Middlesex County Small Claims Court
Which locations are served by the Middlesex County Small Claims Court?
Middlesex Court serves the following locations in Middlesex County: Edison, Woodbridge Township, Old Bridge Township, Piscataway, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, East Brunswick, South Brunswick Township, Sayreville, North Brunswick, Monroe, South Plainfield, Plainsboro Township, Carteret, South River, Highland Park, Middlesex, Metuchen, South Amboy, Spotswood, Dunellen, Milltown, Jamesburg, Cranbury Township, and Helmetta.
Middlesex Small Claims Court Appeals
If a party doesn’t agree with a decision on a small claims court case, an appeal may be filed to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court within 45 days of the judgment. The party seeking appeal needs to file a “Notice of Appeal”, a Case Information Statement, and a copy of the submitted Request for Transcript within the 45 day window. This is filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Division (at the Hughes Justice Complex, Trenton). You also need to file these documents with all parties to the case, the clerk where your case was first heard, and to the judge who made the ruling. 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). The deposit is used for settlement costs or court costs and is returned to the appealing party if they prevail on the appeal. A transcript of the original trial proceedings needs to be obtained. The transcript is the official record of the proceedings and should have everything that was said at the trial. 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. If you have additional questions or want more information regarding appeals of New Jersey small claims court cases, you should contact the Clerk’s Office of the Appellate Division at (609) 292-4822.
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.
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 Middlesex Superior Court.
Should I file my small claims case in Middlesex 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 located there is the business is actually conducting business in that county (“doing business”) or it is where the business’s registered office is located. For example if you want to sue your mechanic and their shop is located in Middlesex County, you may file your case here. 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.
Middlesex County Small Claims cases are heard in the Superior Courts Special Civil Part. The Special Civil Part handles small claims court cases, landlord/tenant cases, and cases filed in the regular Special Civil Part (cases exceeding the limit of small claims court but below the limit for a regular civil case). Small Claims is a court where someone (the plaintiff) may bring an action against another person (the defendant) for money the plaintiff believes the defendant owes for one reason or another. Small claims court rules and procedures are far less complex than in regular courts. 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. Special Note: You can file in small claims court if your claim exceeds $3,000 but you waive or forego your right to recover money in excess of the $3,000 limit (you also cannot file an additional action to recover the excess).
Location for Small Claims Court in Middlesex County
The Small Claims Court is located here:
The Court can be reached at (732) 519-3679.
Types of Claims that CANNOT be filed in Small Claims Court:
- Any malpractice action (these are usuall filed against doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc.)
- You cannot file an action for support (child) or alimony.
- Any action regarding a payment under a will (or other probate matters)
Ombudsman for Middlesex County Small Claims Court
Each County in New Jersey has an Ombudsman. Part of their job responsibilities is to assist you with questions with your small claims court case. For Middlesex County, that person is Luis M. Hernandez who can be reached by telephone at 732-519-3344 or fax at 732-565-2955. The email address for the Middlesex County Ombudsman is MidOmbudsman.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of Actions Generally Filed in Small Claims Court:
- Oral or Written Breach of Contract
- Action for the Return of a Down Payment
- Action for Property Damage to a Motor Vehicle
- Damage or Loss of Property
- Faulty Workmanship, Defective Merchandise (and other consumer complaints)
- Payment for labor
- Checks Written Without Funds in the Account
- Actionf or Back Rent
- Recovery of Security Deposit (Special Note: Can ask for up to and including $5,000 for recovery of a security deposit)