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FAQ- Civil Litigation

Breach of Contract/Landlord-Tenant Disputes

QUESTION: IS THERE A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT CLAIMS?

Yes.  In New Jersey, a Plaintiff has 6 years from the date of the breach to file their lawsuit.  In cases involving the sale of goods, a Plaintiff has 4 years from the date of the breach to file their lawsuit.  If your lawsuit is not filed within the appropriate limit, you may lose your right to file your lawsuit.

QUESTION: ARE THERE ANY SITUATIONS WHERE A TENANT CAN WITHHOLD RENT TO THEIR LANDLORD?

Yes.  There are certain situations where a tenant can withhold rent from their landlord.  The most common example is when your landlord violates the implied warranty of habitability, such as not providing running water, not providing heat in the winter months, or not providing electricity.  If your landlord is violating your right to a habitable living space, you can withhold the rent until the repairs are complete or make the repairs yourself and deduct the expenses from your rent.

QUESTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NOTICE TO CEASE AND A NOTICE TO QUIT?

A Notice to Cease serves as a warning notice to the tenant.  It is the landlord informing the tenant that they are violating their lease agreement in some fashion, generally a noise complaint or disorderly conduct, and they must stop the conduct immediately.  If the conduct continues, a landlord will then generally serve the tenant with a Notice to Quit.  The Notice to Quit is the final notice to cease the improper conduct before the landlord will file for an eviction.  In most cases, a landlord must serve the tenant with the Notice to Quit before they can file for eviction.

QUESTION: CAN A LANDLORD EVER FILE FOR EVICTION WITHOUT SERVING A NOTICE TO CEASE OR A NOTICE TO QUIT?

Yes.  A landlord can file for eviction without serving a Notice to Cease or a Notice to Quit if the reason for the eviction is failure to pay rent.  If a tenant fails to make rent payments, the law does not require the landlord to give the tenant any legal warning or notice. 

CONSUMER FRAUD

QUESTION: WHAT COMPENSATION AM I ENTITLED TO IN A CONSUMER FRAUD CASE?

In a Consumer Fraud lawsuit, if a Plaintiff proves they were a victim on consumer fraud, they are eligible to recover triple damages. This means if you were defrauded out of $1,000, you can recover $3,000.  This is done to deter businesses and corporations from violating the consumer fraud act.  A Plaintiff is also eligible to have the Defendant pay for their attorney's fees.

QUESTION: WHAT DO I HAVE TO PROVE TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CONSUMER FRAUD CLAIM?

A Plaintiff must prove three elements to have a successful Consumer Fraud Claim:

  1. Unlawful conduct by the Defendant,
  2. Ascertainable loss by the Plaintiff, and 
  3. A casual connection between the Defendant's unlawful conduct and the Plaintiff's ascertainable loss

QUESTION: DO I HAVE TO TESTIFY IN COURT IN ORDER TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CONSUMER FRAUD CLAIM?

No.  Most Consumer Fraud claims are settled outside of court.

QUESTION: MY HOME CONTRACTOR TOLD ME I NEED TO MAKE MY LAST PAYMENT BEFORE HE FINISHES THE JOB.  IS HE COMMITTING CONSUMER FRAUD?

Yes.  Contractors are forbidden from demanding final payment prior to completing their work.  It is a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.

WORKER'S COMPENSATION

QUESTION: HOW MUCH MONEY DOES IT COST TO FILE A WORKER'S COMPENSATION CLAIM?

All Worker's Compensation claims are paid on a contingency basis.  This means a Plaintiff pays no money to file a lawsuit.  If your claim is successful, the Court will award the Plaintiff's attorney between 10%-20% of your award as their fee.  That percentage is usually split between the Plaintiff and the Defendant's insurance company.

QUESTION: IS THERE A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR WORKER'S COMPENSATION CLAIMS?

Yes.  In New Jersey, a worker who suffers a job related injury or illness has two years from the date of their injury or the date of their last payment, whichever is later, to file a formal claim petition.

QUESTION: HOW LONG MUST I BE OUT OF WORK BEFORE I AM ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE WORKER'S COMPENSATION BENEFITS?

By law, you must be unable to work for seven days, including weekends and holidays, before you are eligible for temporary disability benefits.  The seven days need no be consecutive.

Have more questions? Contact The Law Offices of Alex Cirocco or call me immediately at 973-327-9995 for your free consultation.

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