- (a) Matters Cognizable in the Special Civil Part. The following matters shall be cognizable in the Special Civil Part:
- (1) Civil actions (exclusive of professional malpractice, probate, and matters cognizable in the Family Division or Tax Court) seeking legal relief when the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000;
- (2) Small claims actions, which are defined as all actions in contract and tort (exclusive of professional malpractice, probate, and matters cognizable in the Family Division or Tax Court) and actions between a landlord and tenant for rent, or money damages, when the amount in dispute, including any applicable penalties, does not exceed, exclusive of costs, the sum of $3,000. Small claims also include actions for the return of all or part of a security deposit when the amount in dispute, including any applicable penalties, does not exceed, exclusive of costs, the sum of $5,000. The Small Claims Section may provide such ancillary equitable relief as may be necessary to effect a complete remedy. Actions in lieu of prerogative writs and actions in which the primary relief sought is equitable in nature are excluded from the Small Claims Section;
- (3) Summary landlord/tenant actions;
- (4) Summary actions for the possession of real property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:35-1 et seq., where the defendant has no colorable claim of title or possession, or pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:39-1 et seq.;
- (5) Summary proceedings for the collection of statutory penalties not exceeding $15,000 per complaint;
- (6) Municipal court actions, pursuant to R. 7:1, in the counties of Bergen, Hudson and Warren.
- (b) Distinct Negligence Claims. An action for damages resulting from negligence composed of several distinct claims may be brought in the Special Civil Part if the amount recoverable on each claim is within the monetary limit even though the amount recoverable on all claims exceeds that limit.
- (c) Waiver of Excess. Where the amount recoverable on a claim exceeds the monetary limit of the Special Civil Part or the Small Claims Section, the party asserting the claim shall not recover a sum exceeding the limit plus costs and on the entry of judgment shall be deemed to have waived the excess over the applicable limit.