By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Municipal Court Attorney
Speeding tickets, zoning code violations, shoplifting and runaway dogs are all violations that may end up in a municipal court. When judgments go against you and the Judge gets it wrong, you have the same right to appeal the decision of the judge as in any other court in New Jersey. The rules of Appeal are set forth in the New Jersey Court Rules.
Things you’ll need to know in order to file an appeal:
1) Most municipal courts are not in the business of providing educational material to defendants. This is because they are “pro se” courts — courts where many defendants speak for themselves. The court probably does not have informational material on court procedure and appeals available. You can ask for information about appeals, but good luck figuring it out. You are on your own.
2) Filing an appeal requires reading information carefully before filling in any forms. Most forms ask why you are appealing. The most common reason for an appeal is “judicial error.” You will need to be able to defend this selection based on New Jersey law when appearing before the appeals judge. You only have limited time and information, letting you know how many days you have to file your appeal motion.
3) There is a fee associated with filing an appeal. There is also a fee to be paid for a transcript of all evidence and testing before the municipal court Judge. This is the record of the trial that the higher court generally uses to examine for errors. There will be a fee if you request the court to examine your appeal. If you cannot afford to pay the fees, you may request a waiver of fees.
Contact me personally today to discuss your municipal court matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org/.