Union County Small Claims Court

Union County Small Claims Court

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.

Types of Actions Generally Filed in Small Claims Court:

  • Oral or Written Breach of Contract
  • Action for the Return of a Down Payment
  • Damage to a Motor Vehicle
  • Damage or Loss of Property
  • Faulty Workmanship, Defective Merchandise (and other consumer complaints)
  • Payment for Labor Performed
  • Checks Written Without Funds in the Account
  • Back Rent
  • Action Seeking Return of Security Deposit (Special Note: you can seek up to, and including $5,000 for return of security deposit)

Small Claims Court is one of three sections of Union Superior Court’s Special Civil Part (the other two sections are Landlord / Tenant and regular Special Civil Part).

Union County Small Claims Court
Union County Small Claims Court
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 cases are designed to follow rules and procedures that are much simpler and easier to understand than a regular civil case. Because of this, one is able to file and present a case quickly and inexpensively. 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 the amount you are seeking is more than $3,000, but does not exceed $15,000, the case can be filed in 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).

Union County Ombudsman

Each County in New Jersey has an Ombudsman. They can assist you with questions you may have about your small claims case. For Union County, that person is Linda Wiggins who can be reached by telephone at 908-659-4644 or fax at 908-659-4605. The email address for the ombudsman is UnnOmbudsman.mailbox@judiciary.state.nj.us.

Claims NOT handled in Union County Small Claims Court

  • Malpractice (alleged malpractice by a doctor, lawyer, dentist, 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)

Special Civil Part in Union Superior Court

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. Cases exceeding $15,000 are filed in the Law Division.

Areas Served by the Union County Small Claims Court

The following areas are served by the Union County Court: Elizabeth, Union, Plainfield, Linden, Westfield, Rahway, Scotch Plains, Cranford, Summit, Hillside, Roselle, Springfield, Clark, Roselle Park, Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Kenilworth, Fanwood, Mountainside, Garwood, and Winfield Township.

Can I file my case in Union County?

A claim must be filed in the County where at least one of the Defendants lives or where the business is located. 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 want to sue your mechanic and their shop is located in Union County, you may file your case here. If you have a case with more than one defendant, you may file a case in a County where any of the defendants reside. 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. For example, if you were in a car accident in Union County and the defendant does not reside in New Jersey, you should file in the County where the accident occurred.

Appeals from Union County Small Claims Court Cases

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 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 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.

Location of Union County Small Claims Court

The Union County Small Claims Courthouse is located at:

Special Civil Part
Old Annex, 3rd Floor
2 Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07207

The telephone number is (908) 659-4900.

10 thoughts on “Union County Small Claims Court”

  1. Good morning, I hired a person who lives in Rahway who advertises on their website that they do airbrushing. I contacted him and asked if he could airbrush my Golf Club Head. After a few emails and conversations I gave him the Golf Club on the expectation that he would airbrush it. When he gave it back to me and I gave him payment I noticed that it was paited in free hand. The work was terrible. I emailed him and told him that I was not satisfied with the work. He told me that he would redo it free of charge. I told him that I did not want him to redo it and felt that he should have told me prior to taking a week to have it done that he was going to paint it by hand. I told him that I would have told him not to do it. I feel that this deception and refusal to give me my money back warrants a return of my money for services that were advertised and not rendered. He refuses to answer any of my requests for a return of my money. Please let me know how I can go about resolving this issue.

    Thank You
    Greg Restivo

  2. To whom it may concern:
    This is the agreement I signed with the school, but it has been a month and the school did not give me money,I would like to consult you what way can I do?thank you so much.

  3. Good afternoon,
    I hired Vincenzo Chiapperini from Angie’s List to do renovation of my newly purchased home in Rahway. He over promised (i.e. on cost, quality and timeline) and under deliver (i.e. 15% over budget, did not finish the kitchen and bathroom reno, and 2+ months over deadline). The renovations to my house took 6 months to complete and only after I fired him and hired a new contractor was it done. Here is a summary of his scam.

    1. In the middle of my renovations, the name of his company changed from Titan Remodeling Contractors, LLC (18139563) to Apex Remodeling Group. I have been contacted by one of his sub-contractors asking me to pay for the outstanding balance Vincenzo (Vinny) Chiapperini has failed to pay.

    2. The update to my HVAC was a scam. I was promised and paid for an LG Ductless Mini-Split System. First, he did not purchase the LG system but something else all-together. I paid him $4000 for an HVAC system that was not the brand we discussed and I cannot install unless I rip out a lot of the renovation work that has already been done to the house. He took out the existing Central Air I had in my house and failed
    • to put in the electrical line for the system prior to sheetrock and when the rest of the electrical work was done,
    • to put in the drain line prior to sheetrock
    • to buy the right application for my home

    3. He refused to complete my kitchen and bathroom renovation. A lot of the work was not finished and I had to hire another contractor and plumber to do the work. Additionally, Vincenzo (Vinny) Chiapperini changed payment structure of my renovation. He got 75% up-front and was due remaining balance once the work was complete. In the middle of the renovation he demanded that I pay for countertop and appliances, items that was supposed to have been covered by him. He held me hostage and in order to try and complete this renovation, I had to spend additional money. I paid in full for my kitchen and bathroom renovation and was still left with an incomplete kitchen and bathroom. Here is a summary of what was not done by the contractor.
    • Plumbing in the kitchen was not done. This means that the dishwasher, faucet and hot water dispenser was not set up and was not working. Also, my refrigerator was installed without a water line and could not produce water and ice.
    • My ice maker was not set up properly. This was discovered after I had to call in a Whirlpool service personnel come to the house to see what is wrong with the ice maker because it was leaking water in my new kitchen floors. He informed that (a) the ice maker was installed without a drain pump, (b) that the individual who installed it should have notice it lacked a pump and not proceed to turn it on if that person knew what they were doing, and (c) that the extension hose that was used is really tight and it needed an extension because it may pop out and cause a flood upstairs. I needed to hire a plumber to come and install this appliance properly in my kitchen.
    Kitchen shelves were not installed properly. They had to be taken down and re-installed because Vincenzo (Vinny) Chiapperini put them up wrong.

    I need to file a small claims petition to try and recoup some of the money I gave him for this renovation. How do I do that?

  4. I had sent my ex landlord a letter of intent to vacate. I sent it to the address on the 6 leases I’d received over the years…it was even on the lease I didn’t sign (2017-18). Westfield Post Office told me there’s no one there, and they don’t deliver mail there — tracking for the letter stated that the address doesn’t accept mail and there was no forwarding address given.

    I wonder how I’m to inform the defendant while I try to get back a security deposit that is being held for unbelievable reasons.

    Thank you,

  5. I was renting an illegal basement apartment in Hillside NJ. It was two bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom setup. They wanted $700 for it initially but since it didn’t have a working proper stove I told them $500. The owners I actually know as they are related to a good friend of mine. I lived there for over 5 years with some delays in paying the rent due to not being available on both our behalf’s. Not cause I didn’t have the money. And on my 5th year living there I lost work, I was collecting unemployment and trying to save whatever I had left from my savings. As time went by the money just kept decreasing and no jobs were available for me. Then it got to a point where I ran out of money and couldn’t pay the rent for 3 month. Within the 3 month I figured first job I’d get, first check will cover the 3 month and I’ll pick up from there with no problem. Wasn’t the case. Still couldn’t find work. So I decided that I would back a good portion of my belongings and keep a remainder behind so that the landlord would hold the rest for collateral because I was committed to paying off the debt. As I am not the kind of person that wouldn’t. I manage to move only a quarter of my stuff which were clothing and before I could proceed the locks were changed. So I figured that’s fine. I’m not going to get into any dispute in regards to this because the landlord is good for it. She Is aware she can’t do this without a legal eviction notice, but because it’s an illegal basement she decided she would take matter at her own hands. I was fine with it. I figured she has the collateral now and eventually I would pay her. So I find work, but for two years I haven’t paid her because of a lot of going one in my life, my child, my fathers health and the fact that I am paying bills to help support my parents including the mortgage. I left the issue of paying back the rent on the back burner in hopes that if anything she would just move the items to the garage or something. Not give it away, not throw it away. Just store it away. I am not trying to get in contact with the the landlord, and I cannot. I made contact with the son via Facebook and to no avail he has not reached out to his mother for me as I am starting to beleive my personal assets were thrown away. From furniture to electronics and as well clothing has been tossed away. I am looking to put a claim together and sue for my loss of property. Is this any advice you can give me. Tell me my wrongs and my rights from a professional stand point. Do I have something?



  6. Do I have to go to union county court house , to file a claim against contractor that has not done the job ? Of can I fill the form online ? If so were can. Location the form ? Thank u

  7. I cannot reach the court by phone. Every number that i found is not in service when i call. Can you please send a phone nymber to me concerning small claims court? Thank you

  8. Judge Hudak is a prejudice Judge, who needs to be removed. If you get him as your assigned judge to your case and your a minority… RUN. Request another judge if possible. He let the defendant speak more than the plaintiff. When it was the plaintiffs turn to speak he advised he was ruling. I couldn’t even present my evidence. Had a police report and he still sided with the defendant and all her lies. He might as well had worn a white hood to court! He knows nothing about fraud over the computer. Can’t wait for him to retire so all peoples cases can be looked at fairly.

  9. I am just curious if I can download and print the required forms to file a complaint in small claims court or if u have to get the forms in person?


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