New Jersey Small Claims Court

New Jersey Small Claims Court division handles cases worth less than $3,000, and the Special Civil Part division takes on cases between $3,000 and $5,000 in value. Individuals and business entities can both sue and be sued under this system. While New Jersey residents may represent themselves in Special Civil Part for small claims, they can hire an attorney if they wish. Call the toll free number above to speak with a lawyer today!

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 18, 2021

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New Jersey’s Special Civil Part court system presents an easy, affordable way to litigate legal disputes of less than $15,000 in value. The Small Claims division handles cases worth less than $3,000, the Special Civil Part division takes on cases between $3,000 and $5,000 in value, and the Landlord/Tenant division handles all landlord/tenant disputes.

While New Jersey residents may represent themselves in Special Civil Part for small claims, they can hire a dedicated attorney if they wish. Individuals and business entities can both sue and be sued under this system.

What are the types of claims?

  • Auto repair issues
  • Breach of contract
  • Property damage or loss of property
  • Personal injury
  • Security deposit claims
  • Money for back rent
  • Bad check claims

These courts are a great way for a plaintiff (the person suing) to bring a lawsuit against an individual defendant (the person being sued) without incurring large expenses or getting involved in complicated litigation.

Malpractice claims will not be handled.

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What is the claim limit?

Claims under $15,000; the Special Civil Part division handles cases $3,000 to $15,000 in value, while Small Claims handles cases under $3,000in value.

Where do you file?

You should file your claim in the Special Civil Part office in the county where the defendant resides.

How are cases handled?

Common disputes involve personal injury, property damages, failure to pay, auto repair disputes, and breach of contracts. Landlord-Tenant disputes such as evictions are handled by a special Landlord-Tenant court.

Regarding attorney representation, people can present their cases without an attorney. On the other hand, corporations will need counsel.

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Who is eligible to file?

Business entities and individuals age 18 and over can file a small claim in New Jersey’s Special Civil Part. Children under age 18 must have a qualified adult (parent or legal guardian) file on their behalf.

How do you file?

File a Small Claims Complaint Form with the office of the Special Civil Part. You must provide contact information and names for plaintiff and all defendants, explain the lawsuit, and state the amount claimed. Payment of a small filing fee is required to file your claim; if you cannot afford the fee, you may file for indigent status and be exempted from this fee by a judge. Part of your filing fee will go towards service of copies of the lawsuit paperwork on the defendant(s) in question.

Where can you get New Jersey claims assistance?

Court clerks and legal librarians cannot provide legal advice, though they can provide a claims form for filing your small claim in New Jersey. For information, advice, and/or referrals, get in touch with a New Jersey small claims attorney, the New Jersey State Bar Association, or a legal aid society such as Legal Services of New Jersey.

For more state-specific information and links to your state’s small claims court resources, see Small Claims Court Information and Links.

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