New Jersey Small Claims Court: An Overview

From maximum dollar limits to statutes of limitations, learn the basics about small claims court in New Jersey.

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in New Jersey?

The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $3,000 ($5,000 for claims relating to security deposits); certain landlord-tenant suits cannot be brought.

Which court hears small claims cases in New Jersey?

Small claims cases in New Jersey are heard in the Small Claims Section (Superior Court, Special Civil Part).

What is the statute of limitations period for filing a claim in small claims court in New Jersey?

For information on New Jersey's statute of limitation periods for claims related to written contracts, oral contracts, injuries, and property damage, see Nolo's 50-state Statutes of Limitations chart.

How long does the defendant have to answer the small claims court complaint?

In New Jersey, the defendant is not required to file a written answer, but any counterclaim must be filed within 35 days of service of the complaint.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in New Jersey?

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in New Jersey.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit in small claims court in New Jersey?

Eviction cases are not allowed in small claims court in New Jersey, but must be heard by a higher court.

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, jury trials are allowed only if the defendant submits a demand at least five days before the return of summons. The case is then transferred to special civil part.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in New Jersey?

For more information about New Jersey small claims court, see https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/10290_small_claims.pdf.

Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles. For more detailed help with filing a case, using the best strategy in court, and collecting your money if you win, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Attorney Ralph Warner (Nolo).

Updated: October 1, 2015

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