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General Equity Division

Judge Thomas J. LaConte
Presiding Judge

General Equity Division And Probate

Civil cases in which monetary damages are not being sought are heard in the Chancery Division, General Equity Part of the Superior Court. General Equity judges handle non-jury cases such as those involving trade secrets, labor matters, foreclosures, and other disputes in which court relief, often in the form of restraining orders, is sought on an emergency basis.

Some of the remedies that can be sought in General Equity Court include, but are not limited to:

  • mortgage foreclosure
  • cancellation of a mortgage
  • quiet title (to determine true ownership of real property)
  • partition of property
  • enforcement of contractual obligations
  • receiverships for business entities
  • partnership and corporate litigation
  • specific enforcement of contracts
  • labor strikes

The Passaic Vicinage General Equity Court processes approximately 400 cases each year. One judge, who acts as presiding judge, is assigned to this court.


Since 1991 jurisdiction of all probate matters has been placed with the Probate Part of the Chancery Division, to be served by the surrogate as Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court.

Some of the remedies that can be sought in the Probate Part include, but are not limited to:

  • litigation over contested wills
  • incompetency hearings (to declare a person unable to manage his/her own affairs)
  • appointment of guardians in medical emergency circumstances
  • appointment of guardians for children
  • authorization and supervision of life support procedures

The General Equity and Probate Division is located on the first floor of the Old Courthouse.

Judge Thomas J. LaConte Presiding Judge Chancery Division, General Equity 973-247-8168
General Equity Matters: Law Secretary 973-247-8170
Probate Matters: Valerie Carter 973-881-4760
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