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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2A:42-92. Judgment; service upon nonpetitioning tenants; deposit of rents with clerk of court

2A:42-92.  Judgment;  service upon nonpetitioning tenants;  deposit of rents  with clerk of court    The court shall proceed in a summary manner and shall render a judgment either:

    a.  Dismissing the petition for failure to affirmatively establish the allegations thereof or because of the affirmative establishment by the owner or  a mortgagee or lienor of record of a defense or defenses specified in this act;   or

    b.  Directing that (1) the rents due on the date of the entry of such judgment from the petitioning tenant, if any, and the rents due on the dates of  service of the judgment on all other tenants occupying such dwelling, from such  other tenants, shall be deposited with the clerk of the court; (2) any rents  to become due in the future from such petitioner and from all other tenants  occupying such dwelling shall be deposited with such clerk as they fall due;   (3) such deposited rents shall be used, subject to the court's direction, to  the extent necessary to remedy the condition or conditions alleged in the  petition and (4) upon the completion of such work in accordance with such  judgment, any remaining surplus shall be turned over to the owner, together  with a complete accounting of the rents deposited and the costs incurred;  and  granting such other and further relief as to the court may seem just and  proper.  A certified copy of such judgment shall be served personally upon each  nonpetitioning tenant occupying such dwelling.  If personal service on any such  nonpetitioning tenant cannot be made with due diligence, service on such tenant  shall be made by affixing a certified copy of such judgment on the entrance  door of such tenant's apartment and, in addition, within 1 day after such  affixing, by sending a certified copy thereof by registered mail, return  receipt requested, to such tenant.  Any right of the owner or parties in  interest of such dwelling to collect such rent moneys from any petitioning  tenant of such dwelling on or after the date of entry of such judgment, and  from any nonpetitioning tenant of such dwelling on or after the date of service  of such judgment on such nonpetitioning tenant as herein provided, shall be void and unenforceable to the extent that such petitioning or nonpetitioning tenant, as the case may be, has deposited such moneys with the clerk of the court in accordance with the terms of such judgment, regardless of whether such  right of the owner arises from a lease, contract, agreement or understanding  heretofore or hereafter made or entered into or arises as a matter of law from  the relationship of the parties or otherwise.  Any such rent moneys received by  the owner or parties in interest shall be deposited immediately with the clerk  of the court by such owner or parties in interest.  It shall be a valid defense  in any action or proceeding against any such tenant to recover possession of real property for the nonpayment of rent or for use or occupation to prove that  the rent alleged to be unpaid was deposited with the clerk of the court in  accordance with the terms of a judgment entered under this section.

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