The Small Claims Section is a court in which you may sue someone (the defendant) to collect a small amount of money that you believe is owed to you. Because procedures in Small Claims are simpler than in other courts, persons usually can file and present their cases relatively quickly and inexpensively, and often without an attorney.
Small Claims handles cases in which the demand is not more than $3,000.00. If the amount of money you are trying to recover is more than $3,000.00, but less that $15,000.00 your case should be filed in the regular Special Civil Part. Cases in which damages are more that $15,000.00 must be filed in the Law Division of the Superior Court.
If you believe you are entitled to damages greater than $3,000.00 but still wish to sue in Small Claims, you give up you right to recover damages over $3,000.00. The additional money cannot be claimed later in a separate lawsuit.
A complaint must be filed in the of Office the Special Civil Part of the county where at least one defendant lives or where the defendant business is located.
Typical Claims Filed
Following is a general list of claims which can be filed in Small Claims:
Breach of written or oral contract.
Return of money used as a down payment.
Property damage caused by a motor vehicle accident.
Damage or loss to property.
Consumer complaints for defective merchandise or faulty workmanship. Payment for work performed.
Claims based on bad checks.
Claims for back rent.
Return of a tenant's security deposit.
Please remember that is you believe you are entitled to damages greater than $3,000.00 and sue in Small Claims, you can only recover damages up to $3,000.00.
CLAIMS THAT CANNOT BE FILED
The following is a general list of claims that cannot be filed in Small Claims:
Claims arising from professional malpractice (for example;
alleged malpractice by a doctor, dentist or lawyer).
Claims for support or alimony from a marital or a domestic dispute.
Claims arising from a probate matter.
Civil Case Intake
118 Washington Street
Toms River, New Jersey 08754
Lawyers' Referral Service
Ocean County Bar Association Referral Service
Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services