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UNION VICINAGE CIVIL DIVISION

2 Broad Street
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207
Telephone: 908-659-4810

All actions in the Superior Court except Criminal, Family Division and Probation are brought to the Civil and Special Civil Parts of the Law Division. Chancery Division - General Equity is responsible for actions in which the primary relief sought is equitable in nature. Chancery Division Probate Part handles all matters relating to estates, trusts and guardianship. Civil case types are diverse and include automobile negligence actions, personal injury actions, malpractice actions, employment, discrimination, name change, lemon law and other actions. Approximately 32,000 cases are filed in Union County Special Civil Part and 4,600 in Civil Law. The Presiding Judge calls the calendar of cases listed for trial each week on Mondays at 9:00 a.m. There are 7 Judges, including the Assignment Judge and the Chancery General Equity Judge, presently assigned to the Civil Division.

CIVIL DIVISION MANAGEMENT STAFF

NAME TITLE LOCATION PHONE NO.
Sandra Thaler-Gerber Civil Division Manager 1st Floor, Main Courthouse 908-659-4810
Anne R. Daurio Administrative Specialist IV 1st Floor, Main Courthouse 908-659-4814
Vacant Assistant Civil Division Manager, Clerk of the Special Civil Part 3rd Floor – Tower 908-659-4901


CIVIL LAW DIVISION JUDGES AND SECRETARIES

JUDGE LOCATION SECRETARY PHONE NO.

Karen M. Cassidy, A.J.S.C.

1st Floor - Tower

Laurie Lichtenstein

908-659-4871

Kenneth J. Grispin,
P.J.Cv.

13th Floor - Tower

Sharon Ickes

908-659-4753

Mark P. Ciarrocca, J.S.C.

9th Floor – Tower

Taylor Heller

908-659-4768

James Hely, J.S.C.

12th Floor – Tower

Irma Dinspechin

908-659-4885

Camille M. Kenny, J.S.C.

14th Floor – Tower

Jerry Battle

908-659-5885

Alan G. Lesnewich, J.S.C.

11th Floor – Tower

Patricia Klastava

908-659-4861


SUMMARY OF CIVIL DIVISION

Legal Assistance may be obtained from the Legal Hotline 1-888-LSNJ-LAW which provides advice, information and referrals to low income people in civil matters subject to financial eligibility screening. In addition, assistance is also available through the Union County Bar Association for Legal referrals 908-353-4715 or Union County Legal Services, now known as Central Jersey Legal Services located at 60 Prince Street, Elizabeth, N.J. (908-354-4340) Any accommodation required under the Americans with Disabilities Act should be addressed with the appropriate section of the Division where the matter will be heard.

CIVIL CASE MANAGEMENT:

Location: Main Courthouse
1st Floor, Room 107
2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207

Team Leader – Lillian Brenes 908-659-4820 - Civil Law Case Management
Team Leader – Anna M. Delio 908-659-3276 - CDR/Chancery-General Equity/Assignment Office
Supervisor – Andrea Spears 908-659-4817
Supervisor – Kathy Brown 908-659-4826

The responsibility of the Civil Case Management Office is to process all pleadings and paperwork pertaining to Civil Law cases where the monetary value exceeds $15,000.00. This process begins with the filing of the complaint and ends with post judgment activity. Documents are filed and the appropriate filing fee is collected and then processed through the Automated Case Management System.

Answers with Checks: 908-659-4829
Answers with Charges: 908-659-4829
Defaults/Judgments: 908-659-4817
Direct Filing: 908-659-4828

Lack of Prosecution Dismissals R.1:13-7 908-659-4823
Name Changes 908-659-4824
Stipulations of Dismissal 908-659-4810
Substitutions of Attorney 908-659-4813
Transfers/Consolidations 908-659-4817
Writs of Execution 908-659-4810

CIVIL ASSIGNMENT OFFICE:

Location: Main Courthouse
1st Floor, Room 105
2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207
Main Number: 908-659-4810

Calendar Coordinator: Arlene Lauer 908-659-4811

The Civil Assignment office is responsible for scheduling and assigning matters to the civil judiciary including trials, settlement conferences, case management conferences, Infant Friendly Hearings (cases involving minors) and proof hearings (entry of default judgment).

COMPLEMENTARY DISPUTE RESOLUTION OFFICE: ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION

Location: Albender Building, 2nd Floor
1143 East Jersey Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07201
(4 blocks from Main Courthouse)
Main Number 908-659-3270

Team Leader:  Anna M. Delio - 908-659-3276
Calendar Coordinator: Cynthia Dawkins - 908-659-3270

The CDR Unit offers litigants the ability to resolve differences through either arbitration or mediation. Arbitration is a mandatory non-binding process, in which a dispute is submitted to an experienced and knowledgeable neutral attorney or a retired judge with at least seven years experience in Civil Practice. The Union County Arbitrators are appointed by the Honorable Karen M. Cassidy, A.J.S.C. on recommendation of the Union County Bar Association Arbitration Advisory Committee. During the Arbitration hearing all witnesses are sworn in and the Arbitrator hears arguments, reviews evidence and renders a decision. The procedure is less formal, less complex than a trial and is held in a Court facility maintaining the same dignity as a trial. Automobile, personal injury, contract, and commercial disputes are placed into Arbitration unless removed by a formal motion. If a party is not satisfied with the Arbitrator's award, a demand for a Trial De Novo must be filed with the Arbitration office and served upon all parties within 30 days of the filing of the Arbitrator's award. Once a Trial De Novo request has been filed with the Court, the case is returned to the trial calendar on an expedited track. A party requesting a Trial De Novo must pay a Trial De Novo fee in the amount of $200.00 payable to “Treasurer, State of New Jersey”.  If a Trial De Novo has not been requested, the case will be dismissed 50 days after the filing of the arbitration award, unless either party files a motion for confirmation of the award, entry of judgment, or a consent order.

Arbitrators are compensated by the State of New Jersey and are paid on a per diem basis. The Complementary Dispute Resolution Office offers a presumptive mediation program for various civil case types. Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which an impartial third party known as a mediator, facilitates negotiations between the parties to assist in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement. The qualifications of a court-ordered mediator include at least five years of professional experience in the field of their expertise, as well as either an advanced degree or an undergraduate degree, coupled in both cases with mediation experience or mediator training. Mediation often occurs in the early part of litigation, with the anticipation of minimal legal expenses. Parties arrive at an acceptable settlement in an expeditious manner. When the case is not resolved at mediation, the case will be listed for trial after the discovery period has been concluded.

Foreclosure mediation encourages lenders and loan-servicers to identify alternatives to foreclosure that will benefit homeowners while protecting investors’ interests.  Mediation is available to homeowners who have filed an answer contesting the foreclosure action as well as those who fail to make a formal appearance and whose cases are uncontested.  Foreclosure mediation may be requested up to 60 days after the service of the summons and complaint. Thereafter, homeowners will only be allowed into the program if a motion is filed and exceptional circumstances are demonstrated to a judge.  Eligibility criteria for the program may be found on this website under “Programs & Services” listed under “Foreclosure Prevention Program”.

SPECIAL CIVIL PART:

Main Courthouse
3rd Floor - Tower
2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207
Main Number 908-659-4900

Civil Actions seeking relief where the amount in controversy is $15,000 or less are filed in Special Civil Part. Cases are resolved more quickly than in the Civil Part and are usually heard without a jury. Contested cases are mediated by law clerks and attorneys that volunteer to assist the court to help resolve those matters. If amicable agreements cannot be reached on the scheduled date of trial, then the case immediately proceeds to trial that same day. If an Answer is not filed within the prescribed time, default is automatically entered by the clerk. In most cases, judgment can be entered by Affidavit or Certification of Proof. The Small Claims section is responsible for all actions where relief sought is $3,000 or less. However, actions for the return of a security deposit where the relief sought is up to $5,000 or less may proceed in the small claims section of the Special Civil Part Court. Special Civil Part processes all pleadings and paperwork from the inception of a complaint through post disposition proceedings. There is a daily calendar call in Special Civil Part at 9:00 a.m., except for motion Fridays.

SPECIAL CIVIL PART JUDGE AND MANAGEMENT STAFF

NAME TITLE LOCATION PHONE NO.
Alan G. Lesnewich, J.S.C.

Supervising Judge, Special Civil Part

3rd Floor – Tower

908-659-4890

Vacant Clerk, Special Civil Part

3rd Floor – Tower

908-659-4901

Esther Wolf

Administrative Specialist IV

3rd Floor – Tower

908-659-4909

Mari Slawinski

Team Leader – Prejudgment

3rd Floor - Tower

908-659-4904

Darlene Alfano

Team Leader – Trial

3rd Floor - Tower

908-659-4906

Tammie Wilson

Team Leader – Post Judgment

3rd Floor - Tower

908-659-4917

Landlord/Tenant Actions:

Summary dispossess actions in the Special Civil Part are special proceedings to resolve landlord/tenant disputes. Most landlord/tenant cases are heard pursuant to the Grounds for Removal of Tenants Act (2A:18-61.1). There is a daily landlord/tenant calendar call at 1:00 p.m., except for motion Fridays.

Main: 908-659-4900
FAX: 908-659-4902
Customer Service Counter: 908-659-4931
Motions/Trials/Adjournments: 908-659-4907
Judgments: 908-659-4925
Executions/Garnishees: 908-659-4925
Warrant For Removal: 908-659-4922
Warrants Of Satisfaction: 908-659-4924
Dismissals: 908-659-4903

Special Civil Part Officers:

Richard C. Genabith
PO Box 317
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
908-964-3311

Robert Solodare
P.O. Box 270
Chatham, NJ 07928
973-993-9779

UNION VICINAGE CHANCERY DIVISION – GENERAL EQUITY

Location: New Annex - 1st Floor
2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207
Main Number: 908-659-4711

Katherine R. Dupuis, Presiding Judge, Chancery/General Equity

Judicial Secretary: Schadell Faulks   908-659-4855
Court Clerk: Olivia Pinto-Grimes 908-659-4857

Case Management: Lydia Ramirez 908-659-4880

Union County Chancery is a self-contained unit. The Chancery Court has direct filing and the staff is responsible for all aspects of a case from inception to judgment. The Court requires an original and one copy of all documents. There are no juries.

The Chancery Division/General Equity hears cases that seek what is known as equitable relief rather than monetary compensation. Equitable relief usually involves the court compelling or restricting actions of one of the parties (such as labor injunctions, foreclosures, dissolution of a corporation or partnership, execution of wills and distribution of estates).

Example of Chancery Division Case Types Include:

Injunctive Relief: Temporary Restraining Order.
Strikes: Temporary Restraining Order.
Picketing: Temporary Restraining Order.
Quiet Title: Remove names on title search.
Accounting: To establish assets/liabilities of business or trust funds.
Cancel Mortgage: Paid mortgage not recorded and business firm cannot be located.
Partition: Two or more persons own real estate and cannot agree on terms of usage.
Restrictive Covenant: To stop former employee from competing against employer when an agreement was signed not to compete.
Specific Performance: Compels enforcement of contract.
Dissolution: Splitting of partnership.

Foreclosures

Until an Answer is filed, all uncontested foreclosures are handled by the Foreclosure Unit in Trenton, NJ. The Foreclosure Unit forwards all cases in which contested Answers are filed (and all subsequent papers involving the contested foreclosure) to the Chancery Division.

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