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What Is the Special Civil Part?

Question and Answer

What Is the Special Civil Part?

Special Civil is a court in which you may sue a person or a business (the defendant) to collect an amount of money up to $20,000 that you believe is owed to you. If your claim is $5,000 or less, you may sue in the Small Claims Section. This segment on Special Civil explains how to file a complaint, answer a complaint, file an appeal and gives general information about Special Civil. It is not intended to provide or take the place of legal advice or to answer every question you have about this court. For legal advice about your rights, you should contact a lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you may contact the Lawyers' Referral Service of your County Bar Association. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may contact the Legal Services Program in your county to see if you are eligible for free legal services.

Special Civil is one of three sections within the Special Civil Part Court. The other two sections are Landlord Tenant and Small Claims. Special Civil is limited to cases in which the demand is $20,000 or less. If you believe you are entitled to recover more than $20,000, your case should be filed in the Law Division of the Superior Court.

If you believe you are entitled to damages greater than $20,000, but still wish to sue in Special Civil, you give up your right to recover damages over $20,000. The additional money cannot be claimed later in a separate lawsuit