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New Jersey Eviction Process



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New Jersey Eviction Process    |    New Jersey Eviction Notice
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When you are done reading about the New Jersey Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding New Jersey Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.


Eviction in New Jersey:


New Jersey Eviction Laws


Eviction Law in New Jersey is regulated by N.J.S. 2A:18-61.1, which is commonly referred to as the "Anti-Eviction Act." This law says that tenants can only be evicted for certain reasons which are considered "Good Cause." These different reasons to evict a tenant require specific notices before a tenant can be sued for eviction. If you are a landlord in New Jersey, it is very important to familiarize yourself with this law.

Self Help Evictions are Illegal


In New Jersey, if a landlord tries to evict a tenant by themselves, without going to court, that landlord will be guilty of crime. As of 2006, Illegal Evictions are in the Criminal Law as a form of Disorderly Conduct. If tenants are being illegally evicted, or are being threatened to be thrown out, have their utilities turned off, or their property taken, the tenants can call the police and have the landlord charged. This is why it is very important to follow the eviction procedure and only do an eviction through the court.

New Jersey Eviction Notice


Under the Anti-Eviction Act, in most cases notice is required to be sent to the tenant before an eviction case can be filed. The notices are called a Notice to Quit and Notice to Cease. A Notice to Cease simply tells the tenant to stop doing something that is a violation of the Anti-Eviction Act. A Notice to Quit tells the tenant that they have to move out because they have violated the Anti-Eviction Act or they have ignored a previous Notice to Cease. The amount of time the tenant has to move in the Notice to Quit is different, depending on why the landlord is evicting them. The law does not specifically require a notice period for a non-payment of rent violation, but it is still preferable to deliver a Notice to Quit in that situation too. The Notice periods are as follows:

Serving the Notice to Quit


"Serving" is a legal word that means "deliver." In New Jersey, the Notice to Quit can be served 3 different ways to make it effective:

Court Complaint


After the landlord has served the Notice to Quit, the notice period has expired, and the tenant is still there, the landlord can now sue the tenant for eviction. The landlord starts the suit by filing a Complaint in the Superior Court, Special Civil Part. The landlord should find the Superior Court in the jurisdiction for where the property sits, and file the case there.

Summons


When the landlord files the Complaint, the court will issue what is called a "Summons." The Summons tells the tenant when and where the court hearing will be. The court will attach the summons to the complaint, and then the court will deliver these documents to the tenant. The court will deliver them by personal delivery or certified mail.

The Court Hearing


The Court date will be 10 days or more from the day when the tenant receives the Summons and Complaint. If the tenant does not show up, the landlord will win by default. The judge will read instructions to the court, and it is very important to follow the judges instructions. Both the landlord and tenant will have an opportunity to speak and present their side of the story through testimony, evidence, and witnesses. It is recommended that the landlord bring all documents, and witnesses to prove their case. Examples would be a copy of the Notice to Quit, witnesses that saw illegal activity, etc. The judge will then rule on the case. If the judge rules for the tenant, the tenant will be allowed to stay. If they judge rules for the landlord, then the judge will issue a "Judgment for Possession."

Judgment for Possession


This is what the judge will give to the landlord if the landlord wins the eviction case. It will give the tenant a certain amount of time to move from the property, usually 3 days. If the tenant does not move in that time, then the landlord must request a "Warrant of Removal" from the court.

Warrant of Removal


The Warrant of Removal is issued by the judge, and it tells the court constable to go remove the tenant. The constable will serve a copy of the warrant on the tenant. It will tell the tenant to either move out in three days (excluding the day of service, weekends, and holidays), or contest the warrant in court. In order for the tenant to contest the warrant, their rent payments must be current. If the tenant does not contest the warrant or move within 3 days, the constable will physically remove the tenant.

Stay of Eviction and Tenant Rights


Tenants in New Jersey have a lot of rights compared to other states. Even after the judge orders the eviction, tenants can get more time from the court before they have to move. There are Hardship Stays, Illness Stays, etc. Tenants have a lot of rights at their disposal. The landlord should always comply with the law, or else it gives the tenant many more reasons to get more time.



Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding New Jersey Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.


This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges' rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.