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Can I Appeal in Small Claims Court

Question and Answer

Can I Appeal in Small Claims Court

Either party can appeal a decision in small claims court. You should consider whether the amount at stake in your case is worth the cost of filing an appeal.

When to file an appeal

The appeal must be filed in the Appellate Division of Superior Court within 45 days of the court’s decision.

Do I need a lawyer to file an appeal?

You do not have to have a lawyer to appeal your case, however, the appeals process can be confusing and it is a good idea to get a lawyer if you can.

Things to think about before representing yourself in court

While you have the right to represent yourself in court, you should not expect any special treatment, help, or attention from the court. You must still comply with the Rules of the Court, even if you are not familiar with them. The following is a list of some things the court staff can and cannot do for you. Please read it carefully before asking the court staff for help. 

  • We can explain and answer questions about how the court works.
  • We can tell you what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court.
  • We can give you some information from your case file.
  • We can provide you with samples of court forms that are available.
  • We can provide you with guidance on how to fill out forms.
  • We can usually answer questions about court deadlines.
  • We cannot give you legal advice. Only your lawyer can give you legal advice.
  • We cannot tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court.
  • We cannot give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.
  • We cannot recommend a lawyer, but we can provide you with the telephone number of a local lawyer referral service.
  • We cannot talk to the judge for you about what will happen in your case.
  • We cannot let you talk to the judge outside of court.
  • We cannot change an order issued by a judge.

Steps to file an appeal

  1. File a Notice of Appeal.
     
  2. Request a transcript of your case from the Appellate Division. You must have the official transcript in order for your appeal to be considered.
     
  3. Complete a Case Information Statement.

Download appeals forms and instructions

Filing Fees

  1. $250 must be submitted with the Notice of Appeal. This is the cost of the appeal.
     
  2. $300 must be submitted with to the clerk of the Appellate Division within 30 days of filing the Notice of Appeal. This will be refunded if you win your appeal. If you lose your appeal, the money can be used to pay settlement or court costs.
     
  3. Transcript fee. Once you request a transcript, you will be contacted with the estimated cost.

Do you qualify for a fee waiver ?

If you received a fee waiver in your small claims case, you can attach a copy of the order and a signed letter that says your finances have not changed since the case was filed.

If you did not receive a fee waiver in your small claims case, you can submit a request for a fee waiver with your appeal.
 

Mail or deliver your appeals documents to: 

Appellate Division Clerk’s Office
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
P.O. Box 006
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0970

Send copies of your appeals document to:

  1. All parties in the case who appeared in court
  2. The local Superior Court office that handled your small claims case
  3. The judge who decided your small claims case

Keep a copy of each document for yourself.

Questions about your appeal?

Call the Appellate Division Clerk’s Office  at  609-815-2950 .