Division Manager: NINA THOMAS
The Civil Division consists of three distinct operational sections: the Civil Part, Special Civil Part and Chancery/Probate Part.
Location: 3rd Floor, Suite 354, County Office Building
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Part, is a court of general jurisdiction under the direction of the Civil Presiding Judge. Civil Part in Burlington County has a yearly average of 4,000 filings. There is no limit to the monetary amount that can be recovered in the Civil Part. One of the main functions of the Civil Case Management Office is to process legal documents, received for filing both in person and by mail. These documents include, but are not limited to:
- Civil Complaints;
- Case Information Statements (CIS);
- Name Change Applications;
- Stipulations of Settlements/Dismissals;
- Entry of Defaults;
- Wage Garnishments;
- Warrants of Satisfaction; and
- Substitutions of Attorney.
The forms necessary to file a case in the Civil Part can be obtained from the Central Processing Office on the 1st Floor of the Courts Facility. In addition, many forms can be obtained from the Judiciary’s web site at www.njcourtsonline.com.
The Lawyer Referral Service of the Burlington County Bar Association can refer individuals who are seeking the assistance of a lawyer, by calling 609-261-4862. The Civil Part Office does not provide legal advice to litigants who represent themselves (pro se litigants). However, procedural advice and other questions can be answered by office personnel in the respective offices of the Civil Division. Civil case files are located in Suite 354 of the County Office Building and may be reviewed between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. unless the file has been ordered by the Court as closed (sealed) to the public. Copies of documents can also be obtained through this office.
The Civil Part Teams are also responsible for the effective management of these cases and their assignment to trial before the judiciary. In addition, arrangements for the following actions should be made through this office:
- Requests for Settlement Conferences;
- Requests for Judicial Case Management Conferences;
- Requests for a Friendly Hearing (without a jury) for the Court to enter a judgment finalizing settlements in matters involving minors and mentally incapacitated persons;
- Requests for a Proof Hearing (without a jury) allowing the Court to enter judgments determining an amount of awarded damages (compensation), or where the truth of an allegation by evidence is necessary; and
- Requests for Trial De Novo following Complementary Dispute Resolution.
Complementary Dispute Resolution Programs (CDR)
Civil Part also offers a large array of Complementary Dispute Resolution (CDR) options which are available to attorneys and litigants as they search for timely and economical methods to resolve disputes. These programs include:
Statutory Arbitration for automobile, personal injury and commercial cases. Statutory Arbitration is a mandatory process in which a dispute is presented to an experienced neutral attorney with at least seven (7) years of litigation experience in the related field. Arbitrators accept sworn testimony from the parties, listen to the arguments of counsel, review the evidence and render a decision as to the value of the case. These hearings rarely last longer than an hour and are less formal than a traditional court proceeding. The arbitrator’s decision is non-binding and allows attorneys and clients the opportunity to request a trial instead of accepting the award recommendation made at the hearing. Cases that do not resolve through this process are immediately referred to the case management teams for trial listing.
Voluntary Binding Arbitration for verbal threshold cases. Voluntary Binding Arbitration is solely for automobile cases with verbal threshold insurance agreements. Before the commencement of the hearing, a consent order is entered by the court dismissing the case. It also records the agreement of the attorneys and parties to abide by the outcome. The attorneys select one plaintiff and one defense orientated arbitrator for the hearing. A judge serves as the third arbitrator and only enters into the decision making process if the two pre-selected arbitrators cannot agree on the outcome. A Statement of Facts must be submitted to the hearing officers in advance of the hearing date. On the hearing date, testimony is taken from the parties, evidence is reviewed and limited arguments are heard from counsel. An award is rendered at the conclusion of the hearing. This award is considered binding and the judge may sign an order for judgment. The decision is non-appealable.
Foreclosure Mediation is for homeowners who have filed an answer on a foreclosure matter and are contesting the foreclosure, as well as homeowners who fail to contest the foreclosure. The mediation is with a mediator, the mortgage company’s attorney, homeowners, housing counselor, and if possible, the homeowner’s attorney. The mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates the mediation in hopes of helping the parties come to an agreement. The hearing can take up to an hour; it could be longer, and sometimes it will be shorter than an hour. The homeowner submits a mediation packet that consists of a mediation request for mediation, a financial worksheet, and the homeowner’s proof of finances (pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns). With this information, the bank and homeowner try to come up with an agreement so the homeowner can keep their house. If no agreement is reached, homeowners will be given choices of what they can do outside of mediation.
Other CDR Programs: Attorneys and litigants may also avail themselves to several other less formal CDR programs in Burlington County. They include insurance settlement days, mini trials and summary jury trials. All offer dispute resolution options that may be less costly and timelier than traditional court processes.
Special Civil Part
Location: 3rd Floor, Suite 315, County Office Building
Asst. Div. Mgr. Jo Ann Ezze
The Special Civil Part is a civil court of limited jurisdiction within the Civil Division. It is a high volume court with an average of 25,000 annual filings There are three case types in the Special Civil Part: Landlord/Tenant (LT) Cases; Small Claims (SC) (lawsuits seeking up to $3,000.00 in monetary damages); and Special Civil (DC) Cases (lawsuits seeking up to $15,000.00 in monetary damages). Please note the exception that cases involving security deposit issues can be filed as a Small Claims action for up to $5,000.00.
Typical Small Claims and Special Civil lawsuits include breach of a written or oral contract, return of money used as a down-payment, loss or damage of property caused by an automobile accident, back rent, bad checks, return of a tenant’s security deposit, payment for work performed, or defective merchandise. Upon payment of the appropriate filing fee and submission of the completed summons and complaint forms, along with the appropriate number of copies, service of these cases is performed by the Special Civil Part Office by simultaneous mailing of the summons and complaint to the defendants via regular and certified mail.
Special Civil (DC) and Small Claims (SC) cases must be filed in the county where at least one of the defendants resides. If the defendant is a business, the case must be filed where the defendant’s office is located. If none of the defendants reside in New Jersey, the case can be filed in this State if the cause of action occurred in New Jersey. It must, however, be filed in the county where the action arose.
Landlord/Tenant matters involve disputes between landlords and tenants. The only relief obtainable in these matters is a judgment for possession. Landlords are not permitted to evict a tenant (self-help evictions) without first obtaining a Judgment for Possession or other court order. A landlord must file a complaint with the Landlord/Tenant section of the Special Civil Part to permanently remove a tenant. The typical legal basis for a landlord to file such a complaint are a tenant’s alleged failure to pay rent, continued late payment of rent, continued disorderly conduct, willful destruction of property, violation of lease rules, or a tenant’s conviction of a drug offense or other transgression. Upon the submission of the proper filing fee and completed summons and complaint forms, along with the appropriate number of copies, the Special Civil Part Office will serve the tenant by regular mail. A Special Civil Part Court Officer must also personally serve the tenant with the summons and complaint or affix it to the door of the leased premises. In Landlord/Tenant (LT) cases, the landlord must file the lawsuit in the county where the rental property is located.
The forms necessary to file a case within the Special Civil Part can be obtained from the Central Processing Office Intake Team on the 1st Floor of the Courts Facility or the Special Civil Part Office on the 3rd Floor of the County Office Building. In addition, many forms can be obtained from the Judiciary’s website at www.njcourtsonline.com.
Location: 3 rd Floor, 50 Rancocas Road
Division Manager: Shannon DeNise-Budenas
Under the direction of the Criminal Presiding Judge, the Criminal Division is responsible for processing and managing all indictable criminal cases involving adult offenders. In rare instances, juveniles may be waived to adult court based on the severity of the offense. The office handles all pre-adjudicatory functions of the Superior Court, Criminal Division, as well as Post Conviction Motions. Disorderly persons, petty disorderly person’s offenses and motor vehicle violations are normally heard in the Municipal Courts. Typical clients of the Criminal Division would be those:
- Arrested and charged with a criminal offense;
- Applying for pre-trial intervention (PTI);
- Convicted of a criminal offense and must have a pre-sentence investigation completed;
- Having a question on the setting of bail;
- Seeking legal representation by the Office of the Public Defender;
- Inquiring about a criminal public record;
- Having questions concerning public access terminals;
- Appealing a Municipal Court sentence (pro se kit available);
- Applying for an expungement of a criminal record (pro se kit available); and
- Applying for drug court.
The Intake/Bail Unit conducts bail investigations and indigence determinations for those defendants committed to the Burlington County Jail charged with indictable offenses. These defendants are given a first appearance via video during which the court advises the inmate of the charges against him/her, the right to a public defender if the defendant cannot afford to pay for an attorney and the amount of bail set in the case. First appearances are conducted daily. Bail options include:
- Cash bail wherein the full amount of the bail must be posted to secure the defendant’s release;
- Ten percent bail wherein the payment of 10% of the set amount will secure the defendant’s release;
- Real estate which may be offered as bail;
- Own recognizance wherein the defendant may be released just on his/her signature; and
- Bail bonds which may be posted by a bondsman. Bail bondsmen charge non-refundable fees for their services and require collateral in most cases before they will post a bond.
NOTE : The court does not endorse the services of any bail bondsman. Anyone needing this service may find a bondsman listed in the telephone directory.
A bail filing fee of $30.00 is required when bail is posted regardless of the type of bail required. Bail monies may be refunded by the Finance Division after the defendant is: 1) sentenced; 2) completed Pre-Trial Intervention; or 3) the case is dismissed. Failure to appear for any scheduled court appearances will result in a bench warrant being issued for the defendant’s arrest and the forfeiture of bail.
Bail for all indictable cases and cases downgraded to the Municipal Court can be posted at the Burlington County Jail located at 49 Rancocas Road in Mt. Holly.
Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) : The Pre-Trial Intervention Program is a diversionary program that offers criminal defendants an alternative to prosecution and conviction. Upon acceptance into the program, the judge postpones all further court proceedings against the defendant for a period of up to three years. The judge often orders special conditions that require the defendant to actively participate in rehabilitation. A probation officer, who ensures compliance with the court’s orders, supervises the defendant. Successful completion of the imposed terms of PTI supervision results in a dismissal of the defendant’s charges. Violation of the court-imposed conditions may result in the defendant being terminated from the program and the charges being reactivated and returned to the trial list.
Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) is required by law to be completed on defendants who are convicted of criminal offenses. The report is a comprehensive social background on the defendant including the defendant’s prior court history, offense circumstances and any victim information along with a sentencing recommendation. The report provides information for the judge to use in determining the appropriate sentence.
Drug Court is an opportunity to sentence appropriate, non-violent offenders to drug treatment and intensive probation supervision, rather than incarceration. The program brings many resources (prosecutor, public defender, treatment providers, substance abuse evaluators, probation officers and most importantly the judge) together to insure the defendant has the greatest chance for success. Breaking the cycle of addiction and returning the defendant to society as a productive member are the goals of drug court.
Records Management and Public Access are also responsibilities of the Criminal Division. All public records are maintained by the office. A public access computer terminal is available for interested parties who wish to search the Judiciary’s database (Promis/Gavel). The database contains information on charges, schedules and dispositions of criminal matters.
Expungements: When the court grants an order for expungement, it permanently seals a defendant’s criminal record from all inquiries made by agencies seeking criminal history information. The expunged record or any information pertaining to it will not be released for any reason except as authorized by law. You may contact the Criminal Division for additional information. There is a pro se packet for expungements available on the Judiciary’s website at www.njcourtsonline.com.
Attorney Referrals: If a defendant cannot afford an attorney for a criminal proceeding in Superior Court, he/she may apply for a Public Defender. The defendant must apply with the court, not the Public Defender’s Office. Court staff cannot recommend private attorneys.
Permits to Purchase a Handgun: If your municipality has a full-time police department, contact the Chief of Police. If your municipality does not have a full-time police department, contact the State Police station serving your municipality. Out-of-state residents may apply at any State Police station. If the application is denied by the state or local police, the applicant may request a hearing on the denial at the Superior Court by contacting the court in writing, within 30 days of the denial. Appeals of denials at the Superior Court level may be filed with the Appellate division. Permits to purchase are valid for 90 days.
Permits to Carry a Handgun: Contact the Chief of Police if your municipality of residence has a full time police department. If your municipality has no full-time police department, contact the State Police station serving your municipality. Out-of-state residents may apply at any State Police station. Employees of armored car companies should apply at any State Police station. Unlike permits to purchase, permits to carry require Superior Court approval. Permits approved by the state or local police are forwarded to the Superior Court for review and decision. If a permit is denied at the local level, the applicant may make a request within 30 days of the denial to the Superior Court. If the permit is denied by the Superior Court (either a primary or secondary denial), an appeal may be filed with the Appellate Division. Permits to carry expire 2 years from the date of issuance or upon termination of employment if an armored car employee.
Location: 3 rd Floor, Courts Facility
Division Manager: Barbara Sopronyi
The Family Division of Burlington County is dedicated to the prompt resolution of disputes, assuring the rights of litigants and the protection of the community. The Family Division Presiding Judge, all Family Judges, the Family Court Managers and all division employees are committed to providing all court consumers with exceptional service. It is our goal to ensure that members of the public are treated with dignity and respect and that their cases are handled in a prompt and efficient manner.
Family Administrative Team - 609-518-2691
Under the direction of the Family Presiding Judge, the administrative team consists of all Family Judges, the Division Manager, two Assistant Division Managers, six Team Leaders and several administrative staff. All work performed in the Family Division is overseen by this group, including the management of docket-specific teams as well as all administrative responsibilities such as budget, human resources and purchasing. The Family Division is responsible for the screening and processing of all family related matters. The division handles all complaints from the time they enter the system until they reach final disposition. The case types and their docket designations handled through this division are listed below.
- Dissolution (FM DOCKET: This docket type includes divorce, equitable distribution of property, custody, parenting time, paternity, child support, annulment, domestic partnerships, palimony and separate maintenance.
- Non-Dissolution (FD DOCKET): This docket types includes disputes between co-parents or extended family members, custody and parenting time/visitation issues, medical coverage, child support and paternity determinations, including those cases filed under the Uniform Interstate Family and Support Act (UIFSA).
- Domestic Violence (FV DOCKET): This docket type includes applications for temporary and final restraining orders.
- Family Other (FO DOCKET): This docket type includes criminal contempt proceedings regarding the violation of domestic violence restraining orders, willful non-support cases, interference with custody and parenting time cases, as well as cases transferred from another court over which the Family Division did not have original jurisdiction.
- Juvenile Cases (FJ DOCKET): This docket type includes all offenses committed by children under the age of 18. These are cases that would be handled through the Criminal Division if the offense was committed by an adult.
- Juvenile Family Crisis (FF DOCKET): This docket type includes juvenile or family crisis situations that may include an unauthorized absence of a juvenile for more than 24 hours, a serious conflict between a parent and a juvenile, or behavior that could present or result in a serious threat to the well-being and/or physical safety of a juvenile.
- Child Placement Review (FC DOCKET): This docket type includes children who have been placed outside of their home by the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) by way of litigation under an FN.
- Child Abuse and Neglect (FN DOCKET): This docket type includes cases involving children who are under the age of 18 in which a complaint of abuse or neglect has been filed on behalf of the child by DYFS.
- Termination of Parental Rights (FG DOCKET): This docket type includes the appointment of a child guardian when the court needs to determine if the parental rights of a natural parent should be terminated.
- Kinship Care (FL DOCKET): This docket type includes situations in which relatives seek to take guardianship of a child when the natural parents are unable to provide adequate care.
- Adoptions (FA DOCKET): This docket type includes situations in which the petitioner seeks to create a legal parent/child relationship with a child. Adoption cases are handled through the Surrogates Office.
Case Reception/Intake Team - 609-518-2645
The Case Reception/Intake Team is the centralized information and filing center for non-dissolution and dissolution matters. This team processes all pro se complaints for child support, visitation, medical coverage, paternity, custody, spousal support and modifications. Walk-in litigants are interviewed, their cases are screened, scheduled and all parties in the case are noticed with a court date. Additionally, the team handles applications via mail, accommodates emergent matters and answers phone inquiries. All out-of-state child support petitions are also handled through the intake team.
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) governs the collection and enforcement of child support orders across state lines including case establishment or modification and filing for emancipation of a minor. Under UIFSA, the plaintiff is not required to appear at the hearing and will be represented by the local welfare agency. Individuals may obtain applications in person or by mail. There is a $6.00 application fee for filing. Applicants should expect a three-month waiting period before hearing from the other state. Although the unit is open Monday through Friday, intake interviews are conducted by appointment only.
Dissolution/ Non-Dissolution Teams - 609-518-2645
Dissolution complaints are filed in the Central Processing Unit at a cost of $250.00. An additional Parent Education fee of $25.00 is required if child support or custody is a relief sought. Motions are filed at a cost of $30.00. Pro se litigants with post-divorce issues may file a motion using the pro se motion packet provided by the Family Division.
Non-dissolution complaints may include some pre-divorce issues (child support, medical coverage, visitation, custody and spousal support) and issues between non-married parents and other parties. Most non-dissolution child support cases are scheduled before a child support hearing officer who is skilled in calculating child support. This officer makes a recommendation to a judge. The judge will review the recommendations. If the judge approves the recommendations, it becomes a court order.
- Early Settlement Panels 609-518-2690 The Matrimonial Early Settlement Panels (MESP) are comprised of volunteer attorneys who listen to economic aspects of divorce matters and make impartial recommendations to the parties in order to facilitate a settlement, thus avoiding the need for a trial.
- Economic Mediation Program 609-518-2690 Effective January 2007, all failed MESP cases are to be referred to Economic Mediation, or another CDR event, in an effort to resolve the economic issues of the divorce. Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) facilitates negotiations among the parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable agreement in their dispute. The major distinction of mediation is that a mediator does not make a decision about the outcome of the case. Appropriate cases for Economic Mediation are referred by judges, court staff or the parties themselves.
- Custody Mediation Program 609-518-2515 The Custody and Visitation Program utilizes trained community volunteers and court staff who serve as neutral, third parties to help parents and extended family members resolve issues concerning custody and visitation of minor children. By doing so, the parties can avoid the need to go before a judge to have their case heard.
- Custody Neutral Assessment Program 609-518-2515 The Custody Neutral Assessment Program (CNA) is available for high conflict cases that are inappropriate for, or are unable to be resolved, through mediation. This program utilizes several mental health practitioners in the community who meet with the parties, discuss contested issues and make clinical recommendations to the court on how to resolve disputed issues.
- Expert Evaluation Program 609-518-2515 The Expert Evaluation Program is a clinical service available for high conflict custody cases that are not appropriate for mediation or Custody Neutral Assessment. Cases are referred by court order to mental health evaluators within the community for psychological or psychiatric evaluation. Completed reports are submitted to the court to provide the judge with clinical insight of the case prior to making a final decision.
- Child Support Hearing Officer Program 609-518-2668 or 609-518-2683 The Child Support Hearing Officer Program handles initial requests for child support, requests for upward or downward modifications in child support and enforcement of existing child support orders. A court appointed hearing officer hears these cases four days a week, Monday through Thursday. Same-day appeals are provided before a Family Court Judge for litigants who believe there has been an error made in the calculation of their child support payments.
- Parent Education Program 609-518-2515 Divorcing parties who have children are required by law to attend the Parent Education Program. The program is designed to assist families through the difficult transition of separation and divorce. This three-hour program is offered twice a month at the Courts Facility. Both daytime and evening classes are available.
Children-in-Court Team - 609-518-2812
This team handles all cases involving children who have been abused or neglected and who are under the supervision of DYFS. This team is responsible for managing the cases of children who may be placed outside of their homes because of alleged parental abuse or neglect. The team is also responsible for the processing of all abuse, neglect, guardianship and adoption cases filed. There are multiple docket types that fall under the Children-in-Court team. These include FC, FN, FG, FL and FA dockets.
- Child Placement Review Boards 609-518-2665 Child Placement Review Boards (CPRB) are composed of citizen volunteers who are appointed by Family Court Judges and whose responsibility it is to monitor cases when children are placed in foster care or residential placements through DYFS. Board members review case plans, conduct interviews of interested parties and make recommendations to the court.
- Child Welfare Mediation 609-518-2657 Mediation in child welfare cases is a way for parties to make decisions and resolve issues themselves. A neutral, trained person, called a mediator, meets with the parents, caseworker, attorneys, and other interested persons outside of the courtroom setting to discuss issues concerning a child in the care of DYFS. The mediator can help the parties to reach their own agreement.
Domestic Violence Team - 609-518-2642
Domestic violence complaints may be filed between 8:00 am and 3:30 pm in the Domestic Violence Unit. After 3:30 pm, or on weekends or holidays, complaints and requests for restraining orders should be filed at a police station or municipal court in the municipality where the incident occurred or where the person lives. Restraining orders are issued by the court. Initially, a determination is made on whether or not a temporary restraining order (TRO) should be issued. If a TRO is not issued, the party requesting the TRO is entitled to an automatic appeal before a Superior Court Judge. If a temporary restraining order is granted, a hearing for a Final Restraining Order (FRO) is scheduled within 10 days.
- Supervised Visitation Program 609-518-2517 The Supervised Visitation Program is court ordered and coordinated through the Family Division when traditional parenting time is not an option. This program is provided at the Courts Facility and also at a local mental health agency.
- Providence House Women’s Shelter 609-518-2642 Providence House employees provide supportive services for victims of domestic violence. Providence House employees are trained counselors who have an office in the Courts Facility.
- Risk Assessments 609-518-2642 Risk Assessments are often ordered by the court in domestic violence cases when there are concerns presented to the court regarding a parent’s ability to safely interact with his/her children. These assessments are provided by a mental health clinician who uses a face to face interview along with standardized testing to determine the level of risk an individual presents. These findings and a clinical recommendation is then provided to the judge for review prior to the court rendering a final decision. Occasionally these assessments may also be ordered in dissolution cases, at the discretion of the court.
Juvenile Team - 609-518-2661
The juvenile team handles complaints filed against persons under the age of 18, as well as Family Crisis Petitions. This team is responsible for the docketing and scheduling of all juvenile delinquency and family crisis matters. Cases are divided into the following categories for purposes of scheduling court hearings: 1) Court, Representation Mandatory Calendar; 2) Court, Representation Not Mandatory Calendar; 3) Juvenile Referee; 4) Juvenile Intake Service Conference; and 5) Juvenile Conference Committee.
Assignment of counsel hearings (5A hearings) are held for all cases listed on the Representation Mandatory calendar. According to household income, families may be eligible for either a Public Defender or a court assigned attorney or they may be required to obtain private counsel.
- Juvenile Referee Program 609-518-2656 The Juvenile Referee Program is available for less serious offenses that do not require judicial intervention. A court appointed staff member, who is also an attorney, hears these juvenile matters three times a week. The Juvenile Referee will hear the case and make specific recommendations to the judge who will sign the final order. Cases that are unable to be resolved through this program are referred to a judge for a formal hearing. Referrals to this program come through a Juvenile Group Screening Process that occurs once a week.
- Juvenile Conference Committee Program 609-518-2547 The Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC) is a court-appointed committee composed of trained citizen volunteers who live in the county. JCCs will hear and determine first and second time, minor juvenile delinquency matters. The committees operate within various municipalities throughout the county. The JCC handles cases that are referred through the juvenile group screening process.
- Juvenile Intake Service Conference 609-518-2547 Juvenile Intake Service Conferences (ISC) are set up through the Family Division and are run by citizen volunteers who are appointed by the Family Presiding Judge. The purpose is to handle matters involving minor offenses by working along with the parent and juvenile to arrive at an appropriate disposition. The ISC program handles cases that are referred through the Juvenile Group Screen process.
- Family Crisis Intervention Unit 609-518-2656 The Juvenile Family Crisis Intervention Unit (FCIU) is a service offered through an outside mental health agency that is coordinated through the Family Court. Matters that involve conflicts between parents and children, runaways or truancy are referred to this service in the hope that counseling and other early intervention will resolve the problem. When a voluntary resolution cannot be reached, the case may be referred to the court and a request may be made to have a petition signed placing the entire family under the court’s jurisdiction.
- Youth Services Commission 609-518-2506 The Youth Services Commission is a planning board comprised of court, county and state representation who, along with members of various social service agencies, are charged with ensuring that appropriate, timely services are available for youth and their families within the community.
- Multi-Disciplinary Planning Team 609-518-2680 The Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) is a group comprised of court and state personnel as well as various members of service provider agencies who plan the individual needs of certain juveniles involved in the family court.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIVISION
Location: 3rd Floor, Courts Facility
Division Manager: Andrew Myers
The Information Technology Division is essential in introducing, implementing and supporting technology in the Burlington Vicinage. The IT Division determines Court operation technical needs and provides the necessary assistance. The Burlington Vicinage Information Technology (IT) Division:
- Provides technical support for the computer network and e-mail administration;
- Facilitates computer-based training;
- Assists in implementation of statewide initiatives and projects;
- Coordinates new technology applications;
- Manages the analysis, purchase, acquisition and installation of hardware and software for the vicinage;
- Maintains security of network operations.
Location: 50 Rancocas Road, 1 st Floor
Chief Probation Officer: Division Manager Edwin Lee, Jr.
The Burlington County Probation Division, as part of the Judiciary, plays a vital role in accomplishing the mission of the Court. The fair and just resolution of disputes is achieved when court orders are fully and fairly enforced. The constitutional rights of citizens are protected by effective supervision of probationers in the community. Probation plays a vital role as the dispositional enforcement arm of the Court.
The role of Probation is to promote the welfare and safety of children, families and communities in New Jersey by enforcing court orders, supervising offenders, monitoring behavior, and intervening to produce positive outcomes.
The major units of operation are:
- Child Support Enforcement
- Adult Supervision
- Juvenile Supervision
- Comprehensive Enforcement Program
- Community Service Program
The Burlington County Probation Division is committed to achieving statewide operational goals in all units by providing comprehensive quality supervision, service and enforcement.
Supervision Goals :
- Reduced Probationers Arrests
- Reduced Substance Abuse
- Increased Community Service Compliance
- Increased Collection of Restitution, Fees and Fines
- Increased School Attendance
- Increased Employment
- Increased Compliance with Court Ordered Treatment
Location: 50 Rancocas Road, Ground Floor
Hours of Operation: Mon., Thurs., and Fri., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tues. and Wed. 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Assistant Chief: Kathleen Riker
The Burlington County Probation Division provides community supervision of offenders placed on probation by the Superior, Family and Municipal Courts. Offenders are required to report to their probation officers on a regular basis. Probation officers also supervise offenders in the community by making home visits. Probation officers enforce compliance with court orders which require probationers to submit to drug screening, alcohol/drug abuse treatment, mental health counseling, perform community service, obtain employment, attend school or training and pay court ordered fines and penalties.
Specialized Units include: Domestic Violence caseload, Pre Trial Intervention caseload, Sex Offender Treatment caseload and Drug Court Supervision caseload.
Community Service Unit
The Burlington County Probation Division community service unit enforces compliance with the completion of approximately 50,000 court ordered hours each year. The Burlington County Probation Division is always looking for additional community service work sites. Offenders have successfully performed hours of valuable service.
Comprehensive Enforcement Program
The Burlington County Probation Division collects over one million dollars in court-imposed fees annually. The Division has the responsibility of enforcing regular payment of fines and penalties through a variety of measures including payment plans, tax offsets and civil judgments. The money collected is designated for such public purposes as crime prevention programs, crime-victim compensation and restitution. Payments can be mailed to:
Burlington County Central Processing Office
Court Facility, 1 st floor
49 Rancocas Road
Mt. Holly , NJ 08060
Made in Person to the above address
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Payments must be made in cash, check or money order and made payable to Treasurer – State of New Jersey. Account numbers should be written on the check or money order.
The Juvenile Unit monitors, supervises and enforces the compliance of 450 adjudicated youth with the completion of all standard and special conditions of probation. Juveniles are required to report regularly to their probation officer. In addition, officers visit juveniles in their schools and homes. Officers work cooperatively with schools and partner with community agencies to provide appropriate services to assist juveniles in staying arrest free, attending school and successfully completing the conditions of probation. Specialized units include: Sex Offender caseload, Aftercare caseload, and Cognitive Skills Program.
Location: 50 Rancocas Road, 2 nd Floor
Assistant Chief: Max Wolford
Probation’s Child Support Enforcement Unit enforces child support orders. The unit monitors child support payments and seeks court action when those payments are overdue. Probation Officers use many techniques to ensure that overdue payments are made including: credit reporting; immediate income withholding; seizure of state and federal tax refunds, lottery winnings and unemployment benefits; license suspension; and Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM). The Probation Division oversees the collection of more than $65 million in child support payments annually.
A child support representative is available to answer questions about litigants’ child support cases. Each caseworker can be contacted directly. If the caseworker is not available, litigants should leave a voice mail message with his/her name, case number and telephone number. All calls will be returned within 48 hours. Routine case or payment information may be obtained by dialing the 24-hour Child Support Hotline at 1-800-621-KIDS (5437).
The New Jersey Office of Child Support has an interactive website that enables the public to get information about individual child support cases online. By going to www.njchildsupport.org you can find information about the case status and recent payments. When prompted, enter the case number (CS number) and enter the last four digits of the party’s social security number.
Payments may be made in person in the Central Processing Office located on the 1 st floor of the Courts Facility. For proper credit and identification, litigants should include the case number on all payments and correspondence.
Address for mailed payments:
NJ Family Support Payment Center
Probation PO Box 4880
Trenton , NJ 08650
Parents who owe or are owed child support should be aware of the following:
Child Support is calculated according to the New Jersey Rules of Court and the Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines ensure that the income of both parents and special needs of the children are considered when calculating child support. Child support obligations may be automatically adjusted every two years to reflect changes in the cost of living index.
The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998 is the federal legislation that makes it a felony for a parent to move to another state or country with the intention of evading child support payments if the debt has remained unpaid for over one year or is greater than $5,000.
Other Collection and Enforcement Remedies Include:
- Immediate Income Withholding: All child support orders are subject to payment by income withholding collected through wages, unemployment benefits, worker’s compensation, commissions, or retirement benefits.
- License Suspension: If a child support bench warrant has been issued, the driver’s license of the person owing child support may be suspended without prior notice. The person owing support also faces the suspension of a professional or occupational license if the payments are six months or more behind.
- Asset Seizure: This method allows for a levy to be placed upon the financial account of the delinquent parent (i.e., checking or savings account) if the child support arrearage equals three months of payments.
- New Hire Reporting: All employers are required to report information on all new employees to the state. This information is matched with information in the Automated Child Support Enforcement System (ACSES) and can automatically generate a wage withholding.
- Credit Reporting: The name of any client delinquent in payment, can be reported to credit reporting agencies.
- Lottery and Tax Intercept: If a parent owes arrears and wins $600 or more, or is entitled to a federal or state tax refund, homestead rebate or property tax rebate, these funds may be intercepted and applied to the child support account.
- Passport Denial: If a parent owes past due child support equal to or greater than $2,500, a new passport or renewal can be denied by the U.S. Department of State.
Location: 2nd Floor, 50 Rancocas Road
Support Enforcement provides monitoring and enforcement of spousal/child support and health benefit orders in a timely and efficient manner. Criteria for enforcement is established by federal and state law. Costs of funding this unit are reimbursed through Title IV-D of the Social Security Act at about 66% a year. The orders are established through the intake unit of the Family Division. Cases are handled by three teams of child support workers and a team of court workers.
There are three major types of enforcement:
- Wage Execution:In October, 1990, the State of New Jersey passed a law that required that all new child support cases or any orders changed after that date be paid by income execution. For cases already in existence, a 14 day delinquency must accrue before income can be attached. Executions can be done against all forms of income - wages, pensions, workmen's compensation, unemployment compensation, and others.
- Court: Those who are self-employed, unemployed, or whose employment is unknown are scheduled for an enforcement hearing before a Hearing Officer. Usually a lump sum payment is requested when it is determined that the payor had the ability to pay the support order. When a payor who had been duly served with a summons does not appear for court hearing, a bench warrant for that persons arrest is issued.
- Bench Warrants are handled by a specialized unit of Support Enforcement Services who work along with a IV-D unit of the Sheriffs Office. A person who is arrested and brought to court may be held in jail until the child support arrears are paid in full, if that is appropriate. Also effective in collecting support monies is the Tax Offset process. Both federal and state laws provide that when a payee is a IV-D client and child support arrears reach a designated plateau, the case may be submitted to offset the payor's federal and state income tax refund and N.J.
- Homestead Rebate: This is particularly effective for reducing arrears owed to a state welfare agency, which must be satisfied before money can be forwarded to a non-welfare payee.
- Credit Bureau: In 1990 the State of New Jersey began submitting cases with arrears in excess of $1,000.00 to credit bureau where the arrears are reported as outstanding debts.
- Judgments: In 1992 title companies in New Jersey were given limited access to the child support system. Since any child support arrears over $1.00 are a Judgment by operation of law, this has been effective in collecting money owed when property is sold or when mortgages are re-financed.
All questions concerning the enforcement of spousal and child support orders should be directed to this office.
COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE
Location: 1st Floor, Courts Facility (Rear)
The County Clerk's Office provides many functions for both Burlington County and the Superior Court. For the County, this office records, microfilms and indexes all mortgages and deeds. The Passport Office issues passports, gun permits, ABC cards, swears in notaries and registers firm names. (Corporation names are registered through Trenton.) The Clerk's Office also has an Election Unit which is responsible for various election matters in Burlington County. The Clerk's Office also records liens against property in Burlington County.
Location: 1st Floor, Court Facility
The Surrogates Office handles the following:
- Appointment of Administrators
- Contested Wills & Probate Matters
- Minor's funds (deposits & withdrawals)
- Probate of Wills
- Appointment of Guardians
- Estate Accounting
- Estate Searches
The courts in the Chancery Division (General Equity and Probate Parts) hear cases that seek equitable relief rather than monetary compensation. Equitable relief usually involves the court compelling or restricting actions of one of the parties (such as labor injunctions, foreclosures, dissolution of a corporation or partnership, execution of wills and distribution of estates). The jurisdiction of the Chancery Division to grant relief is delineated in the following areas:
General Equity Part :
- Enforce the performance of contracts, trust and fiduciary obligations;
- Re-execute or correct instruments lost or erroneously drafted;
- Set aside transactions that were illegal, fraudulent, etc.;
- Execute writs of attachment;
- Stop actions that will cause irreparable harm;
- Grant the reacquisition of property upon default of mortgage or tax payments; and
- Foreclosure Mediation – See Civil Division – Complementary Dispute Resolution (CDR) for description
NOTE : Foreclosures are handled by the Foreclosure Unit, Clerk of the Superior Court, Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street, P. O. Box 971, Trenton, NJ 08625 or call (609)292-7877. All filings should be sent directly to that unit. The Foreclosure Unit forwards all cases in which contested answers are filed (and all subsequent papers involving the contested foreclosure) to the Burlington Vicinage’s Chancery Division.
Probate Part :
- Execute wills;
- Distribute estates;
- Protect infants or persons with mental incompetence; and
- Complete gifts according to the donor’s intent.
NOTE : All pleadings involving probate matters should be filed with the Burlington County Surrogate, Courts Facility, 49 Rancocas Road, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060 or call 609-265-5005.
Emergent Applications :
There are three types of actions which are heard on an emergent or developing basis: 1. Orders to show cause; 2. Sheriff’s evictions; and 3. Special medical guardianships. Currently there are no forms available for use by self-represented litigants in the General Equity and Probate Parts. Information and sample forms for these are generally available in law libraries or public libraries. The Lawyer Referral Service of the Burlington County Bar Association can assist individuals who are seeking the aid of a lawyer by calling 609-261-4862.