Hunterdon County Small Claims Court
Hunterdon Small Claims Court Appeals
If a party does not agree with the court’s decision on a case, the party can appeal the case to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court within 45 days of judgment. You need to file a Notice of Appeal, a copy of the Request for Transcript, and a Case Information Statement within the 45 days with the Clerk of the Appellate Division located at the Hughes Justice Complex, Trenton. You also need to provide copies to all the parties to the case (usually the opposing party or parties), the clerk of the Special Civil Part where your case was first heard, and the judge who decided the case. Additionally, the person seeking an appeal has to pay a filing fee of $200. An additional deposit of $300 is required to be posted within 30 days (of the Notice of Appeal). This deposit can be used to pay settlement costs or court costs associated with the appeal if you lose on appeal. This deposit is returned to you if you prevail. Additionally, you need to obtain a copy of the transcript from the original trial. The transcript is a copy of the record of what happened in court on the day of the trial (and reads much like a script). The transcript can be expensive. You are required to post the estimate for the cost of the transcript. Alternatively, you will be charged $300 for each day or partial day of trial transcript required for the appeal (most small claims court cases only require part of a court’s day). Because of the high costs of appeal, it is all the more important to be prepared for your original trial so that you need not rely on an appeal. Additional information and answer to most questions can be found by contacting the Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Division for New Jersey at (609) 292-4822.
Special Civil Part Cases
The Special Civil Part handles cases where the amount in controversy (amount being sought by plaintiff) is more than $3,000, but less than or equal to $15,000). The rules are more formal than in small claims. If a case exceeds $15,000, the appropriate location to file the case is the Law Division of Hunterdon Superior Court.
Can I file my small claims case in Hunterdon County?
A case may be filed in a County if at least one defendant resides there (or the business is located there). A business is deemed to “live” in any county where it conducts business or where its registered office is. For example, if you entered into a contract with someone and they live in Hunterdon County, you can file the case in this County. If you have multiple defendants in your case, you may file in whichever County one of the defendants is located. If no defendants in the case live in a New Jersey County, the claim needs to be filed in the County where the action arose.
Caution: A minor cannot file an action in small claims court on their own behalf. He or she must have their parent or guardian file it on their behalf.
Ombudsman for Hunterdon Small Claims Court
An Ombudsman is assigned to assist litigants from each County in New Jersey. One of the tasks charged to the Ombudsman is to assist you with questions regarding your small claims court case. The ombudsman for Hunterdon County is Elizabeth Raimondo. They can be reached at 908-203-6131. The fax number is 908-231-7632. The email address for the Hunterdon County Ombudsman is SomOmbudsman.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Claims Court is one of three sections of Hunterdon Superior Court’s Special Civil Part (the other two sections are Landlord / Tenant and regular Special Civil Part). Small Claims cases allow one party to sue another for monetary damages. Small Claims cases are designed to follow rules and procedures that are much simpler and easier to understand than a regular civil case. These simplified rules allow a party to present their case in an expedient and cost-effective manner. Generally, people file their own cases and represent themselves in court. A party can only ask the court for monetary relief not exceeding $3,000. If someone is trying to recover more than $3,000 and an amount up to, and including, $15,000, the case can be filed and heard in the regular Special Civil Part. Note: If you believe you are owed more than $3,000 but still wish to file your case in small claims court, you waive (or give up) your right to recover money over the $3,000 limit. These excess damages cannot be claimed later in a separate action.
Which locations are served by the Hunterdon County Small Claims Court?
Hunterdon Court serves the following locations in Hunterdon County: Raritan Township, Readington Township, Clinton Township, Lebanon Township, Tewksbury Township, Union Township, Holland Township, Alexandria Township, Flemington, Delaware Township, East Amwell Township, Bethlehem Township, Lambertville, Kingwood Township, West Amwell Township, High Bridge, Franklin, Clinton, Glen Gardner, Hampton, Frenchtown, Lebanon, Milford, Califon, Bloomsbury, and Stockton.
Hunterdon County Small Claims Court Location
The Hunterdon County Small Claims Courthouse is located at:Hunterdon County Justice Center 65 Park Avenue P.O. Box 1069 Flemington, NJ 08822
The telephone number is (908) 237-5820.
Types of Actions Generally Filed in Small Claims Court:
- Oral Breach of Contract and Written Breach of Contract
- Action for the Return of a Down Payment
- Action for Property Damage to a Motor Vehicle
- Damage or Loss of Personal Property
- Consumer Complaints regardng defective merchandise or faulty workmanship
- Payment for Labor Performed
- Action for Payment on NSF Check
- Back Rent
- Return of security deposit (remember special rule can sue up to and including $5,000)
Claims That Should NOT be filed in Small Claims:
- Any malpractice action (these are usuall filed against doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc.)
- Any action for support (either alimony or otherwise)
- Probate matters (you are claiming you are owed under a will, trust, or other estate instrument)