FILING A MUNICIPAL APPEAL
About 6 million cases are filed in New Jersey’s 539 Municipal Courts each year. The Municipal Courts are of limited jurisdiction and hear cases involving parking and motor vehicle violations; municipal ordinances; cases involving hunting, fishing and boating laws; disorderly person violations; and other minor offenses. Municipal Court decisions may be appealed to the Superior Court. A Superior Court judge will hear the case again (a Trial De Novo) based upon the evidence submitted during the Municipal Court hearing.
Some reasons to file an appeal are:
- You believe the facts do not support the judge’s decision; or
- You believe the judge’s decision does not follow the law.
Important Points to Remember
- The Municipal Court must receive your Notice of Municipal Court Appeal form within 20 days (including weekends and holidays) from the date you were found guilty.
- There is a $100 filing fee plus a transcript fee which you must pay in advance. Both of these fees are non-refundable. If you believe you are indigent, the Court will determine whether or not you qualify for Assignment of Counsel, Waiving of Filing Fees and Waiver of Transcript Cost.
The Municipal Court clerk forwards to the Superior Court the original complaints, evidence, and transcript of docket. Also, a transcript of the original hearing is ordered. If a defendant is determined to be indigent, the fees involved will be waived and counsel will be assigned. The matter is then scheduled for hearing.
After the appeal is heard, the Municipal Court and appropriate agencies, such as the Division of Motor Vehicles, are notified of the outcome. A report is also sent to the Municipal Court judge who originally heard the matter.
To File a Pro-Se Appeal
Follow link to the Municipal Appeal Packet. Or you may obtain the packet from the Municipal or Superior Court. The packet contains more information, forms and instructions on filing a Municipal Appeal.