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For immediate release: Sept. 14, 2005
For further information: Winnie Comfort
Tammy Kendig

New Jersey Judiciary Offers Help in Civil Cases

Help is now available for litigants seeking to resolve civil disputes, today announced Judge Philip S. Carchman, acting administrative director of the courts. The Civil Division has produced a Guide to the Civil Courts specifically for litigants who are unfamiliar with New Jersey's civil courts.

"The Guide to the Civil Courts will make it easier for self-represented litigants to navigate the court system, and it will make it easier for all of our litigants, as well as new attorneys, students and other members of the public, to understand how that system works," said Jane Castner, assistant director for civil practice.

Copies of the guide can be found in each county courthouse in the state as well as in a searchable format on the Judiciary Web site at www.njcourtsonline.com. The guide contains answers to a host of questions about the courts and the various parts of the Civil Division. For example, a glossary of legal terms helps demystify some of the jargon that is used in court cases.

In addition, the guide contains

  • Descriptions and instructions on filing complaints in each part of the Civil Division, including the Civil Part, the Special Civil Part, the General Equity Part and the Probate Part;
  • A listing of filing fees for each part of the Civil Division;
  • Court hours and holidays;
  • Advice on preparing for a court appearance;
  • A listing of lawyer referral and legal services;
  • A list of forms available on the Judiciary Web site; and
  • General information about court services.

The Civil Division of the New Jersey Judiciary consists of the Civil Part, the Special Civil Part, and Chancery, which includes both the General Equity Part and the Probate Part. The Civil Part has no limit on the amount of financial damages that may be sought; the Special Civil Part limits damages to less than $3,000 in small claims and less than $15,000 for other cases. The General Equity Part receives cases where non-monetary relief is sought. The Probate Part receives cases involving wills, the appointment of guardians, and the distribution of estates. Last year, 581,622 cases were filed in the Civil Division.

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