Gloucester County Small Claims Court
Claims That Should NOT be filed in Small Claims:
- Malpractice (alleged malpractice by a doctor, lawyer, dentist, etc.)
- Support or alimony (from a marriage or domestic dispute)
- Any action regarding a payment under a will (or other probate matters)
Can I file my small claims case in Gloucester 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 want to sue your mechanic and their shop is located in Gloucester County, you may file your case here. 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.
Small Claims Court is one of three sections of Gloucester 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. These simplified rules allow a party to present their case in an expedient and cost-effective manner. Normally, most people file their own case and represent themselves in court (this is true even for businesses). 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 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. 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.
Gloucester County Special Civil Part
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. Note: If your case exceeds $15,000, it needs to be filed in the Law Division of Gloucester Superior Court.
Ombudsman for Gloucester 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 Gloucester County is Sandra Lopez, Esq.. The contact information is 856-453-4538 (Telephone) and 856-455-9490 (Fax). The email address for the ombudsman is CumOmbudsman.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location of Gloucester County Small Claims Court
The Gloucester County Small Claims Courthouse is located at:Gloucester County Courthouse Attn: Civil Case Management Office 1 N. Broad Street Woodbury, NJ 08096
The telephone number is (856) 853-3392.
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
- Property Damage Or Loss
- Faulty Workmanship, Defective Merchandise (and other consumer complaints)
- Payment for Labor Performed
- Action for Payment on NSF Check
- Back Rent
- Return of security deposit (remember special rule can sue up to and including $5,000)
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 Gloucester 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. 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 provide copies to all the parties to the case (usually the opposing party or parties), the clerk of the Special Civil Part where your case was first heard, and the judge who decided the case. You must also pay a $200 filing fee with the Notice of Appeal and deposit an additional $300 with the Clerk of the Appellate Division 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. 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. 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 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.
Which locations are served by the Gloucester County Small Claims Court?
The following areas are served by the Gloucester County Court: Washington, Monroe, Deptford Township, West Deptford Township, Glassboro, Franklin Township, Mantua Township, Harrison Township, Woolwich Township, Woodbury, East Greenwich Township, Pitman, Clayton, Paulsboro, Logan Township, Greenwich Township, Westville, Elk Township, South Harrison Township, Woodbury Heights, National Park, Swedesboro, Wenonah, and Newfield.