Monmouth County Small Claims Court
Claims That Should NOT be filed in Small Claims:
- You cannot file an action alleging malpractice in Small Claims Court
- Any action for support (either alimony or otherwise)
- You cannot file an action claiming you are owed money under a probate instrument (will or trust).
Location of Monmouth County Small Claims Court
The Small Claims Court is located here:Central Fee Office P.O. Box 1260 Freehold, NJ 07728-1260
The Court’s telephone number is (732) 677-4223.
What areas are served by the Monmouth County Court?
Monmouth Court serves the following locations in Monmouth County: Middletown Township, Howell Township, Marlboro Township, Manalapan Township, Freehold Township, Long Branch, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Wall Township, Hazlet, Aberdeen Township, Tinton Falls, Holmdel Township, Asbury Park, Eatontown, Red Bank, Freehold Borough, Millstone Township, Colts Neck Township, Keansburg, Matawan, West Long Branch, Keyport, Rumson, Upper Freehold Township, Union Beach, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Manasquan, Oceanport, Belmar, Highlands, Neptune City, Brielle, Spring Lake Heights, Atlantic Highlands, Bradley Beach, Shrewsbury, Monmouth Beach, Spring Lake, Avon-by-the-Sea, Englishtown, Allentown, Sea Girt, Lake Como, Sea Bright, Farmingdale, Shrewsbury Township, Roosevelt, Interlaken, Deal, Allenhurst, and Loch Arbour.
Types of Actions Generally Filed in Small Claims Court:
- Oral Breach of Contract and Written Breach of Contract
- Seeking Return of a Down Payment
- Damage to a Motor Vehicle
- Property Damage Or Loss
- Consumer Complaints regardng defective merchandise or faulty workmanship
- Payment for Labor Performed
- Action for Payment on NSF Check
- Back Rent
- Recovery of Security Deposit (Special Note: Can ask for up to and including $5,000 for recovery of a security deposit)
Can I file my small claims case in Monmouth County?
A case may be filed in a County if at least one defendant resides there (or the business is located there). The location of a business is whichever county it is actually doing business or where the business’s registered office is located. For example, if you entered into a contract with someone and they live in Monmouth 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 none of the defendants reside in any New Jersey County, you are then allowed to file the action where the cause of case occured.
Special Civil Part Cases
Special Civil Part handled cases where the amount exceeds the limits of small claims court but is not asking for more than $15,000. In these cases, the rules are not as relaxed as in Small Claims Court. Note: If your case exceeds $15,000, it needs to be filed in the Law Division of Monmouth Superior Court.
Special Note: If someone is under 18, the parent or guardian must file the small claims court action on the minor’s behalf.
Ombudsman for Monmouth Small Claims Court
Each County has an Ombudsman assigned to assist small claims litigants (amongst other responsibilities). One of the tasks charged to the Ombudsman is to assist you with questions regarding your small claims court case. The Ombudsman assigned to Monmouth County is Theresa Romano. The contact information is 732-677-4209 (Telephone) and 732-677-4363 (Fax). Their email address is MonOmbudsman.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Claims Court is one of three sections of Monmouth Superior Court’s Special Civil Part (the other two sections are Landlord / Tenant and regular Special Civil Part). Small Claims Court is a court where one may sue another (the defendant) to collect an amount of money that one believes is owed. Procedures for small claims court in New Jersey are much simpler than in other courts. Because of this, one is able to file and present a case quickly and inexpensively. Because the rules are more relaxed, usually most parties represent themselves in small claims court (as either plaintiff or defendant). In Monmouth, one can only file an action seeking up to, and including, $3,000. This is true for all Small Claims Courts in New Jersey (no matter what County they are filed in). If a party has a claim more than $3,000, but less than $15,000.01, than the case should be filed 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).
Appeals from Monmouth Small Claim Court Rulings
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. 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 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. A transcript is a written copy of the proceedings that occured 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 expense of an appeal, it is very important to ensure you are ready and prepared for the original trial – to save you the time and headaches of appealing an incorrect ruling. 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.