HUDSON COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL PART
The Special Civil Part handles three primary types of cases; civil, small claims and landlord/tenant actions. Each case type has a unique set of rules which guides the processing and scheduling of the case.
Special Civil Part staff can provide litigants with appropriate forms and samples. Staff is available to provide information and assistance of a non-legal nature.
The main offices of the unit are located at 595 Newark, Ave. Room 104 Jersey City, N.J. 07306. The unit operates under the direction of the Civil Presiding Judge, the Hon. Mary K. Costello, and Rupert Haller, Assistant Civil Division Manager/SCP, exercises administrative control over the operations.All pleadings that require a filing fee (and an attorney collateral account is not being used), are to be forwarded to:
Superior Court of NJ - Hudson
Central Fee Office: Civil/Special Civil/General Equity
595 Newark Ave., Room 407
Jersey City, N.J. 07306
Phone # 201-795-6050
Checks are payable to :
Treasurer, State of New Jersey
All pleadings that do not require filing fees or where fees are being charged to an attorneys collateral account and general correspondence should be forwarded to:
Superior Court of NJ
Special Civil Case Management Office
595 Newark Ave., Room 711
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Phone # 201-795-6680
The unit is currently broken down into four teams, Customer Service, Landlord/Tenant, Pre-Judgment and Post-Judgment.
Landlord/Tenant actions are those where the landlord seeks possession of the leased premises because the tenant has allegedly violated a written lease agreement, failing to pay rent or disturbing other tenants. The tenant does not have to file an answer; he or she simply has to appear in court and state a defense, if there is one, on the day specified in the summons. Approximately 20,000 landlord/tenant cases are filed annually here in Hudson County.
Cases where habitability may be an issue are referred to trained mediators in order to bring a more expedient and amicable closure to the case.
The team that processes these cases is supervised by Team Leader, Carmen Rivera. She can be reached at 201-795-6681.
Applications for Warrants of Removals are handled by Nan Roopraman and Peter Villacis, they can be reached at 201-795-6680.
CIVIL/SPECIAL CIVIL CASES
Civil cases handled in the Special Civil Part are generally actions that involve litigation where the damages or “recovery” demand does not exceed the sum of $15,000. The docket numbers begin with the prefix “DC”
Small Claims matters are limited to actions in which a plaintiff seeks to collect a sum of money, not to exceed $3,000. In actions for the recovery of Security Deposits the monetary limit is $5,000. The docket numbers in Small Claims actions begins with the prefix “SC”.
Both Civil and Small Claims matters may be filed in any county in which at least one defendant resides. If all defendants are non-residents of Hudson County, the action must then be commenced in the county where the Defendant resides.
Once a money Judgment is awarded by the court the prevailing party should first try to attempt to collect the money due by contacting the person who owes the money. If that does not work there are procedures that litigants may follow in order to collect their money. Two of the most common approaches for collecting judgments are to request the court to issue an Execution on Goods and Chattels or an Execution Against a Debtor’s Wages, a Special Civil Part Officer will be assigned to the collection. Certain costs are associated with these collection activities.
Small Claims cases are referred to mediators on the trial date in an attempt to resolve the cases amicably between the parties.
Most Civil (DC) cases are referred to a Settlement Conference on the day of trial. If the case is not resolved through this process the matter will be tried on the same day.
SC/DC CASE MANAGEMENT TEAMS
The SC/DC Case Management Team is led by a Team Leader who, along with the team members, support several Judges. This Team is supervised by Donna Koncewicz. Cases are assigned to a Pre-Trial Judge by virtue of the last two digits of the docket number, excluding the year. The SC/DC Pre Judgment Team is responsible for the management and processing of all documents on a case from the filing of the initial complaint to disposition.
The Post Judgment Team led by Lee Woloszyn, is responsible for the processing of pleadings associated with the entry and enforcement of a judgment. These pleadings include, Affidavits of Proof, Certifications of Non-Military Service, Wage Executions and Chattel Executions.
Docket number and Pre-Trial Judge assignment breakdown is as follows:
DIRECTORY OF KEY PEOPLE
Hon. Mary K. Costello, Presiding Judge Civil Division 201-795-6660
Antoinette Outwater, Civil Division Manager 201-795-6398
Frances Tanski, Secretary 201-795-6179
Carmen Rivera, Landlord/Tenant Team 201-795-6681
Donna Koncewicz, Team Leader, Pre-Judgment SC/DC 201-795-5613
Lorraine (Lee) Woloszyn, Team Leader, Post Judgment SC/DC 201-533-2455
Ruth Thompson, Team Leader, Customer Service 201-795-6728