Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

New Jersey Business Defense

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Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law that may apply to your Special Civil business case! The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. This database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Do not rely upon the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website for any purpose! Before taking any legal action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney for changes. Addresses, hours of operation and directions may change so be sure to check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going to any court!!! Some of the webpages on this site do not apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!

DEFENSE OF NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL LAWSUITS

WAS YOUR NEW JERSEY BUSINESS SUED IN SPECIAL CIVIL PART?
Was your New Jersey business sued in Special Civil Part? Get help from an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney. Don’t risk letting a Special Civil judgment getting entered against your New Jersey business or its officers or managing members! Getting a Special Civil judgment removed is much more difficult than defending a Special Civil case before a Special Civil judgment is entered. The Law Office of Paul DePetris defends New Jersey Special Civil lawsuits. There are strict deadlines to follow in New Jersey Special Civil lawsuits. Be sure to defend New Jersey business lawsuits before it is too late!

WHAT IS A SPECIAL CIVIL SUMMONS?
A Special Civil summons is a Special Civil court document that “summons” you to file a Special Civil answer in a particular Special Civil court. The Special Civil summons should state the date on which the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint was served.

WHAT IS A SPECIAL CIVIL COMPLAINT?
A Special Civil complaint is a Special Civil lawsuit that a person or business files in a particular Special Civil court against one or more people or businesses. There are 21 Special Civil county courthouses in which a Special Civil complaint may be filed. The person or business filing the Special Civil complaint is the Special Civil plaintiff and the New Jersey businesses and people that are sued in the Special Civil complaint are Special civil business defendants and individual defendants. The Special civil business defendant has 35 days following service of the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint to file a Special Civil answer. The service date of a Special Civil answer is not the date that a Special Civil complaint is received by a Special civil business defendant but the date that the Special Civil summons states that the Special Civil court (or process server) mailed or served the Special Civil summons and Special Civil complaint.

ARE SPECIAL CIVIL SUMMONSES AND SPECIAL CIVIL COMPLAINTS NORMALLY MAILED TO SPECIAL CIVIL BUSINESS DEFENDANTS?
Just because your New Jersey business received documents in the mail does not mean they don’t come from the Special Civil court!!! The most common way that the Special Civil summons and Special Civil complaint are forwarded to a Special civil business defendant is simultaneously by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested. Many Special civil business defendants think they can avoid Special Civil court by refusing or failing to claim Special Civil certified mail. Such thoughts are usually incorrect.

IF MY NEW JERSEY BUSINESS WAS SUED IN NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART, WHAT DO I DO?
If your New Jersey business is sued New Jersey Special Civil Part, your New Jersey business shall be named to a New Jersey Special Civil Part lawsuit or counterclaim and must file a written response to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or counterclaim, called an “answer”. Failure to do so will normally result in your New Jersey business being defaulted and exposes you to the risk of having a New Jersey Special Civil Part money judgment entered against you and thereafter, possibly losing money or property. Your New Jersey business may file a Special Civil answer New Jersey Special Civil Part by preparing a written Special Civil answer disputing charges made against you in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or Special Civil Part counterclaim and requesting that the New Jersey Special Civil Part dismiss the wrong charges. If a Special Civil plaintiff or someone that isn’t named in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint owes your New Jersey business money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or facts related to the dispute, in addition to filing a Special Civil answer, your New Jersey business may also be able to file a Special Civil counterclaim or Special Civil third party complaint to recover the money or property (discussed below). Forms are available at the appropriate office of the New Jersey Special Civil Part and via the worldwide web. However, neither Special Civil court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each New Jersey Special Civil Part case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints that result in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints or Special Civil answers to New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Special Civil Part or being dismissed by the New Jersey Special Civil Part after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies. It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when answering New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints and counterclaims. It is extremely important that you prepare your New Jersey Special Civil Part answer very carefully and make sure that you include in the Special Civil answer a detailed list of all defenses against the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or counterclaim that you are responding to, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your New Jersey Special Civil Part case. Accordingly, when your New Jersey business is sued, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney to prepare your response to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or counterclaim, to prepare written requests for information to the Special Civil plaintiff or Special civil business defendant that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney represent you in court. After your New Jersey Special Civil Part answer is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary of Special Civil paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey. You must pay a fee to file your New Jersey Special Civil Part answer that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of trial you want and whether you intend to add parties to the lawsuit (discussed below). Only persons age 18 or older are able to file a Special Civil answer for themselves (minors must file a Special Civil answer through their parent or guardian). If you are not represented by an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney in a New Jersey Special Civil Part case, you are called a “pro se litigant”. Most New Jersey Special Civil Part cases filed New Jersey Special Civil Part that go to trial are nonjury trials, meaning that only a judge hears the New Jersey Special Civil Part case. For an extra fee paid only when you first file your first Special Civil answer, your New Jersey business may demand a Special Civil trial by 6 jurors. Special Civil jury trials are much more complex than nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive of Special Civil paperwork. However, a New Jersey Special Civil Part jury trial demand may result in the facts of your New Jersey Special Civil Part case being decided by a jury of ordinary people rather than by a single judge. Even where a Special Civil plaintiff or Special civil business defendant requests a New Jersey Special Civil Part jury trial, the legal issues in the New Jersey Special Civil Part trial are normally decided by the Special Civil judge hearing the New Jersey Special Civil Part case. The Law Office of Paul DePetris defends New Jersey Special Civil lawsuits. Get help from an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney.

WHAT IF I IGNORE THE SPECIAL CIVIL SUMMONS AND SPECIAL CIVIL COMPLAINT?
The Special civil business defendant has 35 days following service of the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint to file a Special Civil answer. The Special Civil summons should state the date on which the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint was served. If a Special civil business defendant fails to file a written Special Civil answer to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint, the clerk should automatically enter a New Jersey Special Civil Part default on the New Jersey Special Civil Part’s docket. Thereafter, if the Special civil business defendant is defaulted for failing to file a Special Civil answer on time, the Special Civil plaintiff may prepare Special Civil paperwork asking the Special Civil court to enter a Special Civil default judgment. If the Special Civil default judgment is entered, it is usually very difficult for a Special civil business defendant to vacate the Special Civil default judgment and most Special civil business defendants fail when they try to vacate Special Civil default judgments. If you ignore a Special Civil judgment entered in a New Jersey Special Civil case, the following may happen to you:
• your New Jersey business may be forced to answer detailed questions about the location and value of your savings, personal property and bank accounts
• your New Jersey business may be forced to appear for a deposition (a question and answer session conducted under oath) during which an attorney will ask you questions about the location and value of your savings, personal property and bank accounts
• your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the Special Civil judgment holder
• some of your wages may be taken from you
• your personal property may be seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy the Special Civil judgment
• a New Jersey lien may be put against a house you own
• If the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is for money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the Special Civil Judgment requires a defendant to pay $500 or more, the defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the plaintiff may file papers asking the Special Civil Part to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the defendant's driving and registration privileges until that Special Civil judgment is paid

Often people wait until their bank account is frozen or until their wages are attached to take action – at that point it is difficult and sometimes too late to do anything to successfully stop those debt collection efforts. It is not uncommon for the New Jersey Special Civil Part to refuse to help such latecomers from taking issue with the debt collection efforts unless they file papers with the New Jersey Special Civil Part for relief. However, once a judgment is entered against you in a New Jersey Special Civil Part debt collection case, your New Jersey business may ask the New Jersey Special Civil Part to remove or “vacate” the Special Civil Judgment (discussed below). Be sure to defend New Jersey business lawsuits before it is too late!

WHAT IF I AM SUED BUT SOMEONE OWES ME MONEY BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ME?
If you are a New Jersey Special Civil Part defendant and plaintiff or someone that isn’t named in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint owes your New Jersey business money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or facts related to the dispute, in addition to filing a Special Civil answer, your New Jersey business may also be able to file a Special Civil counterclaim or Special Civil third party complaint to recover the money or property (discussed below). If there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, a New Jersey Special Civil Part defendant can file their own lawsuit against a New Jersey Special Civil Part plaintiff, called a “counterclaim If your New Jersey business is sued and someone who is not named in the lawsuit is partially or totally responsible for the Special Civil plaintiff’s damages or for damages you suffered and there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, a New Jersey Special Civil Part defendant can file their own complaint, called a “third party complaint”. By doing so, the Special civil business defendant names parties not originally named to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint as additional parties to the New Jersey Special Civil Part case. New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaims and Special Civil third party complaints must be prepared in writing and filed with the appropriate New Jersey Special Civil Part court where the original New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is being heard normally require extra fees above the cost of filing a Special Civil answer to the original New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint. In the New Jersey Special Civil Part case of a Special Civil third party complaint, once properly filed, the New Jersey Special Civil Part normally serves it on the Special Civil plaintiff. Forms may be available at the appropriate office of the New Jersey Special Civil Part and via the worldwide web. However, neither Special Civil court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each New Jersey Special Civil Part case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints or counterclaims that result in the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints or Special Civil answers to New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints or counterclaims being rejected by the New Jersey Special Civil Part or being dismissed by the New Jersey Special Civil Part after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies. It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when answering New Jersey Special Civil Part complaints and filing counterclaims and Special Civil third party complaints. It is extremely important that you prepare your New Jersey Special Civil Part answer, counterclaim or Special Civil third party complaint carefully and make sure that you include in the documents a detailed list of all reasons why your New Jersey business may have a right to win your New Jersey Special Civil Part case, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your New Jersey Special Civil Part case. Accordingly, when your New Jersey business is sued and when you want to file a Special Civil counterclaim or Special Civil third party complaint, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney to prepare your response to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint or counterclaim, to prepare written requests for information to the Special Civil plaintiff or Special civil business defendant that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney represent you in court. After your New Jersey Special Civil Part counterclaim or Special Civil third party complaint is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary of Special Civil paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey. You must pay a fee to file the document that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of trial you want and it may also be based on whether you intend to add parties to the lawsuit.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART CLAIM INVOLVES A CORPORATION, PARTNERSHIP OR LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY?
The officers of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and the like cannot generally appear New Jersey Special Civil Part in cases involving disputes exceeding $3,000 since the corporation, partnership or limited liability company must usually be represented by an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney. There may be some exceptions to this rule, such as where the New Jersey Special Civil Part case involves a summary action for possession of premises. Also, if you sue a company and the company represents itself at the New Jersey Special Civil Part trial and you thereafter win the New Jersey Special Civil Part case and recover a New Jersey Special Civil Part judgment, it is possible that the company shall get the Special Civil judgment overturned because they were not permitted to appear in court for themselves in the first place!

IF I AM A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART PLAINTIFF OR SPECIAL CIVIL BUSINESS DEFENDANT IN THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART, WILL THE OTHER SIDE HAVE AN ATTORNEY?
If you are not represented by an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney in a New Jersey Special Civil Part case, you are called a Special Civil “pro se litigant”. While people can and often do represent themselves in New Jersey Special Civil Part court, their opponent may be represented by an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney, which often places the unrepresented party at a major disadvantage. If possible, hire an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney to at least prepare any necessary court of Special Civil paperwork and if you can afford it, to also appear and represent you in court at any motions or trials. The proper preparation of Special Civil papers and preparation of a case for trial often requires knowledge of legal issues that only attorneys have. Court rules and evidence rules are often complex and accordingly, are often difficult to follow. Trials can be very complex and time consuming – sometimes they take all day or more than one day to complete. People who are not attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey are not able to give you legal advice about special civil disputes that are heard by New Jersey courts, regardless of whether the people work for a Special Civil court or work for an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney.

IF THE OTHER SIDE HIRES AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE THEIR NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART CASE, SHOULD I DEAL WITH THE ATTORNEY OR THEIR CLIENTS?
If a Special Civil plaintiff or Special civil business defendant is represented by New Jersey lawyer in a New Jersey Special Civil Part dispute, you must generally avoid having oral or written contact regarding the New Jersey Special Civil Part case with the represented party and instead, must make all communications involving the New Jersey Special Civil Part case through the represented party’s attorney.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COMPLAINT IS FILED?
After the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is filed, New Jersey Special Civil Part court staff shall serve the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint on the Special civil business defendants, usually by mailing it by certified and regular mail. The Special civil business defendant has 35 days following service of the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint to file a Special Civil answer. The Special Civil summons should state the date on which the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint was served. If a Special civil business defendant fails to file a written Special Civil answer to the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint, the clerk should automatically enter a New Jersey Special Civil Part default on the New Jersey Special Civil Part’s docket. The New Jersey Special Civil Part normally mails the Special Civil plaintiff a notice stating the date on which cases are automatically defaulted (35 days after service of the Special Civil answer). If a New Jersey Special Civil Part defendant files a written Special Civil answer and pays the necessary fee, the New Jersey Special Civil Part normally sends a notice of that a Special Civil answer was filed. Once a New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint and answer are filed in the New Jersey Special Civil Part case, whenever one party sends any kind of Special Civil paperwork to the New Jersey Special Civil Part court, they must generally send complete copies of the Special Civil paperwork to all other parties involved in their New Jersey Special Civil Part case (or if they are represented, to the Special Civil plaintiff and Special civil business defendant’ attorneys). If a Special Civil plaintiff or Special civil business defendant fails to follow this procedure, they may be punished by the New Jersey Special Civil Part court for the failure and any relief they ask for and receive from the New Jersey Special Civil Part court can often be reversed for the failure. The Special Civil plaintiff and Special civil business defendant may engage in discovery – a factfinding process during which each party tries to find out more about the other Special Civil party’s position. Discovery often involves parties serving each other with written requests for information called interrogatories, notices to produce (sometimes also called requests for production of documents) and requests for admissions. These requests are served by you and not the New Jersey Special Civil Part by mailing the documents via regular and certified mail, return receipt requested (if the other Special Civil party is unrepresented) on the other parties or by regular mail only on the other parties’ attorney, if they are represented by an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney. However, it is often best to send all documents to any opponent by regular main and also by certified mail, return receipt requested to make sure you have proof that the documents were received by your opponent. If either party fails to answer these requests in writing or fails to answer the requests with sufficient thoroughness, the New Jersey Special Civil Part may punish the delinquent party, such as by throwing their complaint out of court or suppressing their answer. At some point after the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is filed and answered, the New Jersey Special Civil Part sends the Special Civil plaintiff and Special civil business defendant a notice stating the New Jersey Special Civil Part trial date. Failure to carefully prepare and serve thorough written requests for information could result in your losing your New Jersey Special Civil Part case, since your New Jersey business may be in the dark about what the other Special Civil party intends to do at the New Jersey Special Civil Part trial. If a case is coming up for trial and you never received responses to your written requests for information, your New Jersey business may have a right to get more time from the New Jersey Special Civil Part to get the requests answered. Discovery can be a very tricky and important part of the New Jersey Special Civil Part case and to make sure that it is conducted right, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney to prepare your written requests for information to your opponents or to other parties involved in the New Jersey Special Civil Part case or even to witnesses and if you can afford it, to have an experienced New Jersey business defense attorney represent you in court. Be sure to defend New Jersey business lawsuits before it is too late!

WHAT HAPPENS IF A SPECIAL CIVIL BUSINESS DEFENDANT IS DEFAULTED IN NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART?
If a New Jersey Special Civil Part defendant is automatically defaulted by the New Jersey Special Civil Part, then no trial will occur (unless the New Jersey Special Civil Part vacates the default) and the Special Civil plaintiff has 6 months from the date of the entry of default to file additional of Special Civil paperwork with the New Jersey Special Civil Part to seek a New Jersey Special Civil Part default judgment against a New Jersey Special Civil Part defendant. In some cases, securing a New Jersey Special Civil Part default judgment only requires the Special Civil plaintiff to submit of Special Civil paperwork, while in other cases, the Special Civil plaintiff has to prepare and file a motion and the New Jersey Special Civil Part may require the Special Civil plaintiff and defendant to appear at a Special Civil court hearing – a “proof hearing”.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL PART DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS ENTERED AGAINST YOU AND YOU IGNORE IT?
If you ignore a New Jersey Special Civil Part judgment, your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the Special Civil judgment holder, some of your wages may be taken from you, your personal property may be seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy the Special Civil judgment and/or a lien may be put against a house you own. If the New Jersey Special Civil Part complaint is for money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the Special Civil judgment requires a New Jersey Special Civil Part defendant to pay $500 or more, the Special civil business defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the Special Civil plaintiff may file papers asking the New Jersey Special Civil Part to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the Special civil business defendant's driving and registration privileges until that Special Civil judgment is paid. Often people wait until their bank account is frozen or until their wages are attached to take action – at that point it is difficult and sometimes too late to do anything to successfully stop those collection efforts. It is not uncommon to refuse to help such latecomers from taking issue with the collection efforts unless they file papers with the New Jersey Special Civil Part court for relief. However, once a New Jersey Special Civil Part judgment is entered against you, your New Jersey business may ask the New Jersey Special Civil Part court to remove or “vacate” the Special Civil judgment (discussed below).

DEFENSE OF NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL CONSUMER FRAUD LAWSUITS

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD LAWSUIT?
A New Jersey consumer fraud lawsuit is a New Jersey civil case filed against a New Jersey business, New Jersey individual or out of state business or individual in which the New Jersey plaintiff claims that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act was somehow violated by the New Jersey defendant named to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud complaint.

WHY SHOULD A NEW JERSEY BUSINESS OR NEW JERSEY INDIVIDUAL BE CONCERNED ABOUT A NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD LAWSUIT?
If a New Jersey business or New Jersey individual or out of state business or individual is sued in a New Jersey consumer fraud lawsuit, they could face triple damages, having to give a refund of a customer’s money, being unable to collect a bill and having to pay a customer’s attorney’s fees and court costs. Small sales of goods and services can result in large New Jersey consumer fraud verdicts against New Jersey businesses.

WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is a New Jersey law that seeks to stop the perpetration of New Jersey Consumer Fraud upon New Jersey consumers. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Was enacted 1960.
• Eradicates fraud in the marketplace.
• Requires merchants to make disclosures.
• Is liberally construed to accomplish objectives.
• Compensates New Jersey Consumer Fraud victim for actual losses.
• Promotes truth & fair dealing in marketplace.
• Punishes wrongdoers.
• can be raised in complaint or counterclaim & as affirmative defense.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits certain conduct in connection with the New Jersey sale or advertisement of merchandise or real estate and declares the following as unlawful practices: the act, use or employment by any person of any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation or the knowing concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission in connection with the New Jersey sale or advertisement of any merchandise or real estate, or with the subsequent performance of such person as aforesaid, whether or not any New Jersey consumer has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged thereby.

The purpose of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is to protect New Jersey consumers from sharp practices and dealings in the marketing of merchandise and real estate which could New Jersey Consumer Fraud victimize the New Jersey consumer by luring the New Jersey consumer into a purchase through fraudulent, deceptive or other similar kinds of selling or advertising practices. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is remedial legislation and should be construed liberally in favor of New Jersey's New Jersey consumers.

There are 3 types of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act liability:
• Per se violations
• Violations of specific subsections of statute
• Violations of administrative code
• Imposes strict liability upon the offending party.
• Affirmative acts
• unconscionable commercial practice;
• deception, fraud;
• false pretense;
• false promise; &
• Misrepresentation.
• Intent unnecessary
• Knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely thereon

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, unconscionable conduct implies a lack of good faith, honesty or fair dealing. A simple breach of warranty or breach of New Jersey contract is not automatically unconscionable conduct in violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. If a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff proceeds under the first prong of section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act – trying to prove a New Jersey Consumer Fraud affirmative act violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and relying on fraud as the unconscionable conduct, a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff must show that the New Jersey Consumer Fraudulent conduct of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant is unconscionable.

If a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff proceeds under the second prong of section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act based upon a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff’ allegations that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud defendant knowingly concealed information from a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff, a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff must show that the concealment was knowing and that it was made with the intent to induce a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff’ entering into the new mortgage. A simple erroneous statement by a New Jersey party will not constitute a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act unless it is an unconscionable practice under the first prong of section 2 of the statute.

As to defenses, subjective good faith of a New Jersey business is not a defense under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In order to defend a New Jersey Consumer Fraud lawsuit under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the merchant must show that he did not engage in unconscionable conduct in the New Jersey sale of financing and that he did not make a knowing concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact with the intent to induce the New Jersey purchase of the financing. Importantly, the burden of proof still rests with a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff, so that a New Jersey Consumer Fraud plaintiff must prove the elements under either prong of section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

CAN NEW JERSEY BUSINESS OWNERS FACE PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD LAWSUITS?
For over 30 years, NJ courts have held New Jersey corporate officers, New Jersey company members and New Jersey employees liable for New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations. Presently, piercing the New Jersey corporate veil that often protects corporate and company officers and employees from personal liability is unnecessary in New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act cases because New Jersey courts look to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act’s expansive definition of who is liable under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. New Jersey corporate officers’ liability for New Jersey consumer fraud depends on the New Jersey corporate officers’ participation in the New Jersey consumer fraud violation. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act declares following to be unlawful practices:
o the act, use or employment by any person of any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise or real estate, or with the subsequent performance of such person as aforesaid, whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged thereby.
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act defines the term "person" as any natural person or his legal representative, partnership, corporation, company, trust, business entity or association, & any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate , trustee or cestuis que trustent thereof. Therefore, corporate and company officers and employees can be personally responsible for New Jersey consumer fraud awards, including triple damages and attorney’s fees.

EXAMPLES OF POTENTIAL INDIVIDUAL LIABILITY OF NEW JERSEY CORPORATE OFFICERS, NEW JERSEY COMPANY MEMBERS & NEW JERSEY EMPLOYEES LIABLE FOR NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATIONS
The following are some examples of New Jersey consumer fraud cases in which corporate officers or company employees were potentially liable for New Jersey consumer fraud:
• New Jersey builder & his wife, who was an officer in the New Jersey builder’s corporation & a realtor, for affirmative misrepresentation of the New Jersey builder’s experience & qualifications.
• New Jersey builder of a single-family home using substandard materials in violation of the New Jersey contract.
• Company’s founder offering lifetime memberships in entity providing discounts from merchants, none of which contracted for a period greater than 10 years.
• New Jersey corporate principal participating in a deceptive pyramid sale scheme to attract distributors for the corporation’s cosmetic products.
• Brothers who were principals together in a New Jersey home repair contractor business where defendants allegedly violated home improvement practices regulations by failing to execute a written contract for the work, obtain final approval of the project before accepting final payment & modified a retaining wall’s design & substituted inferior backfill material for that specified by contract.
• Insurance company employees allegedly conspiring to deny an insured’s allegedly legitimate claim.
• New Jersey corporate president who was 50% shareholder of the New Jersey corporate defendant was liable for misrepresentations in the sale of mattresses.
• Landscaping company’s New Jersey corporate officer preparing the contract submitted to plaintiff, inspecting the work during its performance & discussing change orders with plaintiff.
• Sole New Jersey shareholder of a consumer financial help services corporation.
• The owner & director of a New Jersey home health care service company.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT DISPUTES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• represented consumers, home buyers, home sellers, home repair customers, home repair contractors, home inspectors, real estate brokers, real estate agents, junk yard dealers, automobile purchasers and owners, new and used car dealers, banks and automotive lenders, boat purchasers and owners, watercraft purchasers and owners and marinas in New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act disputes.
• appeared in court in cases involving New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act disputes.
• mediated, arbitrated and tried New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act cases.
• defended businesses and corporate officers in New Jersey consumer fraud cases.
• Prepared successful motions to dismiss New Jersey consumer fraud lawsuits filed against businesses.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR SPECIAL CIVIL BUSINESS CASE?
Handling your Special Civil business case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your Special Civil business case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS AND NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
Handling your Special Civil business case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing New Jersey Court papers only to later learn that the New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their New Jersey case. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your Special Civil business case.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees. Most New Jersey Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
The New Jersey Court usually provides certain types of New Jersey Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on New Jersey Court forms provided by the New Jersey Court – the New Jersey Court forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey cases often are much more complex than they first appear to be. There is simply no substitute for a competent New Jersey attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey who has experience handling New Jersey cases. New Jersey Court forms don’t talk and New Jersey Court forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey case. Each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford a competent New Jersey attorney, it is best to have the New Jersey attorney prepare your New Jersey Court paperwork for you.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CASE MYSELF?
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants can and do successfully handle New Jersey cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a New Jersey Court judgment. However, many other New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey cases or that result in the entry of a New Jersey Court money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the New Jersey case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your Special Civil business case:
• New Jersey Court fees often change
• New Jersey Court rules often change
• New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees
• New Jersey Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Court complaints that result in the New Jersey Court complaints or answers to New Jersey Court complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Court or being dismissed by the New Jersey Court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the New Jersey case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants, such as by throwing their New Jersey case out of Court or limiting what they can present at the New Jersey Court trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the New Jersey Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the New Jersey Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants stumble into New Jersey Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a New Jersey Court judge tell the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the New Jersey Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the New Jersey Court expecting the judge hearing your Special Civil business case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your Special Civil business case. The judge hearing your Special Civil business case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have an attorney, you could lose your Special Civil business case. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your Special Civil business case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your Special Civil business case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with New Jersey Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your Special Civil business case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your Special Civil business case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your Special Civil business case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your Special Civil business case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris.
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