Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Consumer Fraud Lawsuits

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NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT BASICS

WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is a law that seeks to stop the perpetration of fraud upon 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 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 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 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 purpose of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is to protect the public from sharp practices and dealings in the marketing of merchandise and real estate which could victimize the consumer by luring the 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 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 plaintiff proceeds under the first prong of section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act – trying to prove an affirmative act violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and relying on fraud as the unconscionable conduct, a New Jersey plaintiff must show that the fraudulent conduct of the defendant is unconscionable.

If a New Jersey plaintiff proceed under the second prong of section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act based upon a New Jersey plaintiff’ allegations that the defendant knowingly concealed information from a New Jersey plaintiff, a New Jersey plaintiff must show that the concealment was knowing and that it was made with the intent to induce a New Jersey plaintiff’ entering into the new mortgage. A simple erroneous statement by a 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 merchant is not a defense under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In order to defend a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the merchant must show that he did not engage in unconscionable conduct in the 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 purchase of the financing. Importantly, the burden of proof still rests with a New Jersey plaintiff, so that a New Jersey plaintiff must prove the elements under either prong of section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
• Enacted 1960
• Eradicate fraud in the marketplace
• Require merchants to make disclosures
• Attorney General only one authorized to enforce it
• Provided the Attorney General with broad investigatory & enforcement powers
• Liberally construed to accomplish objectives
• Compensate victim for actual losses
• Promotion of truth & fair dealing in marketplace
• Punish wrongdoer
• Attraction of competent counsel for private enforcement
• New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act can be raised in complaint or counterclaim & as affirmative defense

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES
• Class actions encouraged
• Relief cumulative to other statutes & common law
• Compensatory & treble damages & equitable relief
• Mandatory counsel fees & costs of suit
• No expert witness fees
• No recovery for personal injuries & emotional distress
• For private litigant to recover treble damages, they must prove they suffered ascertainable loss of money or property proximately caused by the fraud & capable of being proven within a reasonable degree of certainty

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATIONS
• Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, “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, deceive d or damaged thereby.”
• Three 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

TYPES OF DISPUTES COVERED BY NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
• Applies to oral & written misrepresentations
• Applies in certain cases to nonresidents of NJ
• Contractual privity unnecessary
• Applies to merchant’s subsequent performance
• If misconduct is per se violation or affirmative act, merchant’s intent & good faith are irrelevant

SPECIFIC TYPES OF GOODS AND SERVICES COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
• Temporary help services
• Junk faxes
• Internet dating services
• Prepaid phone cards
• Gift cards
• Child products
• Watercraft sales & repairs
• Vehicle protection products
• Automobile sales, leases & repairs
• Tires
• Real estate sales
• Home improvement
• Industrial hygiene
• Refund policies
• Simulating government agencies
• merchandise tagging
• merchandise advertising
• merchandise rainchecks
• Prizewinning sales
• Health club contracts
• Household furnishings delivery
• Mail order sales
• Restaurant menus
• Unsolicited checks & credit cards
• Meat sold at retail
• Kosher & Halal food
• Telemarketing calls
• Informational services
• Personal information security
• Pet sales
• Hazardous products
• Going out of business sales
• Safety professionals

CANCELLING FRAUDULENT NEW JERSEY CONTRACTS FAQS

WHAT MUST A VALID NEW JEREY CONTRACT INCLUDE?
There are 5 essential elements to a valid New Jersey contract:

1. mutuality of assent;
2. legal capacity of the parties;
3. valuable consideration;
4. legality of subject matter; and
5. a writing.

Under the requirement of mutuality of assent, for parties to New Jersey contract, a meeting of the minds must take place between them. The mutuality of assent must be real and not the result of mistake, misrepresentation, fraud, duress or undue influence.


WHEN IS A NEW JERSEY CONTRACT INVALID BECAUSE IT WAS ENTERED INTO THROUGH FRAUD?

In the absence of a trust or confidential relationship, statements of opinion or matters of judgment, though known to be false when actually made, do not constitute fraud. However, false representations as to material elements of the New Jersey contract are grounds for rescission. Fraudulent misconduct is not excused by the credulity or negligence of the victim or by the fact that the victim might have discovered the fraud through prior investigation.

Purposeful concealment can be as destructive as an affirmative false statement. There exists a duty upon a party to a transaction to disclose to the other party facts basic to the transaction if the first party knows that the other is about to enter into the transaction under a mistake as to the facts and that the other, because of the relationship between the parties, the customs of the trade or other objective circumstances, would reasonably expect disclosure of the facts. Where such a duty to speak exists, the failure to speak constitutes unfair conduct likely to cause harm. An unconscionable bargain is one such as no person in their senses and not under delusion would make and as no honest and fair person would accept.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY FRAUD VICTIMS WHO SIGN FRAUDULENT NEW JERSEY CONTRACTS?
Whenever there is a fraud in the execution or consideration of a New Jersey contract, the person defrauded at any time thereafter may institute a civil action, to recover the money owing on such New Jersey contract although, by its terms, the debt contracted or the money secured to be paid thereby is not then due or payable; and the person defrauded may, upon discovery of the fraud, either rescind the New Jersey contract entirely and recover the money or property obtained by the fraud, or, sue on the New Jersey contract to recover thereon.

In certain situations, a New Jersey plaintiff could assert that, since the New Jersey contract was the product of fraud, a New Jersey plaintiff is entitled to rescind the New Jersey contract and/or to recover the money and/or lien on property obtained under same.

New Jersey contract rescission is the equivalent of New Jersey contract cancellation. It is an equitable remedy which is only available in limited circumstances. Aside from situations where parties consent to New Jersey contract rescission, New Jersey contracts may normally only be rescinded where there is either original invalidity, fraud, failure of consideration, a material breach or default. Even where grounds for New Jersey contract rescission exist, the remedy is discretionary in nature. New Jersey contract rescission will not be granted where the party seeking same has not acted within a reasonable time or where substantial performance has already occurred. Indeed, delay in the rescission of a New Jersey contract is evidence of an election to treat a New Jersey contract as valid. However, the duty to rescind a New Jersey contract does not first arise until the party seeking New Jersey contract rescission discovers the grounds for same. To grant New Jersey contract rescission, a New Jersey court must be able to return the parties to their position before they entered into the New Jersey contract. Accordingly, a party cannot usually simply rescind a New Jersey contract and at the same time keep possession of goods or services received under the New Jersey contract. To complete a New Jersey contract rescission following partial performance, the party seeking to rescind the New Jersey contract must return or tender the consideration previously received. New Jersey contracts are subject to rescission where they are obtained by fraud. Indeed, the very existence of a fraudulently procured New Jersey contract causes damage, so that where fraud is found, damage may be presumed. In the absence of actual fraud, undue influence or misrepresentation, New Jersey contract rescission will not be permitted.

A unilateral mistake of a fact unknown to the other party to a New Jersey contract is not ordinarily grounds for New Jersey contract rescission. To qualify for such relief, a party must show special circumstances justifying a departure from the generally controlling principle that parties are bound by the New Jersey contracts they make for themselves. Accordingly, the circumstances providing for New Jersey contract rescission due to a unilateral mistake fact are: [1] the mistake is of such a great consequence that to enforce the New Jersey contract as actually made would be unconscionable; [2] the matter as to which the mistake was made must relate to the material feature of the New Jersey contract; the mistake must have occurred notwithstanding the exercise of reasonable care by the party making the mistake; and [4] the requested New Jersey contract rescission cannot cause serious prejudice to the other party, except for loss of bargain.

HOW DO I PROVE FRAUD IN A NEW JERSEY CONTRACT CASE?
At common law, there are two types of fraud: equitable and legal. To prove a claim for New Jersey common law equitable fraud, a New Jersey plaintiff must show the following:

• a material misrepresentation of a presently existing or past fact;

• made with the intent that a New Jersey plaintiff rely upon it; and

• detrimental reliance by a New Jersey plaintiff.

Even an innocent misrepresentation can constitute New Jersey equitable fraud justifying rescission of a New Jersey contract. But the only remedy available for New Jersey equitable fraud is equitable in nature: rescission or reformation of the New Jersey contract.

To prove a claim for New Jersey common law legal fraud, a New Jersey plaintiff must show the following:

• a material misrepresentation of a presently existing or past fact;

• knowledge or belief by a New Jersey defendant of its falsity;

• made with the intent to mislead the a New Jersey plaintiff;

• that such misrepresentation was justifiably relied upon by a New Jersey plaintiff; and

• that a New Jersey plaintiff sustained damages therfrom.

NEW JERSEY ORAL CONTRACT CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES AND NO CONTRACT CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES FAQS

DOES THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT APPLY TO ORAL CONTRACTS?
• You don’t always need a written contract to have a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act case.
• The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applies equally to both oral misrepresentations & written ones.
• Not every erroneous statement is an affirmative misrepresentation prohibited by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
• To constitute an affirmative misrepresentation, the statement must be:
o a statement of fact made contemporaneously with the formation of the bargain;
o material to the transaction;
o made to induce the buyer to make the purchase; and
o found to be false.
• The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claimant does not have to receive the misrepresentation to have standing.
• If the misrepresentation is made to someone acting as the claimant’s agent & the agent was thereby induced into entering into a contract with the merchant, the claimant has standing to bring a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A CONTRACT TO HAVE A NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASE?
• You don’t always need an oral or written contract to have a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act case.
• Privity of contract = having a contract with someone else.
• Privity of contract is not a prerequisite to New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act standing.
• If representations are made in connection with the sale of merchandise, indirect promises are actionable.
• Parties may conclude a contract for the sale of goods notwithstanding whether they agreed upon a price.
• The absence of privity of contract no longer bars a buyer from reaching through the chain of distribution to a product’s manufacturer.
• But absence of a contract may affect a party’s amount of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act damages.

EXAMPLES OF CASES WHERE PARTIES DID NOT HAVE CONTRACTS BUT HAD POTENTIAL NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES
• The post-repossession conduct of the assignee of retail installment automotive sales contract who is not in privity with a CFA claimant.
• A vehicle purchaser sued an automotive dealership for misrepresentation of the advertisement for sale of an automobile at a specific price. Even though the parties never entered into a binding agreement, claimant’s recovered the difference between the automobile’s advertised price & that provided via a subsequent offer.
• A vehicle purchaser placed a phone order with an automotive dealer but never executed a contract for the vehicle’s purchase.
• Purchasers of a home infested with termites brought a CFA claim against various parties, including the seller’s real estate broker. Since the CFA granted a remedy to any person suffering any ascertainable loss caused by a CFA violation, claimants were entitled to relief for losses sustained from the selling broker’s concealment of termite damage.
• A builder failed to construct a house on plaintiffs’ lot & after the construction stalled, the property owners sued the builder for damages. At a proof hearing, plaintiffs failed to establish the existence of an enforceable contract.
• Residents of a development’s second phase brought CFA claims against a builder & bank for flooding of second phase property caused by development of third phase authorized after alleged misrepresentations & omissions to the planning board. The alleged CFA violations were committed “in connection with the sale of real estate” & sufficient nexus existed between alleged misrepresentations & flooding.
• CFA claims against successor landlord stepping into shoes of the original landlord that contracted with claimants were viable, notwithstanding the fact that the claims arose after the claimants’ tenancies commenced.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VICTIMS?
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.

ARE NEW JERSEY CONTRACTS THAT VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT ABLE TO BE CANCELLED?
• New Jersey contracts that violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and New Jersey debts that are caused by violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act may be cancelled by a New Jersey court. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, fraudulent debts are subject to cancellation via the equitable relief afforded to consumer fraud victims.
• If a merchant violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act so as to render the contract unenforceable, the merchant is typically precluded from recovering any profit for the services rendered & instead, might only recover via quantum meruit, if at all.
• Even recovery via quantum meruit is questionable, as those who commit consumer fraud should not profit from their misconduct.
• Before filing suit on behalf of a merchant seeking to collect debts that may be the product of consumer fraud, attorneys should warn their clients in writing of the possibility that, if the debt is found to be the product of consumer fraud, the suit may result in their:
o recovering nothing or far less than the amount sought;
o facing a judgment for their customer’s fees & costs in defending the collection action, regardless of proof of any ascertainable loss ; &
o Facing treble damages for causally related ascertainable loss.

WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY DEBTS THAT ARE NOT ABLE TO BE COLLECTED BECAUSE THE BUSINESS OWED THE DEBT VIOLATED THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
The following are some examples of New Jersey debts that are not able to be collected because the business owed the debt violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Temporary help service firm not registered as a temporary help service firm with the Attorney General, sued another temporary help service firm for breach of contract for failure to pay for the first firm’s subcontractors’ services.
• NJ corporation recruiting & placing temporary computer consultants which was not registered as a temporary help service firm with the Attorney General, entered into an employment agreement with a computer consultant & sued him when he left the job.
• Mechanic’s efforts to collect on an outstanding bill via a counterclaim. Notwithstanding complete good-faith in performance, mechanic committed per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations of the automotive repair regulations. mechanic’s efforts to collect on an outstanding bill via a counterclaim. Notwithstanding his being an impressive witness & showing complete good-faith in the performance of the parties’ agreement, the mechanic committed per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations of the automotive repair regulations & the customer recovered treble damages, fees & costs.
• Unlicensed landscape irrigation contractor sued to collect an unpaid bill for a sprinkling system. The collection complaint was dismissed & the customer obtained a refund & an award of fees & costs.
• Owner of cleaning & restoration franchise specializing in mitigating damage following a fire or flood filed a collection action. Plaintiff’s failure to provide a written estimate & obtain a written authorization placed the cost of his services in doubt.

WHAT IS NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD?
A significant amount of consumer fraud is committed in the New Jersey used car sales industry. The average New Jersey used car buyer is exposed to simply too much information about used cars. The purchase of a car is a major investment for many New Jersey customers. New Jersey used car buyers need protection from misleading information. To attempt to combat this consumer fraud and to promote the purposes of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs adopted regulations regarding automotive advertising and automotive sales. A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to follow the New Jersey used car lemon law and the New Jersey automotive advertising or sales regulations may result in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations:
• identify prohibited automotive advertising practices prohibited as unlawful under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act;
• require mandatory disclosure in advertisements of certain information relating to advertised used cars
• require on-site disclosures relating to advertised used cars.

UNLAWFULPRACTICES IN NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES BY NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALERS
The following conduct by New Jersey used car dealers is a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• To misrepresent the mechanical condition of a New Jersey used car;
• To fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of the a New Jersey used car which is known to the dealer;
• To represent that a New Jersey used car, or any component thereof, is free from material defects in mechanical condition at the time of sale, unless the dealer has a reasonable basis for this representation at the time it is made;
• To fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence and terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance currently in effect on a New Jersey used car provided by a person other than the dealer, and subject to transfer to a consumer, if known to the dealer;
• To misrepresent the terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance currently in effect on a New Jersey used car provided by a person other than the dealer, and subject to transfer to a consumer;
• To fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence and terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the dealer in connection with the sale of a New Jersey used car;
• To misrepresent the terms of any warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the dealer in connection with the sale of a New Jersey used car;
• To represent, prior to sale, that a New Jersey used car is sold with a warranty, service contract or repair insurance when the vehicle is sold without any warranty, service contract or repair insurance;
• To fail to disclose, prior to sale, that a New Jersey used car is sold without any warranty, service contract, or repair insurance;
• To fail to provide a clear written explanation, prior to sale, of what is meant by the term "as is," if the a New Jersey used car is sold "as is"; and
• To sell a used motor vehicle to a consumer without giving the consumer a written warranty which shall at least have the following minimum durations: (a) If the used motor vehicle has 24,000 miles or less, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 90 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first; (b)If the used motor vehicle has more than 24,000 miles but less than 60,000 miles, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 60 days or 2,000 miles, whichever comes first; or (c)If the used motor vehicle has 60,000 miles or more, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first, except that a consumer may waive his right to a warranty as a result of a price negotiation for the purchase of a used motor vehicle with over 60,000 miles. The written warranty shall require the dealer, upon failure or malfunction of a covered item during the term of the warranty, to correct the malfunction or defect, provided the used motor vehicle is delivered to the dealer, at his regular place of business, and subject to a deductible amount of $50 to be paid by the consumer for each repair of a covered item. This written warranty shall exclude repairs covered by any manufacturer's warranty, or recall program, as well as repairs of a covered item required because of collision, abuse, or the consumer's failure to properly maintain such used motor vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule, or from damage of a covered item caused as a result of any commercial use of the used motor vehicle, or operation of such vehicle without proper lubrication or coolant, or as a result of any misuse, negligence or alteration of such vehicle by someone other than the dealer.

WHAT USED CARS ARE COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT AUTOMOTIVE REGULATIONS?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations apply to the following used cars:
• vehicles driven otherwise than by muscular power, except vehicles running only upon rails or tracks.
• offered for sale or lease and specifically identified by an advertised price.

In this article, for simplicity’s sake, used cars to which the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applies are referred to as “used cars”.

In an advertisement which offers a group of new or used vehicles for sale or lease covering a specified price range (for example, "1995 Metros for sale--$10,000 to 12,999," or "Lease a new Olds for $298 a month and up."), the least expensive used car in that advertised range is considered to be an advertised used car.

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, the term "used car" means any used car with an odometer reading of greater than 1,000 miles, except for a "demo".

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, the term "demo" means a New Jersey used car used exclusively by a New Jersey used car dealer or dealer's employee that has never been titled and to which the new vehicle warranty still applies.

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, the term "Advertised price" means the dollar amount required to purchase or lease a New Jersey used car, advertised as:
• The total price; or
• The monthly payment price; or
• The deferred payment price; or
• A specific discount or savings on the manufacturer's
suggested retail price.

WHAT ADVERTISEMENTS ARE COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY AUTOMOTIVE ADVERTISING REGULATIONS?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations apply to any of the following types of conduct involving any used car :
• the attempt directly or indirectly by publication, dissemination, solicitation, indorsement or circulation or in any other way;
• to induce directly or indirectly
• any person to enter or not enter into any obligation or acquire any title or interest in any merchandise or to increase the consumption thereof or to make any loan.

For the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations to apply, the advertisement must offer a New Jersey used car for sale or lease at retail in any of the following:
• Newspaper.
• Periodical.
• Pamphlet.
• Circular
• Other publication.
• Paper.
• Sign.
• Radio or television broadcast.

For the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations to apply, the advertisements must be:
• uttered, issued, printed, disseminated, published, circulated or distributed within New Jersey concerning used cars offered for sale or lease at locations exclusively within New Jersey; or
• uttered, issued, printed, disseminated, published, circulated or distributed to any substantial extent within New Jersey concerning used cars offered for sale or lease at locations within New Jersey and outside New Jersey, or at locations exclusively outside New Jersey.

An example of a violation of the advertising regulations would be a New Jersey used car dealer's advertisement of used cars "priced well below dealer invoice".

WHICH ADVERTISERS MUST FOLLOW THE NEW JERSEY AUTOMOTIVE ADVERTISING REGULATIONS?
The following people selling used cars in New Jersey for a living must comply with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations:
• Any natural person or his legal representative, partnership, corporation, company, trust, business entity or association and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestuis que trustent thereof;
• who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the sale, leasing or financing of used cars at retail; or
• who in the course of any 12 month period offers more than three used cars for sale or lease; or
• who is engaged in the brokerage of used cars whether for sale or lease and who causes an advertisement to be made for the retail sale or lease of used cars. "Broker" means a person who in the course of any 12 month period arranges or offers to arrange the retail sale or lease of more than three used cars from the inventory of other business entities.

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, a "Dealer" means any person who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the sale or leasing of used cars at retail or who in the course of any 12-month period offers more than three used cars for sale or lease at retail.
An advertising agency and the owner or publisher of a newspaper, magazine, periodical, circular, billboard or radio or television station acting on behalf of an advertiser shall be deemed an advertiser within the meaning of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, when the agency or owner's or publisher's staff prepares and places an advertisement for publication. The agency, owner, or publisher shall not be liable for a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations when reasonably relying upon data, information or material supplied by the person for whom the advertisement is prepared or placed or when the violation is caused by an act, error or omission beyond the preparer's control, including but not limited to, the post-publication performance of the person on whose behalf such advertisement was placed.

WHAT TYPE OF DISCLOSURES MUST A NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALERSHIP MAKE AT ITS DEALERSHIP?
The following information relating to an advertised used car must be provided at the main entrance(s) to the business premises where the used car is displayed or in proximity to the vehicle or on the vehicle itself:
• A copy of any printed advertisement that quotes a price for the sale or lease of that vehicle; alternatively, a tag may be attached to the used car(s) stating the advertised price as well as the other information required mandatory disclosure requirements in all advertisements for the sale or lease of used cars.
• A fuel economy label, if required by the Federal law known as the Used car Information and Cost Savings Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2006; and
• The Used Car Buyers Guide, if required by the Federal Trade Commission's Used Car Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 455.2.

A New Jersey used car dealer shall not advertise a new used car which does not have the Monroney label, if required by the Federal law known as the Used car Information Disclosure Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1231-1233.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WAT TYPE OF RECORDS MUST A NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER KEEP REGARDING ITS ADVERTISEMENTS?
An advertiser shall have a New Jersey used car advertised for sale on premises and available for sale at the advertised price during the period of publication or a record of the sale of that vehicle at the advertised price or less during that period.

An advertiser shall have a New Jersey used car advertised for lease available for lease at the advertised price during the period of publication, or a record of the lease of that vehicle at the advertised price or less during that period. Such record shall consist of all applicable advertisements and a copy of the executed contract with the purchaser or lessee of the vehicle; this documentation shall be maintained for 180 days after the transaction and shall be made available for inspection by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

If the used car is sold or leased during the period of publication, the advertiser must so notify consumers who inquire by telephone or in person.
A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WHAT TYPE OF NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES PRACTICES ARE ILLEGAL UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Certain types of New Jersey used car sales practices are illegal under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for New Jersey used car dealers – which includes professional New Jersey used car sellers or their legal representative, partnership, corporation, company, trust, business entity or association and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestuis que trustent thereof who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the sale of used cars at retail or who in the course of any 12 month period offers more than 3 used cars for sale, lease, or rental or who is engaged in the brokerage of used cars whether for sale, lease or rental.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations contain the following definitions:
• “Documentary service fee" -- any monies or other thing of value which a New Jersey used car dealer accepts from a consumer in exchange for the performance of certain documentary services which include, but are not limited to, the preparation and processing of documents in connection with the transfer of license plates, registration, or title, and the preparation and processing of other documents relating to the sale of a New Jersey used car to said consumer;
• "Pre-delivery service fee" -- any monies or other thing of value which a New Jersey used car dealer accepts from a consumer in exchange for the performance of pre-delivery services upon a New Jersey used car, and includes, but is not limited to, items which are often described or labeled as dealer preparation, vehicle preparation, predelivery service, handling and delivery, or any other term of similar import;
• "Sales document" -- the first document a New Jersey used car dealer utilizes to evidence an order for, deposit towards, or contract for the purchase of a New Jersey used car by a consumer, and includes but is not limited to, retail orders, sales invoices, sales contracts, retail installment contracts, and other documents of similar import.

The following practices involving pre-delivery service fees in the sale of used cars by automotive dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a consumer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service for which the automotive dealer receives payment, credit, or other value from any person or entity other than a retail purchaser of the used car;
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a consumer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service without first itemizing the actual pre-delivery service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the sales document the price for each specific pre-delivery service;
• Except in connection with the sale of used cars, failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the sales document which contains a pre-delivery service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following statement: "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific pre-delivery service which is to be performed. The automotive dealer may not charge for pre-delivery services for which the automotive dealer is reimbursed by the manufacturer."

The following practices involving documentary service fees in the sale of used cars by automotive dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a consumer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any documentary service without first itemizing the actual documentary service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the sale document the price for each specific documentary service; or
• Representing to a consumer that a governmental entity requires the automotive dealer to perform any documentary service;
• Failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the sales document which contains a documentary service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following: "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific documentary service which is to be performed."

WHAT IS BAIT AND SWITCH USED CAR ADVERTISING IN NEW JERSEY?
The following used car advertising practices are unlawful "bait and switch" advertising under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• The advertisement of a New Jersey used car as part of a plan or scheme not to sell or lease it or not to sell or lease it at the advertised price.
• Without limiting other means of proof, the following shall be prima facie evidence of a plan or scheme not to sell or lease a New Jersey used car as advertised or not to sell or lease it at the advertised price:

o Refusal to show, display, sell, or lease the advertised used car in accordance with the terms of the advertisement, unless the vehicle has been actually sold or leased during the period of publication; in that case, the advertiser shall retain records of that sale or lease for 180 days following the date of the transaction, and shall make them available for inspection by the Division of Consumer Affairs.
o Accepting a deposit for an advertised used car, then switching the purchaser to a higher-priced used car, except when the purchaser has initiated the switch as evidenced by a writing to that effect signed by the purchaser.
o The failure to make delivery of an advertised used car, then switching the purchaser to a higher-priced used car; except when the purchaser has initiated the switch as evidenced by a writing to that effect signed by the purchaser.

WHAT INFORMATION MUST A NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALE ADVERTISEMENT INCUDE?
In any advertisement offering for sale a New Jersey used car at an advertised price, the following information must be included:
• The advertiser's business name and business address;
• A statement that "price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by a consumer, except for licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes". If the statement appears as a footnote, it must be set forth in at least 10 point type. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, "all costs to be paid by a consumer" means manufacturer-installed options, freight, transportation, shipping, dealer preparation, and any other costs to be borne by a consumer except licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes;
• The year, make, model, and number of engine cylinders of the advertised used car;
• Whether the transmission is automatic or manual; whether the brakes and steering mechanism are power or manual; and whether the vehicle has air conditioning, unless those items are standard equipment on the advertised used car. This provision shall not apply to advertisements for motorcycles;
• The last eight digits of the vehicle identification number, preceded by the letters "VIN". This provision shall not apply to radio and television broadcasts, or to advertisements for motorcycles; and
• A list of any dealer installed options on the advertised used car and the retail price of each, as determined by the dealer.
• The actual odometer reading as of the date the advertisement is placed for publication; and
• The nature of prior use unless previously and exclusively owned or leased by individuals for their personal use, when such prior use is known or should have been known by the advertiser.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

In any type of used car advertising, the following practices by a New Jersey used car dealer results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• The use of any type size, location, lighting, illustration, graphic depiction or color so as to obscure or make misleading any material fact;
• The setting forth of an advertised price which has been calculated by deducting a down payment, trade-in allowance or any deductions other than a manufacturer's rebate and dealer's discount;
• The setting forth of an advertised price which fails to disclose, adjacent to the advertised price, that it has been calculated by deducting a manufacturer's rebate or dealer's discount;
• The failure to state all disclaimers, qualifiers, or limitations that in fact limit, condition, or negate a purported unconditional offer (such as a low APR or high trade-in amount), clearly and conspicuously, next to the offer and not in a footnote identified by an asterisk. Such disclosure shall be made verbally in a radio or television advertisement. Identical information pertaining to all used cars in a group of advertised used cars, however, may appear in a footnote, provided the type is no smaller than 10 point;
• The failure to state the applicable time period of any special offer, in at least 10-point type immediately adjacent to the special offer, unless the special offer is a manufacturer's program;
• The use of the word "free" when describing equipment or other item(s) to be given to the purchaser or lessee of a New Jersey used car, if the "free" item has a value which has increased the advertised price. In using the word "free" in advertising, the advertiser shall comply with the Federal Trade Commission Rule, 16 CFR § 251, and any amendments thereto;
• The failure to disclose that the used car had been previously damaged and that substantial repair or body work has been performed on it when such prior repair or body work is known or should have been known by the advertiser; for the purposes of this subsection, "substantial repair or body work" shall mean repair or body work having a retail value of $1,000 or more;
• The use of the terms "Public Notice", "Public Sale", "Liquidation", "Liquidation Sale", or terms of similar import, where such sale is not required by court order or by operation of law or by impending cessation of the advertiser's business;
• The use of terms such as "Authorized Sale", "Authorized Distribution Center", "Factory Outlet", "Factory Authorized Sale", or other term(s) which imply that the advertiser has an exclusive or unique relationship with the manufacturer;
• The use, directly or indirectly, of a comparison to the dealer's cost, inventory price, factory invoice, floor plan balance, tissue, or terms of similar import; or the claim that the advertised price is "wholesale" or "at no profit";
• The use of the terms "guaranteed discount", "guaranteed lowest prices" or other term of similar import unless the advertiser clearly and conspicuously discloses the manner in which the guarantee will be performed and any conditions or limitations controlling such performance; this information shall be disclosed adjacent to the claim and not in a footnote;
• The use of The statement "We will beat your best deal", or similar term or phrase if a consumer must produce a contract that the consumer has signed with another dealer or lessor in order to receive the "better" deal;
• The use of such terms or phrases as "lowest prices", "lower prices than anyone else" or "our lowest prices of the year", or similar terms or phrases if such claim cannot be substantiated by the advertiser.

WHAT INFORMATION MUST A DEMONSTATOR CAR SALE ADVERTISEMENT INCLUDE?
In any advertisement offering a "demo" for sale, the following information must be provided:

• The advertiser's business name and business address;
• A statement that "price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by a consumer, except for licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes". If the statement appears as a footnote, it must be set forth in at least 10 point type. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, "all costs to be paid by a consumer" means manufacturer-installed options, freight, transportation, shipping, dealer preparation, and any other costs to be borne by a consumer except licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes;
• The manufacturer's suggested retail price as it appears on the Monroney label, clearly denominated by using the abbreviation "MSRP";
• The year, make, model, and number of engine cylinders of the advertised used car;
• Whether the transmission is automatic or manual; whether the brakes and steering mechanism are power or manual; and whether the vehicle has air conditioning, unless those items are standard equipment on the advertised used car. This provision shall not apply to advertisements for motorcycles;
• The last eight digits of the vehicle identification number, preceded by the letters "VIN". This provision shall not apply to radio and television broadcasts, or to advertisements for motorcycles; and
• A list of any dealer installed options on the advertised used car and the retail price of each, as determined by the dealer.
• Identification as a "demo"; and
• The actual odometer reading as of the date the advertisement is placed for publication.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION MUST BE DISCLOSED IN NEW JERSEY USED CAR CREDIT AND INSTALLMENT SALE VEHICLE ADVERTIESEMENTS?
The following information must be stated in any New Jersey used car credit and installment sale advertising and appear adjacent to the description of the advertised used car and not in a footnote or headline, unless the information is the same for all used cars advertised. If in a footnote, it must be in at least 10-point type.
• The total cost of the installment sale, which shall include the down payment or trade-in or rebate, if any, plus the total of the scheduled periodic payments;
• The annual percentage rate;
• The monthly payment figure and the number of required payments; and
• The amount of any down payment or trade-in required or a statement that none is required.

The following used car advertising practices concerning credit and installment sale advertisements are unlawful:
• The advertising of credit, including but not limited to such terms as "easy credit" or "one-day credit", other than that actually provided by the advertiser on a regular basis in the ordinary course of business;
• The use or statement of an installment payment on any basis other than a monthly basis.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY USED CAR ADVERTISING DISPUTE OR NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES DISPUTE MYSELF?
Some people can and do successfully handle cases themselves, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a judgment. However, many other people also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their cases or that result in the entry of a 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 case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your case:
• court fees often change
• court rules often change
• court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a 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
• court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in court
• each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect complaints that result in the complaints or answers to complaints being rejected by the court or being dismissed by the 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 case.
• a court has the power to punish unprepared parties or parties who make mistakes, such as by throwing their case out of court or limiting what they can present at trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, court rules and rules of evidence that are very tricky and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at trial.
• it is very common for courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often parties stumble into 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 judge tell the parties 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 court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at 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 court expecting the judge hearing your case to explain court rules, evidence rules, court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your case. The judge hearing your 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 case. No attorney can guarantee results in civil disputes. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide the assistance you need to win your case, to settle your case or to avoid certain mistakes.
NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW FOR USED CARS FAQS

WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW FOR USED CARS?
• Part of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act that regulates the sale & warranty of certain used vehicles & is commonly known as the “New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law”.
• New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs adopted parallel regulations.
• Dealers must ensure compliance by posting $10,000 bond.

WHAT TYPES OF THINGS ARE ILLEGAL FOR NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALERS TO DO WHEN SELLING USED CARS IN NEW JERSEY?
• Misrepresent the mechanical condition of a used vehicle;
• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of the used vehicle which is known to the dealer;
• Represent used vehicle, or any component thereof, is free from material defects in mechanical condition at the time of sale, unless the dealer has a reasonable basis for representation when made;
• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, existence & terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance subject to transfer, known to dealer, in effect & provided by a 3rd party.
• Misrepresent the terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance currently in effect on a used vehicle provided by a person other than the dealer & subject to transfer.
• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence & terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the dealer in connection with the sale of a used vehicle;
• Misrepresent the terms of any warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered with the sale of a used vehicle;
• Represent, prior to sale, that a used vehicle is sold with a warranty, service contract or repair insurance when the vehicle is sold without any warranty, service contract or repair insurance;
• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, that a used vehicle is sold without any warranty, service contract, or repair insurance; and
• Fail to provide a clear written explanation, prior to sale, of what is meant by the term “as is,” if the used vehicle is sold “as is.”

WHAT TYPE OF MINIMUM WARRANTIES APPLY TO USED CARS COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW FOR USED CARS?
• For all used motor vehicles sold for more than $3,000, less than seven or more model years old, that were not been declared a total loss by an insurance company & with respect to which the consumer was so advised at time of sale in writing of same & that have 100,000 miles or less, the selling dealer commits a per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation unless they give the consumer a written powertrain type of warranty with certain minimum durations subject to the vehicle’s mileage.
• Customer may waive the warranty in writing via a specific type of waiver.
• If a dealer fails to give a written warranty required by the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law & the customer does not sign a waiver as provided by the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, the dealer nevertheless shall be deemed to have given the warranty.
• If, during the warranty issued by the dealer pursuant to the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, the dealer or the dealer’s agent fails to correct a material defect after a reasonable opportunity to repair the vehicle, the dealer shall repurchase the vehicle & provide a refund less a use allowance.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VICTIMS?
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.

NEW JERSEY CAR SALES FRAUD & NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR FRAUD FAQS

WHAT IS NEW JERSEY CAR SALES FRAUD AND NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR FRAUD?
• Consumer fraud frequently occurs in automotive sales & leasing & in the sale of automotive components, accessories & services.
• The average automobile purchaser & lessee is exposed to an excess of information about vehicle prices & values.
• Since the purchase of an automobile represents a significant investment for most people, purchasers require protection from misleading information.
• Lessees of automobiles require protection because leases vary a great amount in their terms & customers often lack a clear picture of all the terms & requirements.
• Vehicle repair agencies & the abuses they heap upon consumers are one of the areas specifically targeted for redress by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
• To protect customers of auto dealerships, auto repair shops & auto parts stores, the NJ Legislature enacted various statutes & the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs adopted various regulations affecting those industries.

NEW JERSEY CAR SALES FRAUD
• To address fraud that is rampant in automotive sales practices, where consumers are commonly hoodwinked into paying for a host of expensive predelivery services that are illusory, irrelevant, unperformed, unauthorized & unnecessary, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs enacted regulations on automotive dealers’ disclosure of predelivery services.
• These regulations are construed & applied to achieve their underlying purpose of preventing deceptive advertising & affording forthright & honest presentations of motor vehicle information.
• Examples of services that are subject to automotive dealership abuse include vehicle & document preparation services.
• Such services may only be performed with the purchaser’s consent by first presenting an item d invoice of each particular predelivery service to be delivered & its cost.
• Where an automotive dealer charges a consumer for predelivery services without first itemizing each service & the charges associated therewith, the New Jersey car dealer commits a per se violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act - ascertainable loss takes the form of the sums paid to the New Jersey car dealer

EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY CAR SALES FRAUD CASES
• Advertising agency violated regulations prohibiting sale of a used auto failing to disclose the bona fide odometer reading.
• Dealer failed to disclose to the consumer the price of the pre-delivery services & failed to itemize such services in the final sales agreement.
• Vehicle purchasers bought vehicles meant to last up to 20 years but which contained emergency response systems that would allegedly become useless at the end of 2007.
• Customer agreed to buy automobile at one price & thereafter, seller increased the price.
• Customer purchased vehicle represented as new with only 10 miles on its odometer, when in fact it was a demonstrator with 9,800 miles.
• Dealer overcharged plaintiff $350 for “equipment & services plus sales tax”.
• Dealer represented vehicle driven 59,586 miles & gave plaintiff certified statement to that effect, when in fact vehicle was driven over 100,000 miles & its odometer was tampered with.
• Dealer: (1) raised vehicle price from $20,535 to $24,735 to include the cost of sealant & service contract, while customers approved neither of these additional features nor received any explanation thereof; (2) initiated finance contract which customers deny knowingly executing & notwithstanding that customers wanted to pay cash; (3) lost checks; (4) failed to provide customers a list of all charges; (5) failed to prove that bank acknowledged the vehicle loan’s existence or issued payment book.
• Customer gave dealer $500 deposit for the privilege of driving a vehicle for a few days before deciding whether to purchase. Customer returned vehicle but dealer failed to return the deposit, despite repeated calls & requests. 13 days after customer filed suit & 24 days after the vehicle’s return, dealer returned the deposit.

NEW JERSEY CAR LEASE FRAUD
• New Jersey Consumer Protection Leasing Act regulates the leasing of vehicles.
• New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs adopted various regulations affecting vehicle leases.
• Any violation of the New Jersey Consumer Protection Leasing Act is per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation.
• New Jersey Consumer Protection Leasing Act contains specific requirements concerning disclosures & requires notice of right to cancel lease.
• A statute regulates the subleasing of motor vehicles & applies New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act liability against those violating the subleasing requirements.
• A person who is not a party to a lease contract, conditional sale contract or security agreement cannot arrange, for compensation, the transfer, assignment or sublease of any right or interest in vehicle subject to a lease contract, conditional sale contract or security agreement unless the transfer, assignment or sublease is made in compliance with the terms of such contract/agreement.

NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR FRAUD & NEW JERSEY VEHICLE REPAIR FRAUD
• The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs adopted regulations regarding the repair of vehicles.
• Automotive repair dealer - any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of performing or employing persons who perform maintenance, diagnosis or repair services on a motor vehicle or the replacement of parts including body parts, but excluding those persons who engage in the business of repairing motor vehicles of commercial or industrial establishments or government agencies, under contract or otherwise, but only with respect to such accounts.

WHAT TYPE OF REPAIRS ARE COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR FRAUD REGULATIONS?
• Maintenance and repairs of motor vehicles performed by an automotive repair dealer but excluding changing tires, lubricating vehicles, changing oil, installing light bulbs, batteries, windshield wiper blades and other minor accessories and services.
• Restoration & remanufacture of antique automobiles & engines.
• Automotive customization & refabrication, including the performance of automotive driveshaft work.
• Restoration, customization & repair work to unroadworthy vehicles.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS NEW JERSEY REPAIR SHOPS MUST NOT DO WHEN PROVIDING NEW JERSEY CAR REPAIR SERVICES?
• Making or authorizing in any manner or by any means whatever any statement, written or oral, untrue or misleading & which is known, or by which the exercise of reasonable care should be known.
• Commencing work for compensation without securing authorization required by the regulations.
• Commencing work for compensation without providing a price estimate.
• Failure to provide a customer with a copy of any receipt or document signed by customer at time of signing.
• Making deceptive or misleading statements or false promises of a character likely to influence, persuade or induce a customer to authorize the repair, service or maintenance of a motor vehicle.
• Charging the customer for work done or parts supplied over estimated price without oral or written consent obtained after the estimated price is insufficient & before the work not estimated is done or the parts not estimated are supplied.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VICTIMS?
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.

NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR CONTRACTOR NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATION AND NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT LAWS AND REGULATIONS FAQS

WHAT NEW JERSEY CONSUMER LAWS AND NEW JERSEY CONSUMER REGULATIONS APPLY TO NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR CONTRACTORS AND NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS?
• New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act regulates New Jersey home improvement/repair contracts with one statutory subsection & two administrative code subsections, as follows: (1) New Jersey Contractor Registration Act; (2) New Jersey Contractor Registration Regulations; & (3) New Jersey home improvement Practices Regulations.

WHAT TYPE OF NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR SERVICES AND NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT SERVICES ARE COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT LAWS AND REGULATIONS?
• landscaping services.
• cleaning & restoration services, such as fire or flood mitigation work.
• manager of real estate investment & management companies who: (1) located properties for companies to purchase; (2) oversaw renovations; (3) hired subcontractors; & (4) managed the company’s rental properties.
• contractor other than home builder in direct privity with homeowner.
• contractor claiming homeowners acted as their own general contractor, when the contractor: (1) prepared the contract between the parties; (2) agreed to perform New Jersey home improvements at the homeowners’ residence; (3) was listed as “Contractor” & indicated that contractor would “furnish all materials & necessary equipment & perform all labor necessary to complete the ... work;” & (4) “precluded ‘any alteration or deviation from the plans & specification’ without written orders for same.”
• unoccupied property having both residential & commercial uses.
• Homeowner contracting directly with building contractor to perform a New Jersey home improvement, without engaging the services of a general contractor.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR CONTRACTS AND NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTS?
• Secure, maintain & file with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs proof of a certificate of commercial general liability insurance in a minimum amount of $500,000.00 per occurrence.
• prominently display their registration numbers in various locations & in various materials, including in contracts.
• Use/issue documents prominently containing the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs toll-free telephone number for consumers making inquiries regarding contractors.
• For every New Jersey home improvement contract for a purchase price in excess of $500, & all changes in the terms & conditions of the contract, use written contracts containing the mandatory disclosure requirements of the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act and New Jersey home improvement Practices Regulations, including the notice of the consumer’s right to cancel.

CUSTOMER HAS THE RIGHT TO CANCEL A NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT AND A NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR CONTRACT
• On or after December 31, 2005, the consumer may cancel a New Jersey home improvement contract for any reason at any time before midnight of the third business day after the consumer receives a copy of it.
• To cancel a contract, the consumer shall notify the contractor of the cancellation in writing, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested or by personal delivery, to the address specified in the contract.
• Within 30 days of receiving the cancellation, the contractor must make a full refund of all moneys paid pursuant to the cancelled contract.
• If the consumer executed any credit or loan agreement through the contractor to pay all or part of the contract, the agreement or note shall be cancelled without penalty to the consumer & written notice of that cancellation shall be mailed to the consumer within 30 days of receipt of the notice of cancellation.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR CONTRACT FRAUD VICTIMS AND NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT FRAUD VICTIMS?
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES AGAINST NEW JERSEY MANUFACTURERS FAQS

NEW JERSEY MANUFACTURERS CAN BE RESPONSIBLE FOR NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATIONS
• When a manufacturer makes representations about its product & those misrepresentations are intended to be conveyed to the product’s ultimate retail purchaser, the manufacturer may be held liable for New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation.
• Even where a manufacturer is not acting as a retailer, the manufacturer may be found liable where it engages in fraudulent or deceptive advertising.
• New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applies to the acts of remote suppliers (including the suppliers of component parts) whose products are sold to the product’s ultimate retail purchaser & whose representations are actually made to or are intended to be conveyed to that purchaser.
• There are situations where a claimant has standing to invoke the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act against a manufacturer even if they were not a direct recipient of the manufacturer’s misrepresentation or omission but were nevertheless victimized thereby.
• Determination of whether an end user of a product who had no direct dealings with a manufacturer has standing against it under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act requires a case-by-case determination.
• Mere fact manufacturer issues a warranty to a purchaser serving as the purchaser’s sole remedy should not bar a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT CASES IN WHICH MANUFACTURERS FACED POTENTIAL LIABILITY
• Auto manufacturer allegedly collected funds for vehicle repairs related to the transmission problem when manufacturer allegedly knew the true cause of the problem was the vehicle’s defective design.
• Auto manufacturer’s failure via a dealer to provide customer with an itemized repair invoice per the New Jersey Lemon Law following repair attempt.
• Manufacturers of flat screen TV’s allegedly containing a design defect causing them to overheat & eventually become inoperable.
• Yacht engine manufacturer allegedly concealed known safety or operational problems or later falsely assured the buyer that the engines were properly repaired.
• Residential condominium development association’s claim against the manufacturer & supplier of building supplies used in construction of the development; manufacturer allegedly made misrepresentations or omissions to the developer prior to the association’s existence.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VICTIMS?
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
NEW JERSEY HOME APPLIANCE SALES FRAUD, NEW JERSEY HOME APPLIANCE REPAIRS FRAUD AND NEW JERSEY FURNITURE SALE FRAUD

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATIONS BY NEW JERSEY HOME APPLIANCE STORES AND NEW JERSEY HOME APPLIANCE REPAIR SHOPS
• New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs enacted rules governing the servicing & repair of home appliances.
• “Home appliance” - any electrical, mechanical or thermal article produced or distributed for sale to a consumer for use in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence including, but not limited to, air conditioners, cameras, computers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, electric blankets, electronic games, fans, freezers, motorized kitchen aids, ovens, radios, ranges, refrigerators, stereo equipment, television & washers.
• Whenever a consumer purchases a home appliance, the home appliance dealer shall supply the consumer with written disclosures about manufacturer warranties, dealer warranties & dealer service contracts & whether the appliance is reconditioned or refurbished.
• Whenever a consumer requests service on a home appliance from a New Jersey home appliance repairer, the home appliance repairer shall make certain disclosures before consumer becomes committed to any expense
• Before work starts (except diagnostics) obtain written signed itemization.
• Failing to comply with the regulations results in per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATIONS BY NEW JERSEY HOME FURNISHING STORES
• New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs enacted rules governing the delivery & sale of household furniture & furnishings.
• Apply to any person selling household furniture: (1) in or from NJ; or (2) into NJ from location outside NJ.
• Violation of the regulations constitutes a per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation.
• Any person selling household furniture under contracts to sell merchandise for future delivery must:
o “Deliver all of the ordered merchandise by or on the promised delivery date”; or
o On or prior to the delivery date, mail the consumer written notice of the impossibility of meeting the promised delivery date & allow the consumer to either: (1) cancel for prompt full refund; or (2) “accept delivery at a specified later time.
o Delivery of furniture or furnishings that are damaged or that are not the exact size, style, color or condition indicated on the sales contract doesn’t constitute delivery. Consumer may either accept such non-conforming merchandise or exercise the option to cancel the order for a prompt, full refund or accept conforming delivery later specified date.
• Violation of the regulations constitutes a per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation.


NEW JERSEY HOME INSPECTOR FRAUD FAQS

WHY ARE RELIABLE NEW JERSEY HOME INSPECTION REPORTS SO IMPORTANT?
• For most people the purchase of a home is the greatest single purchase of their lifetime.
• The cost of homes in New Jersey is substantial.
• The purchase of a home is, for most people, a very infrequent occurrence, and a very major undertaking.
• People may buy a home once in a lifetime, or not very often.
• Home inspectors, on the other hand, conduct a volume operation.
• The impact upon the New Jersey home buyer upon receiving an inaccurate New Jersey home inspection report can be indeed monumental, considering issues such as habitability, health and safety, and financing obligations.
• The New Jersey home inspection report is supposed to serve as a reliable evaluation of a home’s fitness for purchase.
• What a consumer of New Jersey home inspection services would generally and reasonably expect is an inspection and report which forthrightly discloses physical conditions of a house which could reasonably affect the health, safety and welfare of its occupants.
• The New Jersey home inspector’s report should reveal and report conditions which may, presently or in the reasonably foreseeable future, cause the consumer substantial inconvenience or require costly repairs or maintenance expense.
• The very purpose of a New Jersey home inspection is to give a consumer a rational basis upon which to decline to enter into a contract to purchase the home.
• Home inspectors are not required to have an engineering degree or any particular level of experience in the construction industry or in municipal code compliance.

NEW JERSEY HOME INSPECTION CONTRACT LIMITATION OF LIABILITY CLAUSES
• Many New Jersey home inspection agreements contain a limitation of liability clause under which the New Jersey home owner is allegedly only entitled to a refund of the inspection fee.
• If, upon the occasional dereliction, the home inspector’s only consequence is the obligation to refund a few hundred dollars, there is no meaningful incentive to act diligently in the performance of home inspection contracts.
• As a businessperson who possesses knowledge about and experience in the industry, New Jersey home inspectors are aware of the cost of repairing major defects. In fact, that is a major selling point of his service to residential buyers.
• Such limitation of liability clause may be unconscionable as a matter of law by unfairly attempting to defeat the homeowners’ right to relief against the inspector.

NEW JERSEY HOME INSPECTION CONTRACT ARBITRATION CLAUSES
• Many New Jersey home inspection agreements contain mandatory arbitration clauses under which the New Jersey homeowners and the New Jersey home inspector agree not to sue one another if they have a dispute but instead, to resolve their disputes through arbitration conducted outside the court system.
• New Jersey Arbitration clauses substitute the arbitration process for the New Jersey court system.
• New Jersey courts are strongly committed to arbitration and agreements requiring the arbitration of disputes.
• If the New Jersey homeowner’s home inspection agreement contains such a mandatory arbitration clause, a New Jersey homeowner’s claim against a New Jersey home inspector may have to be arbitrated instead of being handled by New Jersey courts.

EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY HOME INSPECTION FRAUD CASES
• First time New Jersey home purchasers sued home inspection company for alleged New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violations.
• Case brought against New Jersey home inspection company which performed an inspection of a dwelling prior to its purchase.
• New Jersey home buyers sued New Jersey home inspector for consumer fraud associated with inspection of septic system.
• New Jersey home purchasers brought New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act case against builder, manufacturer of exterior siding, subcontractor that installed siding and home inspector.

WHAT REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VICTIMS?
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Other equitable relief.

NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW BASICS
This article only discusses the New Jersey New Car Lemon Law. The New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law is an entirely different New Jersey Law discussed in a separate article located on this website.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE NEW JEREY LEMON LAW?
The purpose of the New Jersey Lemon Law is to protect New Jersey buyers or New Jersey lessees when they buy or lease a motor car and the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer cannot correct defects in the New Jersey lemon car.

WHAT CARS DOES THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW APPLY TO?
The New Jersey Lemon Law does not apply to every defect in an automobile. It is not a guarantee against every defect. It applies to a defect that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of a car. The New Jersey lemon car must be a passenger automobile (automobile used and designed for the transportation of passengers other than an omnibus or school bus) or motorcycle purchased or leased in New Jersey or registered by the New Jersey Motor Car Commission. The living facilities of mobile homes are excluded from coverage under the New Jersey Lemon Law. The person seeking to apply the New Jersey Lemon Law must be a buyer or lessee, other than for purposes of resale or sublease, of such a car or a person to whom the New Jersey lemon car was transferred during the duration of a warranty applicable to the New Jersey lemon car or any other person entitled by the warranty’s terms to enforce the warranty’s obligations.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CAR DEFECTS UNDER THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW?
Those engaged in the business of manufacturing, assembling or distributing motor cars, who will, under normal business conditions during the year, manufacture, assemble or distribute to dealers at least 10 new motor cars are responsible for car defects under the New Jersey Lemon Law. New Jersey car dealers are not responsible for new car defects under the New Jersey Lemon Law.

HOW DO I PROVE A NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW CASE?
For a New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey lessee plaintiff to establish a claim under the New Jersey Lemon Law, the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence each of the following five elements of the claim. The elements are:
• The New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff purchased/leased a car manufactured by the defendant.
• The New Jersey lemon car had the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity or nonconformities that is/are, a defect or defects that substantially impaired the use, value or safety of the New Jersey lemon car.
• The New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity occurred during the first 24,000 miles of use, or within two years after the date of original delivery to the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car buyer lessee, whichever is earlier.
• The New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car buyer lessee reported the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity to the manufacturer or its dealer during the first 24,000 miles of use, or during the period of two years following the date of original delivery to the plaintiff, whichever is earlier.
• The New Jersey lemon car manufacturer, through its authorized dealers, did not repair the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity or non-conformities within a reasonable time.


WHAT IS A SUBSTANTIAL IMPAIRMENT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW?
To substantially impair, the New Jersey Lemon Law car defect or condition must impair the use, value or safety in an important, essential or significant way. The term “substantial does not mean a defect, impairment or condition that is minor, trivial or unimportant. In determining whether a defect or condition substantially impairs the use or value of the New Jersey lemon car, the New Jersey Court can consider whether the New Jersey Lemon Law car defects or conditions have shaken the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff’s confidence in the New Jersey lemon car. If the New Jersey Lemon Law car defect has shaken the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff’s confidence in the New Jersey lemon car, this loss of confidence may be the basis for you to find that the New Jersey Lemon Law car defect has impaired the New Jersey lemon car’s use or value. The New Jersey court should consider this from both a subjective and objective point of view. From a subjective standpoint, the New Jersey Lemon Law car defects must be examined from the point of view of the New Jersey buyer plaintiff or New Jersey lessee plaintiff. From an objective standpoint, the New Jersey Lemon Law car defects that allegedly have shaken the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff’s confidence must be consistent with what a reasonable person in the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff’s position would have believed under the same or similar circumstances. For example, in deciding whether a specific defect or condition substantially impairs the use or value of a car, the New Jersey Court may consider whether the specific defect or condition complained of, in fact caused the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff to lose confidence in this car. Even if the New Jersey Court finds that the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff’s confidence in the New Jersey lemon car was shaken, the New Jersey court should also consider whether or not the specific defect or condition, if any, was such that a reasonable person would have lost confidence in the New Jersey lemon car.

WHAT ARE DEFENSES TO NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW CASES?
A car manufacturer in a New Jersey Lemon Law case may raise as a defense to the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff’s claim that the alleged the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, value or safety of the New Jersey lemon car and/or that the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the New Jersey lemon car by someone other than the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer or its dealer. If the New Jersey Court finds the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer has proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the alleged the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, value or safety of the New Jersey lemon car and/or that the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the New Jersey lemon car by someone other than the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer or its dealer, then the New Jersey court should find that there is no the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity within the meaning of the New Jersey Lemon Law.

WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW PRESUMPTION?
It is presumed that a car manufacturer or its dealer is unable to repair or correct a the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity within a reasonable time if, within the first 24,000 miles of operation, or during the period of 2 years following the date of original delivery of the car to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date:
• substantially the same the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer, or its dealer, and the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity continued to exist; or
• the car was out of service by reason of repair for one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 20 or more calendar days since the original delivery of the car and the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity continues to exist.

The New Jersey Lemon presumption, however, shall only apply against the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer, if the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer has received written notification, by or on behalf of the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of a potential claim pursuant to this law and has had one opportunity to repair or correct the New Jersey Lemon Law car defect or condition within 10 calendar days following receipt of the notification. The notification by the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff shall take place any time after the car has had substantially the same the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity subject to repair two or more times or has been out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 20 or more calendar days.

WHAT DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER IF I PROVE THAT MY CAR IS A NEW JERSEY LEMON UNDER THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW?
If the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer is unable to correct the New Jersey Lemon Law nonconformity within a reasonable time, the New Jersey lemon car manufacturer shall accept return of the New Jersey Lemon car from the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff. The New Jersey lemon car manufacturer shall also provide the New Jersey car buyer plaintiff or New Jersey car lessee plaintiff with a full refund of the purchase/lease price and any other charges, fees and costs, less a reasonable allowance for the use of the car, which shall be calculated by the court.


WHY SHOULD SPECIAL CIVIL PRO SE PARTIES SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD LAWYER?
Handling your Special Civil 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 consumer fraud lawyer!
Many Special Civil pro se parties make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey consumer fraud lawyer before filing Special Civil papers only to later learn that the Special Civil pro se parties made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their Special Civil case. New Jersey Special Civil employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a Special Civil 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 Special Civil employees are not trained attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the Special Civil Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your Special Civil Case. Not all Special Civil Cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help. To receive a no cost phone consultation about what the Law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY SMALL CLAIMS COURT PERSONNEL OR NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Special Civil employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a Special Civil 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 Special Civil employees are not trained attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the Special Civil Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

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

NEED HELP WITH YOUR SPECIAL CIVIL CASE?
Handling your Special Civil 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 consumer fraud lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your Special Civil Case. Not all Special Civil Cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help. To receive a no cost phone consultation about what the Law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL CASE MYSELF?
Many people can and do successfully handle New Jersey Special Civil cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a New Jersey Special Civil judgment. However, many other people also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey Special Civil cases or that result in the entry of a New Jersey Special Civil 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 Special Civil case. The following are reasons to use a New Jersey consumer fraud lawyer to handle part or all of your New Jersey Special Civil case:
• New Jersey Special Civil fees often change
• New Jersey Special Civil rules often change
• New Jersey Special Civil employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a Special Civil 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 Special Civil court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in court
• each New Jersey Special Civil 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 complaints that result in the New Jersey Special Civil complaints or answers to New Jersey Special Civil complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Special Civil or being dismissed by the New Jersey Special Civil 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 Special Civil case.
• a court has the power to punish unprepared parties, such as by throwing their New Jersey Special Civil case out of court or limiting what they can present at the New Jersey Special Civil 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 Special Civil 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 Special Civil trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often parties stumble into New Jersey Special Civil 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 Special Civil judge tell the parties 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 Special Civil. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey Special Civil 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 Special Civil expecting the judge hearing your New Jersey Special Civil case to explain court rules, evidence rules, court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your New Jersey Special Civil case. The judge hearing your New Jersey Special Civil case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

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

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

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

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

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE A NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD LAWYER TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY SPECIAL CIVIL CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey Special Civil cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey Special Civil case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey Special Civil case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey Special Civil case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey Special Civil 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 at paul@newjerseylemon.com.
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