Morris County Small Claims Court
Special Note: If someone is under 18, the parent or guardian must file the small claims court action on the minor’s behalf.
Appeals from Morris Small Claim Court Rulings
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. Copies of these documents need to be provided to all the parties to the case, to the clerk of the Special Civil Part and the judge where the case was heard. The appealing party must pay a $200 filing fee with the Notice of Appeal. They must also pay an additional $300 deposit with the Appellate Division Clerk 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. A transcript is a written copy of the proceedings that occured at the trial. This can be expensive. Generally you will be required to post an estimate of the cost of the transcript or $300 for each full or partial day of trial. 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. For additional information on appeals from small claims court judgments in New Jersey, contact the Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Division at (609) 292-4822.
Morris County Small Claims Court Location
The Morris County Small Claims Court is located at:Morris County Courthouse – Special Civil Part Washington and Court Sts. P.O. Box 910 Morristown, NJ 07963-0910
The Court can be reached at (973) 656-4125.
Ombudsman for Morris County 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 assigned to Morris County is Janie Rodriguez, Esq.. The contact information is 973-656-3969 (Telephone) and 973-656-3949 (Fax). The email address for the Morris County Ombudsman is MrsOmbudsman.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claims That Should NOT be filed in Small Claims:
- 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)
Can I file my small claims case in Morris 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. Hypothetically, if you wanted to sue a contractor for breach of contract, you could sue in Morris County if the business conducts business in that County. If there are several defendants in a case, it is persmissible to file the action in any County where a defendant resides. 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.
Morris County Special Civil Part
This section handles cases where the amount sought is more than $3,000 but equal to or less than $15,000. These cases have more formal rules and procedures than regular small claims court. If a case exceeds $15,000, the appropriate location to file the case is the Law Division of Morris Superior Court.
What areas are served by the Morris County Court?
Morris Court serves the following locations in Morris County: Parsippany-Troy Hills, Mount Olive Township, Randolph, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Morris Township, Montville, Jefferson Township, Washington Township, Morristown, Dover, Denville, Madison, Pequannock Township, Hanover Township, Florham Park, East Hanover, Lincoln Park, Chatham Township, Kinnelon, Chatham Borough, Long Hill Township, Boonton, Chester Township, Butler, Wharton, Rockaway, Mendham Township, Morris Plains, Mount Arlington, Mendham Borough, Boonton Township, Mountain Lakes, Harding Township, Mine Hill Township, Riverdale, Netcong, Chester, and Victory Gardens.
Small Claims Court is one of three sections of Morris Superior Court’s Special Civil Part (the other two sections are Landlord / Tenant and regular Special Civil Part). 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. This makes it that a non-attorney is able to file a case and present it quickly and without needing to learn lots of legal terminology and procedures. Because the rules are more relaxed, usually most parties represent themselves in small claims court (as either plaintiff or defendant). In Morris, 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. 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.
Types of Actions Generally Filed in Small Claims Court:
- Breach of contract (written or oral)
- Action for the Return of a Down Payment
- Motor Vehicle Property Damage
- Damage or Loss of Personal Property
- Consumer complaints of faulty workmanship or defective merchandise
- Payment for labor
- Checks Written Without Funds in the Account
- Back Rent
- Return of security deposit (remember special rule can sue up to and including $5,000)