Small Claims Court in Hudson County

In Hudson County, NJ small claims cases are filed in superior court. Hudson County has two superior courthouses that handle small claims, serving different jurisdictions.

Squabble is here to assist you in navigating the small claims court system and filing a claim with ease. We recognize that not everyone is a legal expert, and our goal is to simplify the process for you. This guide will answer your questions about filing claims in the Hudson Court System.

Small Claims Court

In Hudson County, NJ the small claims court operates under the Superior Court's Special Civil Part. It handles disputes where the claimed amount does not exceed $5,000. Cases seeking between $5,000 and $20,000 should be filed in the regular Special Civil Part, while claims exceeding $20,000 must be filed in the Law Division of the Superior Court.

Cases Handled

Small Claims Court deals with a variety of cases, such as:

  • Breach of a written or oral contract.
  • Return of a down payment.
  • Property damage from a motor vehicle accident.
  • Damage to or loss of property.
  • Consumer complaints regarding defective merchandise or faulty workmanship.
  • Payment for services rendered.
  • Claims involving bad checks.
  • Claims for unpaid rent.
  • Return of a tenant's security deposit, limited to $5,000 or less.

Claims that cannot be filed in small claims court:

In small claims court, you cannot file claims involving:

  • Professional malpractice, such as alleged malpractice by a doctor, dentist, or lawyer.
  • Claims for support or alimony arising from marital or domestic disputes.

Where to file

To file your complaint in small claims court:

  • File at the Office of the Special Civil Part in the county where at least one defendant lives or where the defendant's business operates. For businesses, this includes where they conduct business or where their registered office is located.
  • If there are multiple defendants, you can file the complaint in the county where any one of the defendants lives or is located.
  • If none of the defendants reside or are located in New Jersey, file the complaint in the county where the cause of the action originated or where it began.
  • Note: For complaints regarding the return of a security deposit, you can file in the county where the landlord resides or where their rental property is located.

Who can file

To file a lawsuit in small claims court:

  • The person initiating the suit must be 18 years of age or older.
  • If the person filing the complaint is under 18 years old, their parent or guardian must file the complaint on their behalf.

Filing a Complaint

You can obtain a small claims summons and complaint form from Hudson County, NJ Special Civil Part office or by visiting Here are your filing options:

  • Electronically: File the summons and complaint through Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS).
  • By Mail: Send the documents to the appropriate Special Civil Part office.
  • In Person: File the documents at the Special Civil Part office in person.

These options provide flexibility in how you initiate your small claims court case in New Jersey.

When filing a complaint as the plaintiff, you must:

When preparing your summons and complaint for filing in Small Claims Court in Hudson County, NJ, ensure you include the following details:

  1. Full Name, Address, and Telephone Number: Provide your complete contact information.
  2. Proper Service of Complaint: Accurately state the names and addresses of all defendants. Clearly identify whether each defendant is an individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
  3. Amount Being Sought: Specify the exact amount of money you are seeking in the lawsuit.
  4. Reason for Lawsuit: Explain why the defendant owes you money or the basis for your claim.
  5. Existing Cases: Disclose if there is any existing case involving both you and the defendant(s), including the court's name.
  6. Signature and Date: Sign and date the completed form.
  7. Filing and Service Fees: Pay the required fees when submitting the summons and complaint to the Special Civil Part Office. Ensure payments are sufficient to avoid the return of your documents.
  8. Confidential Information: Do not include confidential personal identifiers such as full Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, vehicle plate numbers, insurance policy numbers, active financial account numbers, active credit card numbers, or information about an individual’s military status.

After Filing

After filing a summons and complaint in Hudson County Special Civil Part:

  1. Both the plaintiff and defendant receive a trial date notification.
  2. If the defendant does not appear at the trial, the court may issue a "default" judgment, determining the amount owed by the defendant.
  3. The plaintiff must provide proof of the debt and confirm the defendant's non-military status for individual defendants. Business defendants are exempt from providing military status information.
  4. Instructions for obtaining a default judgment can be obtained from Special Civil Part offices or online at
  5. For motor vehicle accident claims exceeding $500, defendants must pay within 60 days of the judgment. Failure to do so may lead the plaintiff to request the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to suspend the defendant's driving and registration privileges until the debt is settled.


The Hudson County Judiciary is committed to ensuring individuals with disabilities can access and participate in court events by offering reasonable accommodations. To request accommodations, individuals can contact the local ADA coordinator through

For those requiring court-interpreting services, it is important to notify the court promptly. Contact details for arranging interpreting services can also be found on

Filing Fees

Filing a complaint in Special Civil in Hudson County, New Jersey involves the following costs:

  • Filing Fee: $35 for filing against one defendant. An additional $5 for each additional defendant.
  • Service Fees:
    • $7 fee per defendant for service by certified and regular mail.
    • For personal service by a Special Civil Part Officer:
      • $3 reservice fee plus $7 service fee for one defendant.
      • $5 reservice fee plus $7 service fee for each additional defendant.
  • Jury Trial Request Fee: $100 for six jurors.

If you are unable to pay these fees, you can apply to the court to be considered indigent. If approved by the judge, you may qualify for a waiver of filing fees.

Preparing for the Trial


As the plaintiff in a court case, it's essential to be fully prepared to prove your case effectively. Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Gather Witnesses and Records: Ensure you have all necessary witnesses ready to testify in court. Written statements, even if sworn, are generally not admissible, so witness testimony is crucial. Make sure your witnesses are prepared to testify about what they saw or heard.
  2. Prepare Questions: Plan and draft your questions for witnesses in advance. This preparation helps ensure you present your case clearly and effectively during trial.
  3. Organize Documentation: Bring all relevant documents to court that support your claims. These may include canceled checks, sales receipts, bills, contracts, letters, photographs, and any other documents essential to your case. Organizing them in a logical manner will help you present your evidence smoothly.
  4. Settlement Consideration: If you reach a settlement agreement with the defendant before the trial date, promptly notify the Special Civil Part Office to confirm the settlement. This action ensures that the case is marked as settled, preventing unnecessary court proceedings.


If you're the defendant in a case, preparing effectively can significantly impact the outcome. Here's what you should focus on:

  1. Gather Witnesses and Documents: Collect all necessary witnesses and documents that support your defense. These will be essential in presenting your side of the case convincingly.
  2. Counterclaims:* If you have a claim against the plaintiff (a counterclaim), make sure to file it with the Special Civil Part Office before the scheduled trial date. Staff at the office can assist you through the filing process.
  3. Attendance: It's critical to attend the trial. If the plaintiff fails to appear, the case might be dismissed. Conversely, if you don't attend, a default judgment could be entered against you, potentially resulting in an order to pay the amount claimed.
  4. Settlement: If you and the plaintiff reach a settlement agreement before the trial date, promptly inform the Special Civil Part Court to ensure the case is marked as settled.

Trial Day

On the day of trial in Hudson County, New Jersey's Special Civil Part:

  1. Attendance: Both the plaintiff and defendant must attend as instructed on their respective summons and notices from the Special Civil Part Office, unless notified otherwise by the court. If the court is closed due to inclement weather, the trial will be rescheduled.
  2. Settlement Discussions: During the scheduled trial day, the court will facilitate settlement discussions between the parties—plaintiffs and defendants—assisted by a trained settler. The goal is to reach a mutually acceptable agreement without proceeding to a formal trial. It's important to note that the settler is not a judge.
  3. Proceeding to Trial: If a settlement isn't reached, the case will proceed to be heard by a judge on the same day, whenever possible.
  4. Judgment Collection: If you are the plaintiff and succeed in your case, refer to the "Collecting a Money Judgment" brochure available at any New Jersey Special Civil Part Office and online at This resource provides guidance on how to enforce the judgment in your favor.


If you wish to appeal a court decision in Hudson County, whether you're the plaintiff or defendant, here's a concise summary of the appeal process:

  • Timeframe: File a Notice of Appeal, Request for Transcript, and Case Information Statement within 45 days from the judgment date. Submit these documents to the Appellate Division clerk in Trenton and provide copies to all involved parties, the Special Civil Part office, and the presiding judge.
  • Filing Fees: Pay a $250 filing fee along with the Notice of Appeal. Additionally, deposit $300 with the Appellate Division clerk within 30 days of filing. This deposit may cover costs if the appeal is unsuccessful but is refunded if the appeal succeeds.
  • Trial Transcript: Obtain a transcript of the trial proceedings from the Special Civil Part office in the trial county. Deposit the estimated transcript cost or $300 per trial day with the Appellate Division clerk and file three copies of the transcript.
  • Contact: For questions about the appeals process, contact the Appellate Division clerk at 609-815-2950 or seek guidance from an attorney familiar with appellate procedures.

Money after Judgment

If you've been awarded a judgment in Hudson County, New Jersey's Special Civil Part and are owed money by the judgment debtor, here are important considerations:

  1. Contacting the Judgment Debtor: As the judgment creditor, initiate contact with the person who owes you money (the judgment debtor) to discuss payment arrangements. Payments can be made either immediately after the court hearing or according to an agreed-upon schedule.
  2. Court Assistance in Collection: If you do not receive the owed money voluntarily, the court provides several methods to assist you in collecting it. Detailed information about these methods is available in forms accessible at any New Jersey Special Civil Part Office.
  3. No Guarantee of Payment: It's important to note that while the court facilitates collection efforts, it cannot guarantee that the money will be paid to you by the judgment debtor.
  4. Forms and Instructions: Various forms for different collection methods are available at Hudson County, New Jersey Special Civil Part Offices. For self-represented litigants, complaint and answer packets with detailed instructions are also accessible both at these offices and online at


A writ in Hudson County, New Jersey's Special Civil Part allows for the collection of money owed from a judgment debtor's assets, excluding real estate. Here are the key details and procedures:

  • Purpose: The writ empowers a Special Civil Part Officer to collect debt from a judgment debtor's bank account or personal property.
  • Identification of Property: You must specify the debtor's personal property that can be used to satisfy the judgment. The debtor can retain up to $1,000 worth of personal property and wearing apparel.
  • Limitation: This method cannot be used if the debtor's personal property is valued at $1,000 or less.
  • Seizing a Vehicle: To seize a motor vehicle, you must confirm it is registered in the debtor's name. Obtain a certified copy of the title and conduct a lien search with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to check for outstanding loans.
  • Costs: The fee for obtaining a writ is $35, plus a $7 service fee for the Special Civil Part Officer. Additional charges may apply for advertising and selling seized property.
  • Validity: A writ remains valid for two years from its issuance date, and there is no limit to the number of writs a creditor can obtain.
  • Assignment: The Special Civil Part Officer assigned to execute the writ is determined by the court; creditors cannot choose the officer.

This summary outlines the procedures and regulations governing the execution of writs to recover debts through specific legal means in Hudson County.

Garnishing Debtor’s Salary

Here's an outline of the key steps and requirements for garnishing a debtor’s wages to collect a debt through Hudson County New Jersey's Special Civil Part:

  • Eligibility: You can request a wage execution if the debtor works in New Jersey and earns more than $217.50 per week.
  • Application Process:
    • Send a Notice of Application for Wage Execution to the debtor by regular and certified mail.
    • File a copy of the notice with the Special Civil Part Office where the case was heard.
  • Debtor's Response: If the debtor objects to the wage execution, a court hearing will be promptly scheduled.
  • Execution Issuance: If there is no objection or the court denies it, an Order for Wage Execution is issued. The Special Civil Part Officer delivers this order to the debtor's employer.
  • Employer's Role: The employer is required to withhold a portion of the debtor's pay as directed by the order and send it to the Special Civil Part Officer. The officer deducts a 10% commission and forwards the remainder to you, the creditor.
  • Fees: Costs associated with wage execution include a $35 fee for the execution itself and a $7 fee for service to the employer by the Special Civil Part Officer.
  • Resources: Self-represented litigants can obtain a packet on How to File a Wage Application at any New Jersey Special Civil Part Office or online at


Here's an overview of the process and guidelines for using an information subpoena effectively to locate and gather information about a judgment debtor's assets:

  1. Purpose: An information subpoena is used to discover where the debtor holds bank accounts, what property they own, or where they are employed, especially when this information is unknown.
  2. Obtaining the Subpoena: Obtain an information subpoena from any New Jersey Special Civil Part Office or online at
  3. Serving the Subpoena: Serve the debtor with an original and copy of the subpoena personally or by registered/certified mail with return receipt requested, and also by regular mail. Include a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope for the debtor's response.
  4. Response Time: The debtor must respond within 14 days of being served. Failure to respond may lead to court sanctions for contempt.
  5. Frequency: You can serve an information subpoena only once every six months without court approval.
  6. Enforcement: If the debtor fails to fully respond within 21 days, you can apply to the court with a certification for an order to subpoena banks, employers, or other entities holding the debtor's funds or assets.
  7. Additional Steps: Serve these subsequent subpoenas in the same manner. Non-compliance by recipients may result in court-enforceable sanctions.
  8. Resources: Self-represented litigants can obtain guidance on How to File a Motion to Enforce Litigants Rights from any Special Civil Part Office or online at


Here's an outline of the procedural steps and requirements for using a Court Order for Discovery:

  1. Purpose: The Court Order for Discovery allows you to petition the court, detailing the amount owed on a judgment, to compel the debtor or others with knowledge of the debtor's assets to answer questions about those assets at a specified time and place.
  2. Filing Process: File a petition with the court specifying the judgment amount and requesting the issuance of a discovery order.
  3. Service of Order: Serve a copy of the discovery order to the debtor or relevant individuals personally, or by registered/certified mail with return receipt requested, and also by regular mail. The debtor must receive the order at least 10 days before the appearance date.
  4. Appearance Requirement: The debtor or named individuals must comply with the order by appearing at the designated time and place to provide information about the debtor's assets.
  5. Non-Compliance Consequences: Failure to comply with the court order, such as by not appearing or not providing required information, may result in contempt sanctions enforceable by the court.

Collect an Out-of-State Judgment

Here's a summary of the essential steps and legal provisions for enforcing an out-of-state judgment in Hudson County, ensuring compliance with constitutional mandates and procedural requirements:

  • Full Faith and Credit: Under Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution, an out-of-state judgment is recognized and enforceable in New Jersey. To enforce it, you can docket the judgment with the Clerk of the Superior Court in Trenton. This action creates a lien on any real estate owned by the debtor in New Jersey.
  • Sheriff’s Office: To pursue collection efforts beyond real estate, such as seizing personal property or bank accounts, contact the Sheriff’s Office in the county where the debtor has assets.
  • Special Civil Part: For judgments totaling $20,000 or less, file a complaint along with an exemplified copy of the out-of-state judgment at the Special Civil Part Office in the county where the debtor resides or is located. The office will provide details on applicable fees and further procedures.
  • Execution: Follow the guidelines provided by the Special Civil Part Office to execute the judgment and collect the owed amount. This may involve methods like wage garnishment, bank levies, or seizing personal property.

Settlement and Satisfaction of Judgment

  • Settlement Before Trial:
    • If a case is settled before reaching trial, the plaintiff must file a stipulation of dismissal with the Special Civil Part. This document officially terminates the case without the need for a trial.
    • The stipulation of dismissal should be filed with the court where the case was originally filed, indicating that the parties have reached a settlement agreement.
  • Satisfaction of Judgment:
    • Once a judgment is paid, whether through voluntary payment or enforcement actions with the assistance of a Special Civil Part officer (such as wage garnishment or property seizure), the plaintiff is responsible for filing a warrant of satisfaction with the Special Civil Part Court.
    • This document formally acknowledges that the judgment has been satisfied and is no longer outstanding. It ensures that the court record accurately reflects the resolution of the case.

These procedures are essential for properly concluding legal matters in the Special Civil Part of New Jersey, whether through settlement agreements reached before trial or the fulfillment of judgments through payment or enforcement actions. They ensure that court records are updated accordingly and that all parties involved in the case are informed of its resolution.

Let Squabble Help You With Your Small Claim at Hudson County

Don't allow the intricacies of the legal system to discourage you from pursuing justice and compensation for your claim. With Squabble, you have a dedicated partner to streamline the process and guide you toward resolution. Whether you're contemplating filing a claim at Hudson County small claims court, Squabble is here to support you at every stage. Reach out to us today to commence your journey toward justice and compensation. Get started today and become one of the 95% of our customers who won or settled their case.

Courthouses Location:

  1. Hudson County Administration Building

    595 Newark Avenue
    Jersey City, New Jersey 07306
    (201) 748-4400


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  2. William J Brennan Courthouse

    583 Newark Ave\ Jersey City, NJ 07306
    (201) 795-6723


    • Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except court holidays.
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