Bill Text: NJ S1472 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Provides that civil actions concerning home improvement contracts for residential or non-commercial property may be brought in the county where the property is located.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-02-01 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S1472 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S1472-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 1472

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  CHRISTOPHER J. CONNORS

District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides that civil actions concerning home improvement contracts for residential or non-commercial property may be brought in the county where the property is located.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning certain civil actions and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Any action concerning a home improvement contract:

     a.     brought by a contractor against an owner, tenant, or lessee of a residential or non-commercial property, or

     b.    brought by an owner, tenant, or lessee of a residential or non-commercial property against a contractor,

     may be commenced in the Superior Court of the county in which the property is located.

     As used in this act, the terms "contractor," "home improvement contract," and "residential or non-commercial property" shall have the meanings ascribed to them in section 2 of P.L.2004, c.16 (C.56:8-137).

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any action commenced on or after the effective date.

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would allow civil actions for certain home improvement contracts to be brought in the Special Civil Part of the Superior Court in the county where the property is located.  The bill would apply to actions involving home improvement contracts for residential or non-commercial property. Currently, pursuant to Court Rule, venue for actions brought in the Special Civil Part is laid "in the county in which at least one defendant in the action resides." The Court Rule, R.6:1-3, also provides that venue may be laid "as otherwise provided by statute."  Actions are brought in the Special Civil Part if the amount in dispute does not exceed $15,000.

     In the view of the sponsor, home improvement contractors in beach communities have encountered difficulties in pursuing Special Civil Part lawsuits against certain homeowners who have defaulted on payment for services rendered, because these homeowners do not live in the county where their vacation homes are located. This bill would address the issue by allowing the contractor, or the homeowner, to commence an action in the county where the home is located.

     Under R.4:3-2 of the Court Rules, actions are brought in the Law Division of the Superior Court if the amount in dispute is greater than $15,000.  The Court Rule provides that these suits, unlike suits in Special Civil Part, may be brought in the county where the property is situated or where any party to the action resides.  This bill would provide similar flexibility for plaintiffs in Special Civil Part.

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