the case submitted to the jury, the motion may be renewed in accordance with the procedure prescribed by R. 4:49-1 (new trial) within 20 days after the verdict or the jury's discharge. A motion so renewed may include in the alternative a motion for a new trial, and every motion made by a party for a new trial shall be deemed to include, in the alternative, a renewal of any motion for judgment made by that party at the close of the evidence. If the motion is granted on renewal thereof, the court shall nevertheless rule on the motion for a new trial determining whether it should be granted if the judgment is thereafter reversed or vacated. Briefs shall be submitted with the renewal of the motion for judgment. Failure to renew the motion shall not preclude appellate review of the denial of the motion made at trial.
 (c) Motion of Party Aggrieved by Setting Aside. Within 20 days after service of an order setting aside a verdict or judgment under this rule, the party thereby aggrieved may move for a new trial or renew a motion for judgment.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:51-2(a)(b)(c)(d)(e); paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
RULE 4:47. Entry Of Judgement
Subject to the provisions of R. 4:42-2 (judgment on multiple claims) judgment shall be entered as follows:
 (a) Unless the court otherwise orders, the clerk shall forthwith prepare, sign and enter the judgment in the Civil Docket without awaiting further direction by the court: (1) upon a general verdict of a jury; (2) upon a decision by the court that a party shall recover only a sum certain or costs or that all relief shall be denied, and (3) upon a special verdict or general verdict accompanied by answers to interrogatories which is forthwith convertible by the court into a money judgment or a judgment that relief shall be denied. Upon payment by the proponent of the judgment of the fee prescribed by N.J.S.A. 22A:2-7, the judgment shall be entered in the Civil Judgment and Order Docket in accordance with R. 4:101-2.
 (b) Where the decision of the court grants other than monetary relief, or is reserved or where a special verdict or a general verdict accompanied by answers to interrogatories is not convertible pursuant to paragraph (a), the court shall promptly approve the form of judgment and the clerk of the court shall enter it.
The notation of a judgment in the Civil Docket constitutes the entry of the judgment, and the judgment shall not take effect before such entry unless the court in the judgment shall, for reasons specified therein, direct that it take effect from the time it is signed, but no such direction shall affect the lien or priority of the judgment. The entry of the judgment shall not be delayed for the taxing of costs.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:59. Amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraphs (a) and (b) amended July 26, 1984 to be effective September 10, 1984; amended November 2, 1987 to be effective January 1, 1988; paragraph (a) amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996.
RULE 4:49. New Trials; Amendment Of Judgments
4:49-1. Motion for New Trial
 (a) Grounds of Motion. A new trial may be granted to all or any of the parties and as to all or part of the issues on motion made to the trial judge. On a motion for a new trial in an action tried without a jury, the trial judge may open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact and conclusions of law or make new findings and conclusions, and direct the entry of a new judgment. The trial judge shall grant the motion if, having given due regard to the opportunity of the jury to pass upon the credibility of the witnesses, it clearly and convincingly appears that there was a miscarriage of justice under the law.
 (b) Time for Motion, Cross-Motion; Affidavits. A motion for a new trial shall be served not later than 20 days after the court's conclusions are announced in nonjury actions or after the return of the verdict of the jury. The motion shall be noticed for hearing and argued no later than the second regular motion day following the service thereof, unless the court for good cause shown orders the hearing fixed for either an earlier or a later date. The opposing party may, within 10 days after service of the motion, serve a cross-motion for a new trial returnable at the same time and place as the motion. If a motion for a new trial is based upon affidavits they shall be served with the motion; opposing affidavits shall be served within 10 days thereafter which period may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 20 days either by written stipulation of the parties or court order. The court may permit reply affidavits. Except in special circumstances the motion shall be decided by the judge on trial notes without awaiting a transcript of the testimony.
 (c) On Initiative of Court. Not later than 20 days after entry of judgment the court on its own motion may order a new trial for any reason for which it might have granted a new trial on motion of a party. After giving the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard on the matter the court may grant a motion for a new trial timely served, for a reason not stated in the motion. In either case, the court shall specify in the order the grounds therefor.
 (d) Motion for New Trial as Not Barring Appeal. A motion for a new trial or any action or adverse determination on the motion shall not bar an appeal or the review of any matter on appeal.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:61-1(a), 4:61-2, 4:61-3, 4:61-4, 4:61-5. Paragraph (a) amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (b) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
4:49-2. Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment or Order
Except as otherwise provided by R. 1:13-1 (clerical errors) a motion for rehearing or reconsideration seeking to alter or amend a judgment or order shall be served not later than 20 days after service of the judgment or order upon all parties by the party obtaining it. The motion shall state with specificity the basis on which it is made, including a statement of the matters or controlling decisions which counsel believes the court has overlooked or as to which it has erred, and shall have annexed thereto a copy of the judgment or order sought to be reconsidered and a copy of the court's corresponding written opinion, if any.
Note: Source — R.R. 4:61-6. Amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; amended July 19, 2012 to be effective September 4, 2012.
RULE 4:50. Relief From Judgment Or Order
4:50-1. Grounds of Motion
On motion, with briefs, and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or the party's legal representative from a final judgment or order for the following reasons: (a) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (b) newly discovered evidence which would probably alter the judgment or order and which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under R. 4:49; (c) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (d) the judgment or order is void; (e) the judgment or order has been satisfied, released or discharged, or a prior judgment or order upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment or order should have prospective application; or (f) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment or order.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (first sentence); amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:50-2. Time of Motion
The motion shall be made within a reasonable time, and for reasons (a), (b) and (c) of R. 4:50-1 not more than one year after the judgment, order or proceeding was entered or taken.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (second sentence).
4:50-3. Effect of Motion
A motion under R. 4:50 does not suspend the operation of any judgment, order or proceeding or affect the finality of a final judgment, nor does this rule limit the power of a court to set aside a judgment, order or proceeding for fraud upon the court or to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order or proceeding.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (third and fourth sentences).

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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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