A mandatory case management conference will be scheduled for your case. You are required to attend the conference. Most conferences will be conducted virtually, and you will not be required to come to the courthouse. During the conference, you will meet with court staff who will gather information from you and provide information on housing, legal, and utilities assistance or other pertinent information. You will also be given the opportunity to try to settle your case without having to go to trial. You will receive a notice from the court scheduling the Revised Form Promulgated by 06/12/2023 Notice to the Bar, CN 11483 Page four of eight conference with more detailed information. Failure to appear at the conference will result in dismissal of the complaint if you are the landlord or entry of default if you are the tenant. If you cannot attend, you must contact the court in advance to reschedule.
Landlord Case Information Statement (LCIS) and Tenant Case Information Statement (TCIS):
Landlord(s) and tenant(s) must complete a Case Information Statement which must be filed with the court at least five days prior to the Case Management Conference. These forms can be found at njcourts.gov. The information contained in the Case Information Statements is not admissible as evidence.
If your case does not settle, it will be scheduled for trial at least 14 days from the Case Management Conference. You are required to attend the trial. Most trials will be conducted in person. If you are not able to attend in person, contact the Special Civil Part Office to request permission for a virtual appearance.
If you are the landlord, you must prove the statements made in the complaint are true. Arrange to have available any witnesses you need to prove your case. A written statement, even if made under oath, cannot be used as evidence. Only live testimony of the witnesses will be allowed. Prepare your questions in advance. Be prepared to present all records of any transactions that might help you prove your case.
Such records can include:
• Leases, estimates, bills, rent receipts, or ledgers
• Dishonored checks
• Letters or photographs
• Other documents proving your claim
If you are the landlord and want to withdraw the complaint, immediately call the Special Civil Part Office so that they can mark the case dismissed and cancel any interpreter or special accommodation, if any, that might have been arranged. If you and the tenant settle the case prior to the scheduled trial date, and it is regarding a residential property, the judge might need to review and approve the settlement agreement in the event it needs to be enforced later by any of the parties.
If you are the tenant, you can also present evidence which supports your position. Arrange to have available any witnesses you need to prove your case. A written statement, even if made under oath, cannot be used in court. Only live testimony of the witnesses, including your own testimony, will be allowed.
Be prepared to present all applicable records. Such records can include:
• Rent receipts or canceled checks
• Letters and notices to or from the landlord
• Other documents proving your case
If you have not paid rent because the landlord did not make necessary repairs, you have to prove to the court how serious the problems are and how they are affecting your use of the rented property. If you have not paid your rent, you should have available the amount the landlord claims you owe to court. Only cash, certified check, or money order made payable to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey, is acceptable.
Give our landlord tenant attorney a call if you have more questions!