Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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Mercer County Court Information

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MERCER COUNTY COURT INFORMATION

WHERE IS THE MERCER COUNTY COURT?
175 South Broad Street - 1st floor
Civil Law Post Office Box 8068
Trenton, New Jersey 08650-0068
Civil Part (L-Docket Numbers) (609)-571-4460
Fax 609-571-4473
Special Civil Part 609-571-4484

WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF THE MERCER COUNTY COURT?
The Mercer County Court is normally open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHAT COURTS HEAR NEW JERSEY MERCER COUNTY CIVIL COURT CASES?
Mercer County Civil Court cases are heard by the following subparts of the New Jersey Court system:
• Mercer County Law Division - Civil Part
• Mercer County Law Division - Special Civil Part
• Mercer County Law Division – Special Civil Part - Landlord Tenant Section
• Mercer County Law Division – Special Civil Part – Small Claims Section
• Mercer County Chancery Division

WHAT IS THE MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL PART?
The Mercer County Special Civil Part is a subpart of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division. In the Mercer County Special Civil Part, disputes involving a limited amount of money -- $15,000 or less – may be heard. This article does not attempt to discuss all of the details of cases heard in the small claims section or landlord tenant part of the Mercer County Special Civil Part. This article does not attempt to discuss small claims disputes or landlord tenant cases. Mercer County Special Civil Part cases seeking money damages between $3,000-$15,000 are assigned a docket number beginning with “DC”.

WHAT TYPES OF CLAIMS ARE USUALLY FILED IN MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL PART?
• Contract disputes
• Property damage disputes, such as car accidents where only property is damaged (and persons do not sustain serious personal injuries)
• Bill collection disputes
• Security deposit disputes
• Disputes between consumers and merchants involving unsatisfactory goods or services

WHAT MATTERS ARE HEARD IN MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COURT?
The Mercer County Special Civil Part Court hears the following types of New Jersey cases:
• (1) Civil actions (exclusive of professional malpractice, probate, and matters cognizable in the Family Division or Tax Court) seeking legal relief when the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000;
• (2) Small claims actions, which are defined as all actions in contract and tort (exclusive of professional malpractice, probate, and matters cognizable in the Family Division or Tax Court) and actions between a landlord and tenant for rent, or money damages, when the amount in dispute, including any applicable penalties, does not exceed, exclusive of costs, the sum of $3,000. Small claims also include actions for the return of all or part of a security deposit when the amount in dispute, including any applicable penalties, does not exceed, exclusive of costs, the sum of $5,000. The Small Claims Section may provide such ancillary equitable relief as may be necessary to effect a complete remedy. Actions in lieu of prerogative writs and actions in which the primary relief sought is equitable in nature are excluded from the Small Claims Section;
• (3) Summary landlord/tenant actions;
• (4) Summary actions for the possession of real property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:35-1 et seq., where the defendant has no colorable claim of title or possession, or pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:39-1 et seq.;
• (5) Summary proceedings for the collection of statutory penalties not exceeding $15,000 per complaint;
• (6) Municipal court actions, pursuant to R. 7:1, in the counties of Bergen, Hudson and Warren.
 (b) Distinct Negligence Claims. An action for damages resulting from negligence composed of several distinct claims may be brought in the Mercer County Special Civil Part if the amount recoverable on each claim is within the monetary limit even though the amount recoverable on all claims exceeds that limit.
 (c) Waiver of Excess. Where the amount recoverable on a claim exceeds the monetary limit of the Mercer County Special Civil Part or the Small Claims Section, the party asserting the claim shall not recover a sum exceeding the limit plus costs and on the entry of judgment shall be deemed to have waived the excess over the applicable limit.

WHAT IS THE MERCER COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT?
The Mercer County Small Claims Section is a subpart of the Mercer County Special Civil Part court. Mercer County Small Claims cases are handled by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County Special Civil Part, Small Claims Section. Mercer County Small Claims cases are civil cases in which the money sought to be recovered does not exceed $3,000 (or $5,000 if the case involves the return of a rental security deposit). Mercer County Small Claims cases are assigned a docket number beginning with “SC”. Lawsuits for higher amounts of money must be filed with other New Jersey courts. In cases for damages up to $15,000, the claimant should file in the regular Mercer County Special Civil Part and in Cases involving damages greater than $15,000, the claimant should file in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part. There are also exceptions to these rules – not all types of cases are able to be filed in the Mercer County Small Claims Court. For example, if you have a claim involving a family law situation, you may have to file in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part. Also, if you are a landlord who seeks to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, you may have to file your claim in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County Special Civil Part, Landlord Tenant Section. If you file your lawsuit in the Mercer County Small Claims Court, you shall very likely be prevented from recovering more money than $3,000 (or $5,000 if the case involves the return of a rental security deposit). Because the procedures for handling cases in the Mercer County Small Claims Court are relatively easier than in courts deciding cases involving larger sums of money, most lawsuits filed in the Mercer County Small Claims Court move more rapidly through the New Jersey court system than lawsuits filed for larger sums of money. Most New Jersey Special Civil Part Court cases are New Jersey nonjury trials, meaning the New Jersey case is only heard by a Mercer County judge, although a New Jersey jury trial may be requested for an extra fee.

WHAT IS THE “REGULAR” MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COURT?
Mercer County Special Civil Part cases that are not landlord tenant or Small Claims cases are typically Mercer County Special Civil cases that are assigned a New Jersey “DC” case docket number. You can file your Mercer County Special Civil case as your Mercer County Special Civil case that is assigned a “DC” docket and not your Mercer County Small Claims case that is assigned an “SC” docket even if you are asking for an amount of money less than $3,000.00 – the limit for most Mercer County Small Claims cases (or $5,000 if the case involves the return of a rental security deposit). The regular Mercer County Special Civil Part Court has some different procedures and forms from Mercer County Small Claims Court and higher filing fees. Most New Jersey Special Civil Part Court cases are New Jersey nonjury trials, meaning the New Jersey case is only heard by a Mercer County judge, although a New Jersey jury trial may be requested for an extra fee.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL CASE IS YOUR MERCER COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS CASE OR A REGULAR MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL CASE?
The Mercer County Special Civil Part hears both Mercer County Small Claims cases and “regular” Mercer County Special Civil cases. Mercer County Small Claims cases are identified by the number that the Mercer County Small Claims Court assigns to the Mercer County Small Claims case – a number beginning in “SC”. “SC” stands for Mercer County Small Claims Court. Mercer County Special Civil cases are identified by the number that the Mercer County Special Civil Part Court assigns to the Mercer County Special Civil case – a number beginning in “DC”. “DC” stands for “New Jersey District Court” – the old name for Mercer County Special Civil Part Court.

WHAT IS THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION AND WHAT CASES ARE HEARD BY THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION?
For purposes of this article, when we refer to the Mercer County Law Division, we are referring to the Mercer County Law Division Civil Part – a New Jersey court in which money damages are not limited to any dollar amount. The Mercer County Law Division cases use a docket number starting with the letter “L” and often, different Mercer County Law Division County Courts also use the first few letters of the County in which the Mercer County Law Division Case is being heard, placing those letters before the “L”. Most civil cases that are heard in the Mercer County Law Division involve bodily injury lawsuits also known as personal injury lawsuits, such as New Jersey automobile accidents, New Jersey slip and fall accidents or New Jersey medical malpractice cases. The Mercer County Law Division also hears many New Jersey collection lawsuits usually for amounts over $15,000.00 and New Jersey breach of contract lawsuits usually for amounts over $15,000.00. Most Mercer County Law Division cases are New Jersey jury trials, although some are New Jersey nonjury trials, meaning the New Jersey case is only heard by a Mercer County judge.

WHAT IS THE MERCER COUNTY CHANCERY DIVISION AND WHAT CASES ARE HEARD BY THE MERCER COUNTY CHANCERY DIVISION?
For purposes of this article, when we refer to the Mercer Chancery Division, we are referring to the Mercer Chancery Division, General Equity Part. The Mercer Chancery Division hears New Jersey civil cases in which monetary damages are not the focus of the New Jersey case but instead, equitable relief is the focus of the New Jersey case – the Mercer Chancery Division is being asked to enforce a right or obligation. Most Mercer Chancery Division General Equity judges handle non-jury cases such as those involving trade secrets, labor matters, foreclosures and other disputes in which court relief, often in the form of restraining orders, is sought on an emergency basis. The Mercer Chancery Division cases use a docket number starting with the letter “C”. Most Mercer Chancery Division cases are New Jersey nonjury trials, meaning the New Jersey case is only heard by a Mercer County judge, although some New Jersey jury trials are heard in Chancery Division. Often, it is up to the Mercer Chancery Division to decide if a Mercer Chancery Division Case should be heard by a New Jersey Jury. Some Mercer County Chancery Division cases include the following:
 Mercer County Chancery Division cases to enforce the performance of contracts, trusts and fiduciary obligations
 Mercer County Chancery Division cases to re-execute or correct instruments lost or erroneously drafted
 Mercer County Chancery Division cases to set aside transactions that were illegal, fraudulent, etc.
 Mercer County Chancery Division cases to execute writs of attachment
 Mercer County Chancery Division cases to stop actions that will cause immediate or irreparable harm
 Mercer County Chancery Division cases to grant the reacquisition of property upon default of mortgage or tax payments
 Mercer County Chancery Division cases for emergency relief - emergent Applications
There are three types of Mercer County Chancery Division cases heard on an emergency basis: (1) Orders to Show Cause; (2) Sheriff’s Evictions; and (3) Special Medical Guardianships.
HOW DO I START MY MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE?
You may file a lawsuit – called a “the Mercer County complaint” -- preparing a written New Jersey the Mercer County complaint and filing it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where you intend to file the Mercer County complaint – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey. You must pay a fee to file your the Mercer County complaint that is determined based on the number of parties you are suing, the dollar amount of the dispute and the type of New Jersey trial you want. The court filing fees often change, so it is important that you check with the court as to the appropriate fee when you are actually ready to file your papers. Only persons age 18 or older are able to file the Mercer County complaint for themselves (minors must file a lawsuit through their parent or guardian). There are specific rules about where to file the Mercer County complaints, which depend on various considerations. The Mercer County complaint forms are often available at the courthouse and vithe worldwide web. However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. It is extremely important that you prepare your the Mercer County complaint very carefully and make sure that you include in the document a detailed list of all factual and legal reasons why you may have a right to win your case, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your case. It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect the Mercer County complaints that result in the Mercer County complaints or the Mercer County answers to the Mercer County complaints being rejected by the court or being dismissed by the court after filing and before or after New Jersey trial because of procedural deficiencies. If you are not represented by an attorney in a New Jersey case, you are called a “pro se litigant”. Most the Mercer County complaints filed in special civil part that go to New Jersey trial are Mercer County nonjury trials, meaning that only a Mercer County judge hears the case. For an extra fee paid only when you first file your first the Mercer County complaint (or paid when you file your first the Mercer County answer, if you are responding to the Mercer County complaint), you may demand a New Jersey trial by 6 jurors in Special Civil Part. In the Law Division, Civil Part, you merely file the appropriate jury request with no additional fee beyond the Mercer County complaint filing fee necessary to secure a Mercer County jury trial. Mercer County jury trials are much more complex than Mercer County nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive paperwork. However, a Mercer County jury trial demand may result in the facts of your case being decided by a jury of ordinary people rather than by a single Mercer County judge. Even where a party requests an Mercer County jury trial, the legal issues in the New Jersey trial are normally decided by the Mercer County judge hearing the case.

WHAT IF I AM SUED IN THE MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE?
If you are sued in the Mercer County Court case, you shall be named to the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim and must file a written response to the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim, called an “the Mercer County answer”. Failure to do so will normally result in your being defaulted and exposes you to the risk of having a money judgment entered against you and thereafter, possibly losing money or property. You may file the Mercer County answer in civil court by preparing a written the Mercer County answer disputing charges made against you in the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim and requesting that the court dismiss the case. If plaintiff or someone that isn’t named in the Mercer County complaint owes you money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the Mercer County complaint or facts related to the dispute, in addition to filing the Mercer County answer, you may also be able to file the Mercer County counterclaim or third party the Mercer County complaint to recover the money or property (discussed below). Forms are often available at the appropriate court office and vithe worldwide web. However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect the Mercer County complaints that result in the Mercer County complaints or the Mercer County answers to the Mercer County complaints being rejected by the court or being dismissed by the court after filing and before or after New Jersey trial because of procedural deficiencies. It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when the Mercer County answering the Mercer County complaints and the Mercer County counterclaims. It is extremely important that you prepare your the Mercer County answer very carefully and make sure that you include in the Mercer County answer a detailed list of all defenses against the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim that you are responding to, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your case. Accordingly, when you are sued, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney to prepare your response to the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim, to prepare written requests for information to the party that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have an attorney represent you in court. After your the Mercer County answer is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where the Mercer County complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey. You must pay a fee to file your the Mercer County answer that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of New Jersey trial you want and whether you intend to add parties to the lawsuit (discussed below). Only persons age 18 or older are able to file the Mercer County answer for themselves (minors must file the Mercer County answer through their parent or guardian). If you are not represented by an attorney in a New Jersey case, you are called a “pro se litigant”. Most the Mercer County complaints filed in special civil part that go to New Jersey trial are Mercer County nonjury trials, meaning that only a Mercer County judge hears the case. For an extra fee paid only when you first file your first the Mercer County complaint (or paid when you file your first the Mercer County answer, if you are responding to the Mercer County complaint), you may demand a New Jersey trial by 6 jurors in Special Civil Part. In the Law Division, Civil Part, you merely file the appropriate jury request with no additional fee beyond the Mercer County complaint filing fee necessary to secure a Mercer County jury trial. Mercer County jury trials are much more complex than Mercer County nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive paperwork. However, a Mercer County jury trial demand may result in the facts of your case being decided by a jury of ordinary people rather than by a single Mercer County judge. Even where a party requests a Mercer County jury trial, the legal issues in the New Jersey trial are normally decided by the Mercer County judge hearing the case.

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

WHAT IF I FILED THE MERCER COUNTY COMPLAINT AND DEFENDANT FILED THE MERCER COUNTY COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST ME?
If there are valid facts and legal reasons to support it, a defendant can file their own lawsuit against a plaintiff, called a “the Mercer County counterclaim”. If you are named to the Mercer County counterclaim, you must file a written the Mercer County answer to the Mercer County counterclaim. Failure to do so will normally result in your being defaulted and exposes you to the risk of having a money judgment entered against you and thereafter, possibly losing money or property. It is possible for plaintiffs to win on their the Mercer County complaint only to lose on a defendant’s the Mercer County counterclaim. You may file the Mercer County answer in special civil part by preparing a written the Mercer County answer disputing charges made against you in the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim and requesting that the special civil part dismiss the wrong charges. If plaintiff or someone that isn’t named in the Mercer County complaint owes you money or property based on the same set of facts as those in dispute in the Mercer County complaint or facts related to the dispute, in addition to filing the Mercer County answer, you may also be able to file the Mercer County counterclaim or third party the Mercer County complaint to recover the money or property (discussed below). Forms are available at the appropriate office of the special civil part and vithe worldwide web. However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. It is very common for people to file inadequate or incorrect the Mercer County complaints that result in the Mercer County complaints or the Mercer County answers to the Mercer County complaints being rejected by the special civil part or being dismissed by the special civil part after filing and before or after New Jersey trial because of procedural deficiencies. It is important to be truthful and not to make misstatements of facts when the Mercer County answering the Mercer County complaints and the Mercer County counterclaims. It is extremely important that you prepare your the Mercer County answer very carefully and make sure that you include in the Mercer County answer a detailed list of all defenses against the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim that you are responding to, since failure to do so could cause you to lose your case. Accordingly, when you are sued, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney to prepare your response to the Mercer County complaint or the Mercer County counterclaim, to prepare written requests for information to the party that sued you (discussed further below) and if you can afford it, to have an attorney represent you in court. After your the Mercer County answer is prepared, you must file it by either visiting the New Jersey Superior Courthouse or appropriate Court Finance Office in the county where the Mercer County complaint was filed – all of which are located in the county seat of the appropriate county -- or by sending the necessary paperwork to the appropriate county office of the Superior Court of New Jersey. You must pay a fee to file your the Mercer County answer that is determined based on the amount of the original dispute and the type of New Jersey trial you want and whether you intend to add parties to the lawsuit (discussed below). Only persons age 18 or older are able to file the Mercer County answer for themselves (minors must file the Mercer County answer through their parent or guardian). Most the Mercer County complaints filed in special civil part that go to New Jersey trial are Mercer County nonjury trials, meaning that only a Mercer County judge hears the case. For an extra fee paid only when you first file your first the Mercer County complaint (or paid when you file your first the Mercer County answer, if you are responding to the Mercer County complaint), you may demand a New Jersey trial by 6 jurors in Special Civil Part. In the Law Division, Civil Part, you merely file the appropriate jury request with no additional fee beyond the Mercer County complaint filing fee necessary to secure a Mercer County jury trial. Mercer County jury trials are much more complex than Mercer County nonjury trials and usually require much more preparation, including extensive paperwork. However, a Mercer County jury trial demand may result in the facts of your case being decided by a jury of ordinary people rather than by a single Mercer County judge. Even where a party requests a Mercer County jury trial, the legal issues in the New Jersey trial are normally decided by the Mercer County judge hearing the case.

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

WHAT IS NEW JERESY DISCOVERY IN MERCER COUNTY COURT CASES?
Discovery is a period of fact finding, which occurs after your New Jersey lawsuit is filed or after your New Jersey answer is filed and before you have your Mercer County Court trial. During New Jersey discovery, New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants seek information about the New Jersey case. The information sought during discovery may include a wide range of information, from copies of New Jersey records to New Jersey witness statements. Unless otherwise limited by a New Jersey court order, New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants may obtain New Jersey discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the New Jersey claim or New Jersey defense of the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, electronically stored information, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence; nor is it ground for objection that the examining party has knowledge of the matters as to which discovery is sought. The methods of investigation used during discovery include New Jersey interrogatories, New Jersey request for production of documents, New Jersey notice to produce documents and New Jersey admissions which are also called New Jersey request for New Jersey admissions. To get a better understanding of the facts surrounding the case, New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants may serve New Jersey interrogatories, New Jersey request for production of documents, New Jersey notice to produce documents and New Jersey request for New Jersey admissions. These are forms of New Jersey written discovery, which require the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant served with them to answer in writing the New Jersey interrogatory questions, New Jersey admission questions and requests for documents. The New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant that receives the written requests has a certain number of days to answer them. If a New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant fails to answer the New Jersey requests in the time allotted, their New Jersey lawsuit or answer to the New Jersey lawsuit can be dismissed or suppressed or in the case of New Jersey admissions, the claims can be admitted conclusively against the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant that failed to answer the New Jersey requests.

WHAT IF I DON’T GET NEW JERSEY ANSWERS TO NEW JERSEY INTERROGATORIES, NEW JERSEY ANSWERS TO NEW JERSEY REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUEMNTS OR NEW JERSEY ANSWERS TO A NOTICE TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS?
If you ignore New Jersey court interrogatories and you are the New Jersey defendant or a New Jersey plaintiff facing a New Jersey counterclaim, then the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant that serves them on you can ask to have any New Jersey answer that you file with the court “suppressed” or “stricken” or may ask the court to “compel” you or force you to provide New Jersey answers or face court penalties. If the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant requesting the In New Jersey court New Jersey answers files the proper New Jersey court papers with the court, this could eventually lead the requesting party to win their case, either by getting a money judgment in their favor. If you ignore New Jersey court interrogatories and you are the plaintiff or a defendant with a New Jersey counterclaim, then the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant that serves them on you can ask to have any complaint or New Jersey counterclaim that you file with the court “dismissed” or may ask the court to “compel” you or force you to provide New Jersey answers or face court penalties. If the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant requesting the In New Jersey court New Jersey answers files the proper New Jersey court papers with the court, this could eventually lead the requesting party to win their case, by getting a New Jersey lawsuit or New Jersey counterclaim forever dismissed.

It is your duty to follow the New Jersey court rules and use them to get complete responses to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents). Unless you take action to make sure you get complete responses to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents), you may go to your Mercer County Court trial unprepared and lose your New Jersey case! The New Jersey court rules include penalties for New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants failing to answer properly prepared and served New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents). Take advantage of the New Jersey court rules to get complete responses to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents). If a New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant only gives you objections or incomplete New Jersey answers to your New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents), you can prepare and file papers to seek New Jersey penalties against the offending New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants! Many times, New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants win their Mercer County Court cases by refusing to be satisfied with unresponsive or incomplete responses to New Jersey interrogatories and New Jersey requests for documents (also called a New Jersey notice to produce documents)!

WHAT HAPPENS IF NEW JERSEY INTERROGATROY ANSWERS ARE INCOMPLETE?
If New Jersey interrogatory answers are incomplete, the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant, upon reasonable notice to other New Jersey plaintiffs or New Jersey defendants and all persons affected thereby, may apply for a New Jersey court order compelling discovery. For example, The New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant serving a New Jersey interrogatory question answered by a statement that it is improper may, within 20 days after being served with the New Jersey interrogatory answers, serve a New Jersey notice of motion to compel an answer to the question, and, if granted, the question shall be answered within such time as the New Jersey court directs. The New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant serving a request for a copy of a paper which is not complied with, may, within 20 days after being served with the New Jersey interrogatory answers, serve a notice of motion directing compliance with the request or for other appropriate relief.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY DISCOVERY DISPUTE?
If a New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant fails to timely or completely answer New Jersey interrogatories, New Jersey request for production of documents, New Jersey notice to produce documents and New Jersey admissions the New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant that served the New Jersey discovery requests needs to quickly and timely take action to get the missing information or be unprepared for their Mercer County Court trial.

WHAT IS MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATION IN MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION CASES?
Mercer County Law Division mediation is the Mercer County Law Division complimentary Mercer County Law Division lawsuit resolution program used in certain Mercer County Law Division cases. Mercer County Law Division complementary Mercer County Law Division lawsuit resolution programs constitute an integral part of the Mercer County Law Division process, intended to enhance its quality and efficacy. In many Mercer County Law Division cases heard in the Mercer County Law Division, before the Mercer County Law Division trial occurs the Mercer County Law Division requires the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff and Mercer County Law Division defendant to mediate their Mercer County Law Division lawsuit. Mercer County Law Division mediation is an informal Mercer County Law Division hearing normally held in a conference room. You and the other Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant and any attorneys involved in the Mercer County Law Division case appear at the Mercer County Law Division mediation. Accordingly, the Mercer County Law Division mediator attempts to resolve the Mercer County Law Division case by suggesting a possible settlement to both Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants. Note that Mercer County Law Division cases do not always undergo Mercer County Law Division mediation hearings.

WHO DECIDES TO SEND OR REFER YOUR MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION CASE TO THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATION HEARING?
Except as otherwise provided by the New Jersey Court Rules, the Mercer County Law Division judge may require the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants to attend the Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing at any time following the filing of the Mercer County Law Division complaint. The Mercer County Law Division may, on the Mercer County Law Division’s own initiative and by written order, refer any Mercer County Law Division civil case, Mercer County Law Division general equity case, or Mercer County Law Division probate action case to Mercer County Law Division mediation for an initial two hours, which shall include an organizational telephone conference, preparation by the Mercer County Law Division mediator, and the first Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing. In addition, the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants to the Mercer County Law Division lawsuit may request the Mercer County Law Division referral order to Mercer County Law Division mediation and may either select the Mercer County Law Division mediator or request the Mercer County Law Division to designate the Mercer County Law Division mediator from the Mercer County Law Division-approved roster.

WHO SERVES AS THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATOR?
The Mercer County Law Division mediation is conducted by a neutral Mercer County Law Division appointed Mercer County Law Division mediator. The Mercer County Law Division mediator is a person trained to attempt to resolve Mercer County Law Division lawsuits between Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants by sitting down with them and mediating their Mercer County Law Division settlement. The Mercer County Law Division mediator is trained in resolving Mercer County Law Division lawsuits through the process of Mercer County Law Division mediation. Unless otherwise specified by the New Jersey Court Rules, no special occupational status or educational degree is required for Mercer County Law Division mediator service and Mercer County Law Division mediation training. An applicant for listing on a roster of Mercer County Law Division mediators maintained by either the Administrative Office of the Mercer County Law Divisions or the Mercer County Law Division Assignment Judge shall, however, certify to good professional standing. An applicant whose professional license has been revoked shall not be placed on the roster, or if already on the roster shall be removed therefrom. Mercer County Law Division mediator applicants for civil, general equity, and probate actions shall have at least five years of professional experience in the field of their expertise, as well as either an advanced degree or an undergraduate degree, coupled in both cases with Mercer County Law Division mediation experience. For purposes of the applicable New Jersey Court Rule, an advanced degree means a juris doctor or equivalent; an advanced degree in business, finance, or accounting, an advanced degree in the field of expertise in which the applicant will practice Mercer County Law Division mediation, for example, engineering, architecture, or mental health; or state licensure in the field of expertise, for example, certified public accountant, architect, or engineer. For purposes of the applicable New Jersey Court Rule, Mercer County Law Division mediation experience which, together with an advanced degree, will qualify an applicant means evidence of successful Mercer County Law Division mediation of a minimum of two cases within the last year, provided however that Mercer County Law Division mediation experience is waived if Mercer County Law Division mediation training was completed within the last five years. For purposes of the applicable New Jersey Court Rule, Mercer County Law Division mediation experience which, together with an undergraduate degree, will qualify an applicant means evidence of successful Mercer County Law Division mediation of a minimum of ten cases involving subject matter otherwise cognizable in the Superior Mercer County Law Division within the last five years. All persons serving as Mercer County Law Division mediators shall have completed the basic Mercer County Law Division lawsuit resolution training course as prescribed by the New Jersey Court Rules and approved by the Administrative Office of the Mercer County Law Divisions. Volunteer Mercer County Law Division mediators in the Special Civil Part and Municipal Mercer County Law Division mediators shall have completed 18 classroom hours of basic Mercer County Law Division mediation skills complying with the requirements of the applicable New Jersey Court Rule. Mercer County Law Division mediators on the Mercer County Law Division civil court, Mercer County Law Division general equity court, and Mercer County Law Division probate court roster of the Superior Mercer County Law Division shall have completed 18 classroom hours of basic Mercer County Law Division mediation skills complying with the requirements of the applicable New Jersey Court Rules and at least five hours being mentored by an experienced Mercer County Law Division mediator on the roster in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Administrative Office of the Mercer County Law Divisions in at least two cases in the Superior Mercer County Law Division. Individuals may obtain a waiver of the mentoring requirement from the Administrative Office of the Mercer County Law Divisions on the successful demonstration that they have previously served as the Mercer County Law Division mediator in at least five cases under R. 1:40-4 or comparable Mercer County Law Division mediation program or have satisfactorily completed at least 10 hours in an approved advanced Mercer County Law Division mediation course. Judicial law clerks shall have successfully completed 12 classroom hours of basic Mercer County Law Division mediation skills complying with the requirements of the applicable New Jersey Court Rule. Commencing in the year following the completion of the basic training course or the waiver thereof, all Mercer County Law Division mediators shall annually attend four hours of continuing education and shall file with the Administrative Office of the Mercer County Law Divisions or the Mercer County Law Division Assignment Judge, as appropriate, an annual certification of compliance. To meet the requirement, this continuing education shall include instruction in ethical issues associated with Mercer County Law Division mediation practice, program guidelines and/or case management and should cover at least one of the following: (A) reinforcing and enhancing Mercer County Law Division mediation and negotiation concepts and skills, (B) other professional matters related to Mercer County Law Division mediation. Mercer County Law Division mediators who have been approved to serve as mentors under the applicable New Jersey Court Rules may apply the time spent mentoring to satisfy this requirement. Within 14 days after entry of the Mercer County Law Division mediation referral order, the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants may select the Mercer County Law Division mediator, who may, but need not, be listed on the Mercer County Law Division's Roster of Civil Mercer County Law Division mediators. Lead Mercer County Law Division plaintiff's counsel in the Mercer County Law Division case must in writing provide the Mercer County Law Division Complimentary Dispute Resolution Point Person in the Mercer County Law Division county court, as well as the individual designated by the Mercer County Law Division in the Mercer County Law Division mediation referral order, with the name of the selected Mercer County Law Division mediator. If the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants do not timely select the Mercer County Law Division mediator, the individual designated by the Mercer County Law Division in the Mercer County Law Division mediation referral order shall serve. All Mercer County Law Division mediators on the Mercer County Law Division's roster as well as those not on the roster, whether Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant-selected or Mercer County Law Division-designated, shall comply with the terms and conditions set forth in the Mercer County Law Division mediation referral order.

MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATOR’S DUTIES TO DISCLOSE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Before accepting the Mercer County Law Division mediation, a person who is requested to serve as the Mercer County Law Division mediator shall: (A) make an inquiry that is reasonable under the circumstances to determine whether there are any known facts that a reasonable person would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the Mercer County Law Division mediator, including a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the Mercer County Law Division mediation or an existing or past relationship with the Mercer County Law Division mediation Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant or foreseeable participant in the Mercer County Law Division mediation; and (B) disclose any such known fact to the Mercer County Law Division mediation Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants as soon as is practicable before accepting the Mercer County Law Division mediation. If the Mercer County Law Division mediator learns any disqualification fact described in the New Jersey Court Rules after accepting the Mercer County Law Division mediation, the Mercer County Law Division mediator shall disclose it as soon as is practicable. After entry of the Mercer County Law Division mediation referral order in an economic Mercer County Law Division mediation, if the Mercer County Law Division is advised by the Mercer County Law Division mediator, counsel, or one of the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants that a conflict of interest exists, the Mercer County Law Division shall reassign the case to a different Mercer County Law Division mediator. The Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants shall have the opportunity to select a replacement Mercer County Law Division mediator from the roster or the Mercer County Law Division may appoint one. An amended Mercer County Law Division mediation order of referral shall then be prepared and provided to the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants.

WHO PAYS FOR THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATOR’S SERVICES?
Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants in Superior Mercer County Law Division, except in the Special Civil Part, assigned to Mercer County Law Division mediation pursuant to the applicable New Jersey Court Rule shall equally share the fees and expenses of the Mercer County Law Division mediator on an ongoing basis, subject to Mercer County Law Division review and allocation to create equity. Any fee or expense of the Mercer County Law Division mediator shall be waived in cases, as to those Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants exempt, pursuant to Rule 1:13-2(a). The Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant may opt out of the Mercer County Law Division mediation process after the Mercer County Law Division mediator has expended two hours of service, which shall be allocated equally between preparation and the first Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing, and which shall be at no cost to the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants. Fees shall be as determined by the Mercer County Law Division mediator and the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants. Failure to pay the Mercer County Law Division mediator may result in an order by the Mercer County Law Division to pay the fees and costs of the Mercer County Law Division mediator including any additional costs and fees incurred due to the non-payment and imposing appropriate sanctions.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN COMMUNICATIONS DURING THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATION PROCESS
Unless the participants in the Mercer County Law Division mediation agree otherwise or to the extent disclosure is permitted by the applicable New Jersey Court Rule, no Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant, Mercer County Law Division mediator, or other participant in the Mercer County Law Division mediation may disclose any Mercer County Law Division mediation communication to anyone who was not a participant in the Mercer County Law Division mediation. The Mercer County Law Division mediator may disclose the Mercer County Law Division mediation communication to prevent harm to others to the extent such Mercer County Law Division mediation communication would be admissible in the Mercer County Law Division proceeding. The Mercer County Law Division mediator has the duty to disclose to a proper authority information obtained at the Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing if required by law or if the Mercer County Law Division mediator has a reasonable belief that such disclosure will prevent a participant from committing a criminal or illegal act likely to result in death or serious bodily harm. No Mercer County Law Division mediator may appear as counsel for any person in the same or any related matter. The Mercer County Law Division lawyer representing a client at the Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing shall be governed by the provisions of the applicable New Jersey Court Rules of Professional Conduct.

WHAT IS THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION TELEPHONIC CONFERENCE AND MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATION STATEMENT?
The Mercer County Law Division mediator shall fix a date following the Mercer County Law Division mediation telephonic conference for the exchange by the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants and service upon the Mercer County Law Division mediator of a brief Mercer County Law Division mediation statement of facts and proposals for settlement not exceeding ten pages. At the discretion of the Mercer County Law Division mediator, each Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant's statement of facts may be prepared and submitted to the Mercer County Law Division mediator for review without service of the Mercer County Law Division mediation statement of facts on the other Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant. All Mercer County Law Division mediation documents prepared for Mercer County Law Division mediation shall be confidential and subject to Rule 1:40-4(c) and (d).

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATION HEARING?
Mercer County Law Division mediation proceedings shall commence with an opening statement by the Mercer County Law Division mediator describing the purpose and procedures of the process. Mercer County Law Division mediators may require the participation of persons with negotiating authority. An attorney or other individual designated by the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant may accompany the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant to and participate in the Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing. A waiver of representation or participation given before the Mercer County Law Division mediation may be rescinded. Non-Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant witnesses may be heard in the discretion of the Mercer County Law Division mediator, and other non-Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants shall be permitted to attend only with the consent of the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants and the Mercer County Law Division mediator. Multiple Mercer County Law Division mediation hearings may be scheduled. Mercer County Law Division attorneys and Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants have an obligation to participate in the Mercer County Law Division mediation process in good faith in accordance with Mercer County Law Division mediation program guidelines. The Mercer County Law Division mediator or a participant may terminate the Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing if: (A) there is an imbalance of power between the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants that the Mercer County Law Division mediator cannot overcome, (B) the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant challenges the impartiality of the Mercer County Law Division mediator, (C) there is abusive behavior that the Mercer County Law Division mediator cannot control, or (D) the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant continuously resists the Mercer County Law Division mediation process or the Mercer County Law Division mediator. The Mercer County Law Division mediator shall terminate the Mercer County Law Division mediation hearing if: (A) there is a failure of communication that seriously impedes effective discussion, (B) the Mercer County Law Division mediator believes the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or (C) the Mercer County Law Division mediator believes continued Mercer County Law Division mediation is inappropriate or inadvisable for any reason.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO SETTLE MY MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION CASE DURING THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATION HEARING?
Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants may voluntarily agree to settle their Mercer County Law Division case but preparing the proper Mercer County Law Division settlement agreement requires great care. Each Mercer County Law Division case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. For example, what if you don’t include protections to yourself in the Mercer County Law Division agreement? The Mercer County Law Division may refuse to enforce the Mercer County Law Division settlement agreement if it is unclear what the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff and Mercer County Law Division defendant agreed to. Also, if the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant fails to honor the Mercer County Law Division settlement, you may have to return to Mercer County Law Division if you want to enforce the Mercer County Law Division settlement, which normally requires you to file the Mercer County Law Division motion. If you can afford the Mercer County Law Division attorney, it is best to have the Mercer County Law Division attorney prepare the Mercer County Law Division settlement agreement so that they can try to make the other Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants agree to the best Mercer County Law Division settlement terms for you. If the Mercer County Law Division mediation results in the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants' total or partial Mercer County Law Division settlement agreement, it shall be reduced to writing and a copy thereof furnished to each Mercer County Law Division plaintiff or Mercer County Law Division defendant. The Mercer County Law Division settlement agreement need not be filed with the Mercer County Law Division, but if formal proceedings have been stayed pending Mercer County Law Division mediation, the Mercer County Law Division mediator shall report to the Mercer County Law Division whether the Mercer County Law Division settlement agreement has been reached.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION MEDIATION HEARING?
Promptly upon termination of the Mercer County Law Division mediation process, the Mercer County Law Division mediator shall report to the Mercer County Law Division in writing as to whether or not the action or any severable claim therein has been settled. During the Mercer County Law Division mediation, none of the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff and Mercer County Law Division defendant is required to settle the Mercer County Law Division case. Indeed, one or all of the Mercer County Law Division plaintiffs and Mercer County Law Division defendants may not even make any offer to settle. If the Mercer County Law Division settlement agreement is not reached, the Mercer County Law Division case shall be referred back to Mercer County Law Division for formal disposition. If the Mercer County Law Division mediation is unsuccessful at settling the Mercer County Law Division case, the Mercer County Law Division case normally continues through the Mercer County Law Division system until the Mercer County Law Division case is dismissed or won or lost, such as by the Mercer County Law Division motion order or Mercer County Law Division trial verdict entered in either the Mercer County Law Division plaintiff’s favor or the Mercer County Law Division defendant’s favor. If the Mercer County Law Division case cannot be settled before the Mercer County Law Division trial and your Mercer County Law Division case is called to be tried, you must be prepared to present your Mercer County Law Division case or Mercer County Law Division defenses to the Mercer County Law Division.

APPEARING FOR THE MERCER COUNTY COURT TRIAL
Many people think they just file a complaint or answer and then show up in Mercer County Court with papers and tell their story. This is not always how Mercer County trials work! Never assume you can just show up to court with documents and use them to support your Mercer County trial of your New Jersey Law Division case or even refer to them at your Mercer County trial. While it is true that you must bring all documents, photographs, videos and other items with you to your Mercer County trial that are necessary to prove your New Jersey Law Division case (preferably originals), even if you bring such documents and items to court, your New Jersey Law Division may refuse to allow you to use them at your Mercer County trial. New Jersey has 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 your Mercer County trial. Accordingly, before trial, you must consult all of the New Jersey Court Rules to determine how you intend to get your documents and items into evidence or how to properly use them at your Mercer County trial. Hearsay rules of evidence are particularly troublesome and you should study them carefully before trial. For example, it is very common for courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items 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 your Mercer County Court. Written requests for information served and answered in advance of the Mercer County trial are often useful tools to get the information needed before the Mercer County trial to prove a case or a defense. NOTE THAT THE PROCEDURES FOR MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL CIVIL PART COURT TRIALS, MERCER COUNTY LAW DIVISION TRIALS AND MERCER COUNTY CHANCERY DIVISION TRIALS MAY DIFFER – CONSULT ALL APPLICABLE RULES!

SUBPOENA ALL WITNESSES IN ADVANCE OF TRIAL TO APPEAR AT YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL
If you need to present information to prove your Mercer County Court case but do not have firsthand knowledge of the information, you must have a person familiar with that information to testify in Mercer County Court. To assure that they appear in Mercer County Court, you need to serve those witnesses with subpoenas requiring them to appear before your Mercer County on your Mercer County trial date. The Mercer County subpoena may be issued by the clerk of the court or by an attorney or party in the name of the clerk. Your Mercer County subpoena must state the name of the court and the title of the action and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at the time and place specified therein. The testimony of a party to the lawsuit (a plaintiff or a defendant involved in the lawsuit) who could be subpoenaed may be compelled by a notice in lieu of subpoena served upon the party's attorney demanding that the attorney produce the client at your Mercer County trial. If the party is a corporation or other organization, the testimony of any person deposable on its behalf, under R. 4:14-2, may be compelled by like notice. The notice shall be served in accordance with R. 1:5-2 at least 5 days before trial. Mercer County subpoenas must include witness fees required by New Jersey law. A subpoena may be served by any person 18 or more years of age. Service of a subpoena shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to the person named together with tender of the fee allowed by law, except that if the person is a witness in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the fee shall be paid before leaving the court at the conclusion of the trial by the sheriff or, in the municipal court, by the clerk thereof. A subpoena or, in a civil action, a notice in lieu of subpoena as authorized by R. 1:9-1 may require production of books, papers, documents, electronically stored information, or other objects designated therein. The court on motion made promptly may quash or modify the subpoena or notice if compliance would be unreasonable or oppressive and, in a civil action, may condition denial of the motion upon the advancement by the person in whose behalf the subpoena or notice is issued of the reasonable cost of producing the objects subpoenaed. The court may direct that the objects designated in the subpoena or notice be produced before the court at a time prior to the trial or prior to the time when they are to be offered in evidence and may upon their production permit them or portions of them to be inspected by the parties and their attorneys and, in matrimonial actions and juvenile proceedings, by a probation officer or other person designated by the court. Except for pretrial production directed by the court pursuant to this rule, subpoenas for pretrial production shall comply with the requirements of R. 4:14-7(c). Failure without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon any person may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena issued.

ORGANIZE AND PREMARK EXHIBITS FOR USE AT YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL
Before your Mercer County trial, gather together all of your evidence, such as photographs, drawings, charts, parts, invoices, bills and other types of records and mark them – with a pen on a place where the writing shall not obscure any print – “P-1”, “P-2”, “P-3”, etc. for plaintiff’s exhibits and “D-1”, “D-2”, “D-3”, etc. for defendant’s exhibits. You only need to premark the exhibits you are using at your Mercer County trial – not those your opponents may use at your Mercer County trial. Be sure to bring all original evidence (and copies if only copies are available) to trial for use at your Mercer County trial. Make a list of all of your exhibits to refer to during the trial and bring enough copies of the list and each complete set of exhibits to your Mercer County trial - one for the judge, one for each of your opponents and one for you to use at your Mercer County trial. Failure to have all evidence at your Mercer County trial could cause you to lose your Mercer County Court case!

ORGANIZE AND BRING YOUR MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE FILE TO TRIAL
Before your Mercer County trial, gather together all motions, briefs, court notices, complaints, summonses, answers, subpoenas, written requests for information and answers to those requests and letters exchanged between the parties to the Mercer County Court case to your Mercer County trial. Bring all these documents to your Mercer County trial. Before your Mercer County trial, organize these documents into separate files so that you can easily find what you need during your Mercer County trial. Failure to have your complete your Mercer County Court case file at your Mercer County trial could cause you to lose your Mercer County Court case!

IF YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOUR MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE BY PRESENTING TECHNICAL, SCIENTIFIC OR MEDICAL INFORMATION, HIRE AN EXPERT WITNESS TO WRITE A COMPLETE EXPERT REPORT AND TO TESTIFY AT TRIAL
Often to prove one’s Mercer County Court case or to successfully defend against the Mercer County complaint, it is necessary to hire an expert witness to prepare a proper expert report and to testify regarding another party’s misconduct and the damages sustained as a result of the misconduct. If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the factfinder at your Mercer County trial to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise. To be considered by your Mercer County, an expert’s opinion must meet three basic requirements: (1) the intended testimony must concern a subject matter that is beyond the knowledge of the average juror; (2) the subject testified to must be at a state of the art such that an expert’s testimony could be sufficiently reliable; and (3) the witness must have sufficient expertise to offer the intended testimony. To meet the element of whether expert testimony is sufficiently reliable, the party offering the expert testimony must demonstrate that the expert’s opinion or theory is generally accepted within the scientific community. An expert's opinion must be supported by facts or data either in the record or of a type usually relied upon by experts in the field. Bare conclusions of an expert that are not supported by factual evidence are inadmissible. Likewise, expert conclusions based on discredited or improperly performed diagnostic tools are suspect. An expert's trial testimony is confined to the opinion reflected in his or her report. Many expert opinions are never admitted into evidence and experts are thereby prevented from testifying at your Mercer County trial because your Mercer County finds the reports unreliable and/or inadequate. Therefore, simply hiring an expert does not assure that you shall get their testimony into evidence. Professional experts usually charge a fee to inspect your property and write a report – sometimes they bill by the hour and sometimes via a flat fee arrangement linked to each service they are to perform. The expert normally sends a copy of their report to the party who hired the expert. If your Mercer County Court case requires expert testimony and the matter goes all the way to trial, it shall be necessary to have the expert appear at and testify at same. The expert usually charges additional fees for the time during which they must appear at your Mercer County trial but you may get the expert to include such services as part of the fee to perform inspections and to write reports. While there are some exceptions, normally, Mercer County Courts do not allow people to show up at your Mercer County trial to introduce into evidence estimates, expert reports and other documents that they never prepared and witnesses are often necessary to prove one’s case, especially when it comes to the party’s damages.

MAKE SURE YOU SUBPOENA YOUR EXPERT WITNESS TO SHOW UP AT YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL
If you have any witnesses that you need to testify for you at your Mercer County trial, then in advance of your Mercer County trial and as required by court rules, laws and published cases, you must prepare a written subpoena (or subpoenas if your Mercer County Court case is adjourned). Such a subpoena must normally be personally served by a process server rather than by mail. If you want to force one of the parties to your Mercer County Court case to testify as part of your Mercer County Court case, since they might not show up at your Mercer County trial (it is possible that only their attorney will show up), you should serve them with a notice in lieu of subpoena. If you think that you could have problems getting someone to show up to provide testimony at your Mercer County trial, you should have a process server serve them with a subpoena or if they are a party to the dispute, a notice in lieu of subpoena. Without witnesses to testify at your Mercer County trial (especially experts, discussed above), you may lose your Mercer County Court case.

PREPARE TRIAL BRIEFS TO EXPLAIN YOUR POSITION ON COMPLEX LEGAL OR FACTUAL ISSUES
Before your Mercer County trial, review your Mercer County Court case and for any complex legal or factual issues that you think you might face at your Mercer County trial, perform legal research on those issues and write an explanation of your position. Be sure to bring enough copies of each trial brief you prepare for your Mercer County trial to your Mercer County trial – one for the judge, one for each opponent and one for you.

IF YOUR MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE IS SCHEDULED TO BE PRETRIED, PREPARE ANY TRIAL BRIEFS ORDERED BY YOUR MERCER COUNTY
Some Mercer County Court cases are scheduled by your Mercer County to be “pretried” or undergo pretrial conferences, which are held in the discretion of your Mercer County Court either on its own motion or upon a party's written request. The request of a party for a pretrial conference shall include a statement of the facts and reasons supporting the request. The pretrial conference shall be recorded verbatim. The parties shall submit to the court and serve on all other parties a pretrial memorandum, as prescribed by R. 4:25-3, at least three days prior to the pretrial conference date specified in the notice of pretrial conference. In addition, if trial briefs are ordered at a pretrial conference a pretrial order entered by your Mercer County shall specify to which judge or other court official they shall be submitted and within what time and you should, in addition to any other steps required, submit briefs required by the pretrial order. Be sure to bring enough copies of each trial brief you prepare for your Mercer County trial to your Mercer County trial – one for the judge, one for each opponent and one for you.

IF YOUR MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE IS NOT SCHEDULED FOR A PRETRIAL CONFERENCE, CONFER WITH YOUR OPPONENTS & PREPARE A PRETRIAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE
Before your Mercer County trial, in cases that have not been scheduled to be pretried, attorneys shall confer and, seven days prior to the initial trial date, you must prepare and forward to your opponents the pretrial information exchange as prescribed by Appendix XXIII to the New Jersey Court Rules. Also, at trial and prior to opening statements, the parties shall submit to the court the following in writing: (1) copies of any Pretrial Information Exchange materials that have been exchanged pursuant to this rule, and any objections made thereto; and (2) stipulations reached on contested procedural, evidentiary, and substantive issues. Be sure to bring enough copies of each document you prepare for your Mercer County trial to your Mercer County trial – one for the judge, one for each opponent and one for you.

IF YOU HAVE THE MERCER COUNTY JURY TRIAL, PREPARE ALL NECESSARY JURY TRIAL DOCUMENTS
If you or your opponents asked for the Mercer County jury trial in the time and manner required by the New Jersey Court Rules and paid the court the necessary fee, you must appear at trial with documents necessary to handle your Mercer County jury trial. These documents are in addition to any of the other documents normally needed for the Mercer County trial that is not being heard by a jury. For example, you must have the following additional documents ready at trial: (1) any proposed voir dire questions, (2) a list of proposed jury instructions pursuant to R. 1:8-7, with specific reference either to the Model Civil Jury Charges, if applicable, or to applicable legal authority, and (3) a proposed jury verdict form that includes all possible verdicts the jury may return. Failure to exchange and submit all the information required by this rule may result in court penalties as determined by the trial judge. You should also seriously consider preparing and having ready the following additional documents for any jury trial: (1) a statement to read to the jury, (2) an opening statement to read to the jury at the opening of your Mercer County Court case and (3) a closing statement to read to the jury at the closing of your Mercer County Court case. Bring enough copies of the jury trial documents to your Mercer County trial - one for the judge, one for each of your opponents and one for you to use at your Mercer County trial. Failure to have all or even some of these documents at your Mercer County trial could cause you to lose your Mercer County Court case!

NOW THAT I HAVE PREPARED FOR MY MERCER COUNTY TRIAL, WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS ON THAT DATE?
On the day that your Mercer County Court case is scheduled for the Mercer County trial, whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant, you must appear at Mercer County Court in the proper courtroom. Usually, many cases are heard on the day that your Mercer County Court case is called for your Mercer County trial by your Mercer County and it is not uncommon for many people to wait in a single courtroom for their Mercer County Court case to be called. You must be on time to avoid losing your Mercer County Court case! It is best to arrive early to Mercer County Court, since it is not unusual for your Mercer County Courtroom’s seats to fill up quickly!

HOW DOES YOUR MERCER COUNTY COURT INFORM THE PARTIES ABOUT THE MERCER COUNTY TRIAL DATE IN THE MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE?
In most cases, your Mercer County informs the parties or their attorneys of the Mercer County trial date at least 30 days before trial. However, if your Mercer County Court has good cause, it may provide a longer or shorter notice of your Mercer County trial. Usually, your Mercer County Court sends a notice card to the parties advising them of trial. However, it is not uncommon for the notices to be sent long after the date that they are prepared, resulting in the parties receiving far less than 30 days’ notice of your Mercer County trial.

AM I GUARANTED TO HAVE MY TRIAL IN THE MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE ON THE DATE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED?
Mercer County trials can be very complex and time consuming – sometimes they take all day or more than one day to complete. Also, it is very common for Mercer County trials to get adjourned because someone is not ready to present their Mercer County Court case for a valid reason (but you can never expect that you shall automatically get an adjournment and you must always be fully ready to try your Mercer County Court case on the date that your Mercer County trial is scheduled since courts often refuse adjournment requests and dismiss cases if parties are not prepared to proceed with their Mercer County Court case or defense on your Mercer County trial date). It is not unusual for a judge hearing trials in your Mercer County to decide to tell a plaintiff and defendant in a case to return to your Mercer County Court on another day to have their trial because the judge does not have time to handle your Mercer County trial on the date originally scheduled. Sometimes, a party will ask your Mercer County Court for an adjournment and your Mercer County Court grants that adjournment but in violation of the court rules, the party that did not request the adjournment is not told that your Mercer County trial is adjourned! To avoid unnecessary trips to your Mercer County Court, it is best to call one or two days before trial to make certain that your Mercer County trial has not been rescheduled without your knowledge.

WHAT IF I CAN’T SHOW UP ON THE DATE OF TRIAL FOR SOME REASON – CAN I GET YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL RESCHEDULED IN MY MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE?
All requests for Mercer County trial adjournments must be made to your Mercer County Court as soon as the need for the adjournment is known, but absent good cause for the delay, the request must usually be made a certain time before the date your Mercer County trial. Before you make an adjournment request, notify all of your opponents that the request is going to be made and then notify your Mercer County Court clerk of the opponent’s response. Your Mercer County Court shall then decide the issue and if your Mercer County Court grants the request, shall assign a new date. The requesting party must notify all their opponents of your Mercer County Court's response. It is highly recommended to make all these requests in writing, such as with a letter and to keep a copy for your records (and to allow the request to be properly processed you should submit the request to your Mercer County preferably at least 10 days before your Mercer County trial date). That way, if your Mercer County Court improperly denies the adjournment request (not uncommon) you shall have proof to use to have a higher authority decide the issue.

Often, your Mercer County Court schedules your Mercer County trial of a case before parties have enough time to gather the information they need to prove their Mercer County Court case. This period of factfinding before trial is called “discovery”. If a party needs additional time to complete discovery and the discovery period has not expired, your Mercer County Court is normally required to adjourn your Mercer County trial. If you qualify for such an adjournment, you do not need your opponent’s agreement to the adjournment but it is best to first ask your opponent for their agreement. If they refuse or do not respond in a timely manner, send a letter to your Mercer County Court explaining the situation and asking for a new date for your Mercer County trial. A motion to extend discovery is often necessary to secure extensions before the discovery period expires. Be certain to consult the New Jersey Court Rules for further details.

If you are making a request to adjourn the Mercer County trial and you know in advance of making your request that you have any vacation plans or would otherwise be unable to appear at a new trial date for a good reason, let your Mercer County Court know the dates you are unavailable. If you wait too close to your Mercer County trial date before forwarding an adjournment request, the request shall very likely be denied.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PLAINTIFF FAILS TO SHOW UP ON YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL DATE IN THE MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE?
If a plaintiff fails to appear when their Mercer County Court case is called for your Mercer County trial, your Mercer County is likely to dismiss your Mercer County complaint. If this happens and the plaintiff has a good reason for failing to appear at your Mercer County trial, the plaintiff could file a motion with your Mercer County requesting that your Mercer County Court case be reinstated and your Mercer County trial rescheduled.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DEFENDANT FAILS TO SHOW UP ON YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL DATE IN THE MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE?
If a defendant fails to appear when your Mercer County Court case is called for your Mercer County trial, your Mercer County shall likely enter a default against the defendant. If you are a plaintiff and you receive a default in your Mercer County Court case, you shall have to prepare and file paperwork with your Mercer County Court asking your Mercer County Court to enter a default judgment in your favor. If this happens and the defendant has a good reason for failing to appear at your Mercer County trial, the defendant could file a motion with your Mercer County requesting that the default judgment be removed (vacated), that your Mercer County Court case be reinstated and your Mercer County trial rescheduled.

WHAT IF PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT (OR THEIR ATTORNEYS) SHOW UP AT YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL IN THE MERCER COUNTY COURT CASE?
If no dismissal or default is entered in your Mercer County Court case, you must be prepared to present your Mercer County Court case or defense. 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 your Mercer County Court case. A court has the power to punish unprepared parties, such as by throwing their Mercer County Court case out of court or limiting what they can present at your Mercer County trial. You must bring all documents, photographs, videos and other items with you to your Mercer County trial that are necessary to prove your Mercer County Court case (preferably originals). Even if you bring such documents and items to court, your Mercer County may refuse to allow you to use them at your Mercer County 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 your Mercer County trial. Accordingly, before trial, you must consult all of the New Jersey Court Rules to determine how you intend to get your documents and items into evidence or how to properly use them at your Mercer County trial. Hearsay rules of evidence are particularly troublesome and you should study them carefully before your Mercer County trial. For example, it is very common for Mercer County Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items that the person themselves never prepared. Often parties stumble into Mercer County 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 your Mercer County. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at your Mercer County trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases. While there are exceptions, evidence is most frequently admitted to your Mercer County Court by calling witness to testify before your Mercer County Court. It is best to have your questions for any witnesses prepared in advance. During the Mercer County trial parties normally call witnesses and prevent evidence about their dispute and argue legal issues in support of their positions. The judge hearing the Mercer County trial may ask questions of the witnesses. At the end of your Mercer County trial, your Mercer County normally enters a judgment for or against you. Your Mercer County may also withhold or “reserve” judgment for a later date, which normally results in your Mercer County taking time to write up its reasons for its decision and mailing it to the parties’ last known addresses (or to their attorneys, if they are represented).

WILL MY MERCER COUNTY TRIAL BE DECIDED BY A JUDGE OR A JURY?
If none of the parties requests a jury trial, your Mercer County Court case shall usually be tried without a jury – which means only a judge shall hear your trial and decide your Mercer County Court case. Normally, you can’t show up at your Mercer County trial and request a jury trial – the request must be made when you file your Mercer County complaint or file your answer to your Mercer County complaint with the Mercer County Court or within a certain number of days of the filing of the complaint or answer and the jury trial request must be in writing.

If you or your opponent properly requested a jury trial, unless the judge throws your Mercer County Court case out of court for some reason, your Mercer County Court case is tried by a judge deciding the legal issues and a jury deciding the factual issues. Parties may withdraw their demand for the Mercer County trial if all parties to your Mercer County Court case agree to the withdrawal, in which case your Mercer County Court case will be decided by a judge alone. Judges may decide to on their own to order a jury trial (very rare).

IF I AM A PLAINTIFF OR DEFENDANT IN THE MERCER COUNTY TRIAL, WILL THE OTHER SIDE HAVE AN ATTORNEY?
Most parties in Mercer County Court cases are represented by an attorney. If you are not represented by an attorney in the Mercer County Court case, you are called a “pro se litigant”. While people can and often do represent themselves Mercer County Court, their opponent may be represented by an attorney, which often places the unrepresented party at a major disadvantage. If possible, hire an attorney to at least prepare any necessary court paperwork and if you can afford it, to also appear and represent you in court at any motions or trials. The proper preparation of legal papers and preparation of a case for your Mercer County trial often requires knowledge of legal issues that only attorneys have. Court rules and evidence rules are often complex and accordingly, are often difficult to follow. Trials can be very complex and time consuming – sometimes they take all day or more than one day to complete. People who are not attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey are not able to give you legal advice about Law Division disputes that are heard by New Jersey courts, regardless of whether the people work for a court or work for an attorney. If a party is represented by an attorney in the Mercer County dispute, you must generally avoid having oral or written contact regarding your Mercer County Court case with the represented party and instead, must make all communications involving your Mercer County Court case through the represented party’s attorney.

WILL I HAVE A CHANCE TO SETTLE MY CASE BEFORE MY TRIAL IN YOUR MERCER COUNTY?
In most cases, before your Mercer County trial occurs, the parties meet with the judge and discuss their dispute. This could be done informally in the judge’s chambers or formally in the courtroom. Usually, before the trial starts, the judge attempts to resolve your Mercer County Court case by suggesting a possible settlement to both parties. During such a settlement conference, none of the parties is required to settle the Mercer County Court case. Indeed, one or all of the parties may not even make any offer to settle. Note that cases do not always undergo such settlement conferences. If your Mercer County Court case cannot be settled before trial and your Mercer County Court case is called to be tried, you must be prepared to present your Mercer County Court case or defenses. Regardless of whether the parties participate in a settlement conference before the Mercer County trial, parties may voluntarily agree to settle their Mercer County Court case Judges are usually willing to help parties settle their Mercer County Court case but they cannot force any part to settle their Mercer County Court case so that if a party refuses to settle, it is very likely that your Mercer County Court case shall proceed to trial. Judges may schedule a conference in your Mercer County Court case and at that time, try to settle your Mercer County Court case. Preparing the proper settlement agreement requires great care. Many settlements fail, which leads to unhappy parties and often, more court proceedings. Normally, at any trial proceeding, your Mercer County has settlement forms for the parties to complete. However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. For example, what if your agreement fails to include the proper protections to your interest? A court may refuse to enforce a settlement agreement if it is unclear what the parties agreed to. Also, if a party fails to honor a settlement, you may have to return to court if you want to enforce the settlement, which normally requires you to file a motion. If you can afford an attorney, it is best to have the attorney prepare the settlement agreement so that they can try to make the other parties agree to the best settlement terms for you. If you do settle your Mercer County Court case yourself, you should notify your Mercer County as soon as possible – with a phone call and then followed up in writing. If your Mercer County Court case is settled before trial, you should make every effort to advise your Mercer County Court before your Mercer County trial occurs.

WHAT HAPPENS IF DEFENDANT IS DEFAULTED?
If a defendant is automatically defaulted by your Mercer County, then no trial will occur (unless your Mercer County vacates the default) and the plaintiff has a set amount of time from the date of the entry of default to file additional paperwork with your Mercer County to seek a default judgment against a defendant. In some cases, securing a default judgment only requires the plaintiff to submit paperwork, while in other cases, the plaintiff has to prepare and file a motion and your Mercer County may require the plaintiff and defendant to appear at a court hearing – a “proof hearing”.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T SHOW UP AT YOUR MERCER COUNTY TRIAL AND PLAINTIFF THEREAFTER GETS A DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST ME AND I IGNORE IT?
If you ignore a judgment, your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the judgment holder, some of your wages may be taken from you, your personal property may be seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy the judgment and/or a lien may be put against a house you own. If your Mercer County complaint is for money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the judgment requires a defendant to pay $500 or more, the defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the plaintiff may file papers asking your Mercer County to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the defendant's driving and registration privileges until that judgment is paid. Often people wait until their bank account is frozen or until their wages are attached to take action – at that point it is difficult and sometimes too late to do anything to successfully stop those collection efforts. It is not uncommon to refuse to help such latecomers from taking issue with the collection efforts unless they file papers with your Mercer County Court for relief. However, once a judgment is entered against you, you may ask your Mercer County Court to remove or “vacate” the judgment by filing the appropriate motion with your Mercer County.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET A JUDGMENT?
Once you get a judgment, you become a judgment creditor and you may decide to do nothing or more likely, you may decide to try to collect it. To collect the Mercer County judgment, Law Division officers may be of assistance in taking steps to collect it, but they cannot provide legal advice. Normally, to collect on a judgment, you need to know the whereabouts of the debtor’s assets and you need to fill out paperwork to direct your Mercer County Court officer to try to recover the judgment from those assets. The collection process is often difficult and if a debtor files for bankruptcy, you may never collect your judgment. Your Mercer County Court normally has forms available at your Mercer County Courthouse and on the worldwide web. However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford an attorney, it is best to have the attorney perform the steps necessary to collect any judgment.

WHAT IF A DEFAULT AND/OR DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS ENTERED AGAINST YOU AND YOU STILL WANT THE MERCER COUNTY TRIAL?
If a default and/or default judgment was entered against you, you may seek to remove it, called “vacating the default” or “vacating the default judgment”. To vacate either, you must normally prepare a written motion and file the motion with your Mercer County asking that the default and/or default judgment be vacated. Your Mercer County Court normally has forms available at your Mercer County Courthouse and on the worldwide web. However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford an attorney, it is best to have the attorney perform the steps necessary to prepare the proper motion. If you ignore the default, it may lead to the entry of a judgment against you. If you ignore a judgment, your bank account may be frozen and money in it turned over to the judgment holder, some of your wages may be taken from you, your personal property may be seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy the judgment and/or a lien may be put against a house you own. If your Mercer County complaint is for money damages caused by a motor vehicle accident and the judgment requires a defendant to pay $500 or more, the defendant must pay within 60 days and if they do not, the plaintiff may file papers asking your Mercer County to direct the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to stop the defendant's driving and registration privileges until that judgment is paid.

TAKING MERCER COUNTY APPEALS -- WHAT IF I LOSE MY TRIAL OR YOUR MERCER COUNTY COURT REFUSES TO VACATE A DEFAULT JUDGMENT?
If you are a plaintiff and you lose the Mercer County Court case, it could mean the dismissal of your lawsuit forever and it could prevent you from ever recovering money damages against a defendant who you believe owes you money. If you are a defendant and you lose the Mercer County Court case, it could mean the entry of a money judgment against you and the beginning of the plaintiff’s efforts to collect the judgment from you by freezing your bank accounts, attaching your wages, putting a lien on your home and forcing you to answer detailed questions about your finances. If you disagree with your Mercer County Court’s decision about a summary judgment motion, you may file papers for your Mercer County Court for various forms of post trial relief, such as a motion for your Mercer County Court to reconsider its decision (called a motion for reconsideration) or a motion to overturn the verdict or a motion for a new trial. In most cases, such post trial motions must be made in a specific time frame, such as 20 days from the date of your Mercer County Court’s order deciding the summary judgment motion. If your Mercer County’s decision in your Mercer County Court case is final, you may also appeal your Mercer County Court case to a higher court -- the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. There are very strict deadlines for filing Mercer County appeals. To appeal the Mercer County final judgment that resolves all issues in your Mercer County Court case, you may file a notice of appeal and other required documents with the Appellate Division within 45 days from the date of judgment and pay a fee to the Appellate Division – Mercer County appeals are not heard by your Mercer County and you should not try to file appellate papers with your Mercer County! As part of your Mercer County appeal, you usually must also prepare a written court transcript request and order a court transcript from the appropriate court that decided the matter against you and pay a fee for it. Appeals are some of the most complex proceedings in your Mercer County Court system. Your Mercer County Court normally has forms available on the worldwide web. However, neither court forms, websites nor advice from court personnel are good substitutes for a competent attorney’s legal services. Each case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford an attorney, it is best to have the attorney perform the steps necessary to take the Mercer County appeal. Appeals from Mercer County orders or judgments that are not final are called “interlocutory appeals” and the procedure for such appeals is somewhat different than those for Mercer County appeals from final judgments or orders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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