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Municipal Appeals Information Packet


How to Appeal a Decision of a Municipal Court

Who Should Use This Packet?

If you have been found guilty and have been sentenced by a Municipal Court judge and you want to appeal, then this packet will show you how. Some reasons to file an appeal are:

  • the facts do not support the judge decision; or
  • the judge's decision does not follow the law.

NOTE: These materials have been prepared by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts for use by self-represented litigants. The guides, instructions, and forms will be periodically updated as necessary to reflect current New Jersey statutes and court rules. The most recent version of the forms will be available at the county courthouse or on the Judiciary’s Internet site (www.judiciary.state.nj.us). However, you are ultimately responsible for the content of your court papers.

Things to think About Before You Represent Yourself in Court:

TRY TO GET A LAWYER
The court system can seem complicated and confusing. We recommend that you have a lawyer in every case. If you cannot afford a lawyer or do not know how to go about finding a lawyer, you can:

  • Call the New Jersey Attorney Referral Office in your county; or
  • Ask any of the New Jersey bar associations for the names of lawyers who may be able to represent you at a reduced price.

REPRESENTING YOURSELF

If you still decide to not get a lawyer and you want to represent yourself in court:

  • Read the materials in this packet carefully.
  • Follow the numbered steps that tell you what forms you need to fill out.
  • Read the instructions for each form and follow them carefully.
  • Mail or deliver the completed forms to the correct people.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT IF YOU REPRESENT YOURSELF

While you have the right to represent yourself in court, you should not expect any special treatment, help, or attention from the court. The following is a list of some things the court staff can and cannot do for you. Please read it carefully before asking the court staff for help.

We can explain and answer questions about how the court works.
We can tell you what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court.
We can give you some information from your case file.
We can provide you with samples of court forms that are available.
We can provide you with guidance on how to fill out forms.
We can usually answer questions about court deadlines.

We cannot give you legal advice. Only your lawyer can give you legal advice.
We cannot tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court.
We cannot give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.
We cannot recommend a lawyer, but we can provide you with the telephone number of a local lawyer referral service.
We cannot talk to the judge for you about what will happen in your case.
We cannot let you talk to the judge outside of court.
We cannot change an order issued by a judge.

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