Ombudsman helping litigant with paperwork.

New Jersey Judiciary Ombudsman Program

In the Judiciary, the ombudsman is a neutral staff person who answers questions, addresses concerns from the public and is responsible for enhancing customer service in the courts. The ombudsman provides a bridge between the courts and the community, to enhance public access and improve customer service. Although the ombudsman is unable to provide legal advice - because court staff must be neutral and impartial - the ombudsman can help guide court users through the system with as much ease as possible. The ombudsman's goal is to provide information in an attempt to prevent misunderstandings before they occur.

What Can the Ombudsman Do For You?

  • Provide Public Information
  • Provide Assistance
  • Work with the Community
  • Help improve the Courts

Provide Information

The ombudsman works with all parts of the trial court to provide:

  • Answers to questions about how the court works and deadlines involved
  • Information about what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court
  • Some information from your case file
  • Brochures and publications about various programs and services
  • Information, brochures, forms and self-help kits for individuals who choose to represent themselves.

Provide Assistance

You may contact the ombudsman regarding misunderstandings, conflicts, customer service issues and/or complaints. The ombudsman will make appropriate inquiries to help resolve your concerns.

There are many methods the ombudsman may employ to assist you. However, the ombudsman CANNOT:

  • Give you legal advice or recommend a lawyer
  • Tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court, or give you an opinion about what will happen if you do bring your case to court
  • Talk to the judge for you about what will happen in your case, or let you talk to the judge outside of court
  • Change an order issued by a judge.

Work with Community

The ombudsman coordinates community outreach efforts to familiarize the public with the court system, and to promote an environment of public trust and confidence.

These programs may include: