Salem County Small Claims Court
Types of Claims Filed in Small Claims Court in Salem County
- Oral or Written Breach of Contract
- Return of down payment
- Motor Vehicle Property Damage
- Property Damage Or Loss
- Faulty Workmanship, Defective Merchandise (and other consumer complaints)
- Payment for labor
- Action for Payment on NSF Check
- Back Rent
- Action Seeking Return of Security Deposit (Special Note: you can seek up to, and including $5,000 for return of security deposit)
Location for Small Claims Court in Salem County
The Small Claims Court is located here:Salem County Courthouse Attn: Civil Case Management Office 92 Market Street Salem, NJ 08079
The Court’s telephone number is (856) 935-7510 Ext. 8213.
Ombudsman for Salem County 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 for Salem County is Sandra Lopez, Esq.. They can be reached at 856-453-4538. The fax number is 856-455-9490. The email address for the Salem County Ombudsman is CumOmbudsman.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Salem Superior Court.
Appeals from Salem 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. The appealing party needs to provide the following documents with the Clerk of the Appellate Division at the Hughes Justice Complex within the 45 days: Notice of Appeal, copy of the Request for Transcript, and Case Information Statement. 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. 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 utilized to pay for settlement or court costs arising from the appeal. You receive the deposit back if you win your appeal. 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). Transcripts can be very expensive. You are usually ordered to pay the estimate of the cost of making the transcrip or charged $300 for each day or partial day of trial. 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.
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.
Areas Served by the Salem County Small Claims Court
The Salem Court serves the following areas: Pennsville Township, Pittsgrove Township, Carneys Point Township, Penns Grove, Salem, Pilesgrove Township, Upper Pittsgrove Township, Woodstown, Alloway Township, Quinton Township, Mannington Township, Oldmans Township, Lower Alloways Creek Township, Elmer, and Elsinboro Township.
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.
- Probate matters (you are claiming you are owed under a will, trust, or other estate instrument)
Small Claims actions are heard in the Special Civil Part of Salem Superior Court. The Special Civil Part also ears Landlord/Tenant cases and regular civil cases (that are filed in Special Civil Part because the amount sought is below a certain amount). Small Claims cases allow one party to sue another for monetary damages. Procedures for small claims court in New Jersey are much simpler than in other 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 small claims court, one is limited to suing for not more than $3,000 (or $5,000 if the case concerns the return of a tenant’s security deposit). 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. Word of Caution: If your claim is for more than $3,000, you can file it in small claims court, but you give up your right to collect any money in excess of $3,000. You cannot recoup this excess in a separate or subsequent action.
Can I file my case in Salem County?
A claim can be filed in a County if at least one defendant lives there (or their 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 entered into a contract with someone and they live in Salem County, you can file the case in this County. If there are several defendants in a case, it is persmissible to file the action in any County where a defendant resides. 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. For example, if you were in a car accident in Salem County and the defendant does not reside in New Jersey, you should file in the County where the accident occurred.