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What is a Tort Case, and What does it Involve in New Jersey?

A tort case in New Jersey refers to wrongdoing that injures another individual or their personal property. Tort cases belong in the category of civil suits. Eligible entities to sue may be private or public. While private entities refer to individuals and some private agencies, public entities refer to government agencies such as counties, municipalities, district subdivisions, and other political subunits. The State of New Jersey has protection from tort actions initiated by entities. The Superior Courts of New Jersey have general jurisdiction of tort cases in the state. If there is a joinder between the case and probate matters, it may involve the Surrogate Courts.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What is New Jersey Tort Law?

Title 59, New Jersey Tort and Contractual Liability Act (The New Jersey Tort Claims Act) provides interpretation and procedural guidelines for tort cases in the state. It states that eligible entities can sue and be sued, except the state of New Jersey. A caveat to the exception is that the injured person complies with all the Act’s aspects before suing. The Act also protects employees of the state from personalized legal action taken against them. A typical scenario is the wrongful dispense of duties by a staff that led to the injury. The injured person cannot sue the staff directly, but the public entity.

What Kinds of Cases are Covered by Tort Law in New Jersey?

The Tort Claims Act recognizes three types of torts:

  • Endangering Conditions of Public facilities
  • Auto vehicle negligence caused by a public agency staff
  • Public agency staff negligence in the line of duty

Note that public employees’ immunity is only active as long as there is no evidence that the employee did not carry out the act intentionally or with overt carelessness.

What are the Differences Between Criminal Law and Tort Law in New Jersey?

Although they both aim for fairness in adjudication, the laws guiding tort and crime are different. Criminal law exists to safeguard members of the public from risks posed by persons guilty of criminal acts. Whether or not there are victims, criminal acts are wrongdoings against society, so the state is the prosecutor in criminal law. Here, the law focuses on the defendant, and if found guilty, implements punitive measures. These measures punish the convict and provide a deterrent to others prone to such acts.

Tort law is civil, seeking to assert human rights and restore relief rather than punish the wrongdoer. The central figure is the victim and how to get maximum compensation without extorting the injuring party. Interpreting tort theories is a question of balance between both parties regarding what is deserving yet fair.

What is the Purpose of Tort Law in New Jersey?

The New Jersey Tort Claims Act protects public employees from liability in the event of injury arising from the exercise of responsibility vested in them. It also gives citizens a platform to have their violated rights restored while sustaining the sovereignty of the state.

What is a Tort Claim in New Jersey?

A tort claim is an official notification made to the state about an injury or damage suffered because of wrongdoing by a public entity or their representatives. Injured parties must take this step within a limited time frame to avoid risking their rights to restorative relief. A tort claim is a prerequisite to filing a tort case in court.

How Do You File a Tort Claim in New Jersey?

All tort claims notices in New Jersey, according to the Act, must be filed within ninety days of the alleged incident. This time frame includes notifying the concerned public entity of the details of the claim. This step is critical even if the injured party sues after two years from the incident. The authorities recommend the use of certified mail to do this to have proof of delivery. Also, all injured persons must settle physical damages with their physical insurance carrier. The outstanding damages after the settlement are what the state will reimburse to the injured person. Fill out the Claim Short Form and submit it to the following address:

Department of Treasury

Bureau of Risk Management

P. O. Box 620

Trenton, NJ 08625

Attn: Tort Claims Unit

What Does a Tort Claim Contain in New Jersey?

An initial notice of claims in New Jersey contains the following information:

  • Details of the claimant: full names, contact addresses (ground and mail), telephone, date of birth, and social security number
  • Details of a second involved party or corresponding attorney at law (names, mailing address, telephone, and relationship with the plaintiff)
  • Date, time, and exact location of the occurrence
  • A brief description of the incident
  • Names and addresses of witnesses to the incident
  • Names and addresses of involved state agencies or persons claimed to be responsible for the injury
  • Description of the damages (losses or injury) incurred
  • The monetary value of the claim
  • The basis for the calculation of the claim, typically medical bills, cost of repairs, or recovery both in monetary terms and otherwise. For example, if the injured individual may not work for some time after treatment, the costs of lost income will be reimbursed.

What Happens after a Tort Claim is Filed in New Jersey?

When an individual files a claim in New Jersey in line with the 90-day deadline, all involved parties must immediately get a copy of the notice. Before the plaintiff can sue, give the government entity a six-month period to review the claim. If there is no response, the affected party can initiate legal action.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Tort Claim?

Tort cases can be complicated, and many recommend finding expert help. Help could be in the form of advice or representation in court. Although the authorities do not insist, getting a lawyer from the inception of filing a claim can help ensure the government authorities do not reject it. Having a personal injury lawyer from the beginning will also help build the case, should there be a need to go to court. They provide counsel in demanding the right amount of damages from the public entity.

How Can I Find a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?

Several private law firms that provide expert services for tort cases or personal injury are available using an internet search engine and the right keywords. There are also lawyer directories compiled by institutions and third-party websites that provide personal injury lawyers’ names and addresses in an area. Otherwise, get a list of licensed lawyers in New Jersey from the state judiciary website.

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