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Civil Practice Division

Kevin M. Wolfe, Esq., Assistant Director
P.O. Box 981
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-8470
Fax: (609) 777-0844

Email Questions to: CivilWebSites.Mailbox@njcourts.gov
Note: Before e-mailing the Civil Websites mailbox, check the Civil FAQs and/or "A Practitioner's Guide to New Jersey's Civil Court Procedures." Your question may be answered there.

The Civil Practice Division works with various Supreme Court committees and conferences to develop and implement civil rules and improved court procedures. The Civil Practice Division is responsible for:

Superior Court, Law Division, Civil Part

The Law Division, Civil Part has no monetary limit on the damage claims. Examples of Civil Part cases are those involving monetary damage claims arising from automobile accidents, medical malpractice, and breach of contract. Any party in a Civil Part case may request a jury trial. A civil jury typically consists of six persons. There are approximately 97,000 cases filed in the Civil Part each year.

Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part

The Special Civil Part handles claims for monetary damages of $15,000 or less (unless the overage is waived) and unlawful detainer actions. Case types typically filed in the Special Civil Part are damage claims arising from contract, consumer debt, auto negligence property damage, and statutory penalty enforcement, and non-monetary matters such as writs of replevins and actions for possession of real estate (unlawful detainer/writ of possession). Judges without a jury typically adjudicate Special Civil Part cases. There are approximately 406,000 cases filed in the Special Civil Part each year.

The Special Civil Part, Small Claims Section handles cases in which the demand is $3,000 or less and actions for the return of all or part of a security deposit when the amount does not exceed $5000. Annually, approximately 35,000 cases are filed with the Small Claims section.

The Special Civil Part, Landlord - Tenant Section has limited, special jurisdiction. It is limited to summary dispossession actions in which the dispute arise out of a landlord - tenant relationship. The only relief available is whether possession is returned to the landlord with the tenant’s summary removal from the property. Annually, approximately 170,000 cases are filed with the Landlord-Tenant section.

For more information on Special Civil Part click here.

Superior Court, Chancery Division, General Equity

Chancery Division, General Equity handle claims for non-monetary relief, such as restrictive covenant enforcement, labor injunctions, foreclosures, and corporation or partnership governance disputes. A judge without a jury tries General Equity cases. There are approximately 8,900 cases filed in General Equity each year.

Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part

In New Jersey, two courts handle probate matters, namely, the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part, and Surrogate Courts. The Probate Part has plenary powers to oversee all aspects of probate, guardianship, trusts, and matters originating in Surrogate Courts. There are approximately 6,400 cases filed in the Probate Part each year.

Surrogate Court

Surrogate Courts, which are courts of limited and special jurisdiction, handle certain uncontested decedent estate and minor guardianship applications. Surrogates are Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court for the Chancery Division, Probate Part. Surrogates also process Chancery Division, Family Part adoption matters.

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