RULE 4:3. Divisions; Venue; Transfer Of Actions

4:3-1. Divisions of Court; Commencement and Transfer of Actions

  • (a) Where Instituted.

    • (1) Chancery Division-General Equity. Actions in which the plaintiff's primary right or the principal relief sought is equitable in nature, except as otherwise provided by subparagraphs (2) and (3), shall be brought in the Chancery Division, General Equity, even though legal relief is demanded in addition or alternative to equitable relief.

    • (2) Chancery Division-Probate Part. All actions brought pursuant to R. 4:83 et seq.

    • (3) Chancery Division-Family Part. All civil actions in which the principal claim is unique to and arises out of a family or family-type relationship shall be brought in the Chancery Division, Family Part. Civil family actions cognizable in the Family Part shall include all actions and proceedings provided for in Part V of these rules; all civil actions and proceedings formerly cognizable in the juvenile and domestic relations court; and all other actions and proceedings unique to and arising out of a family or family-type relationship.

    • (4) Law Division. All actions in the Superior Court except those encompassed by subparagraphs (1), (2) and (3) hereof shall be brought in the Law Division or Law Division, Special Civil Part.

  • (b) Transfer Between Law and Chancery Division. A motion to transfer an action from one trial division of the Superior Court or part thereof to another, except those actions governed by Part VI of these rules, shall be made within 10 days after expiration of the time prescribed by R. 4:6-1 for the service of the last permissible responsive pleading or, if the action is brought pursuant to R. 4:67 (summary actions), on or before the return date if the action is pending in the Law Division. Unless so made, objections to the trial of the action in the division specified in the complaint are waived, but the court on its own motion may thereafter order such a transfer. Actions transferred shall not be retransferred. The order of transfer shall be filed in triplicate.

Note: Source-R.R. 4:41-2, 4:41-3, 5:1-2. Paragraphs (a) and (b) amended and caption amended July 22, 1983 to be effective September 12, 1983; new paragraph (a) adopted and paragraph (b) amended December 20, 1983 to be effective December 31, 1983; paragraphs (a) and (b) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; subparagraph (a)(1) amended, subparagraph (a)(2) recaptioned and adopted, former subparagraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) redesignated (a)(3) and (a)(4) respectively, and subparagraph (a)(4) amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990.

4:3-2. Venue in the Superior Court

  • (a) Where Laid. Venue shall be laid by the plaintiff in Superior Court actions as follows: (1) actions affecting title to real property or a possessory or other interest therein, or for damages thereto, or appeals from assessments for improvements, in the county in which any affected property is situate; (2) actions not affecting real property which are brought by or against municipal corporations, counties, public agencies or officials, in the county in which the cause of action arose; (3) except as otherwise provided by R. 4:44A-1 (structured settlements), R. 4:53-2 (receivership actions), R. 4:60-2 (attachments), R. 5:2-1 (family actions), R. 4:83-4 (probate actions), and R. 6:1-3 (Special Civil Part actions), the venue in all other actions in the Superior Court shall be laid in the county in which the cause of action arose, or in which any party to the action resides at the time of its commencement, or in which the summons was served on a nonresident defendant; and (4) actions on and objections to certificates of debt for motor vehicle surcharges that have been docketed as judgments by the Superior Court Clerk pursuant to N.J.S.A. 17:29A-35 shall be brought in the county of residence of the judgment debtor.

  • (b) Corporate Parties. For purposes of this rule, a corporation shall be deemed to reside in the county in which its registered office is located or in any county in which it is actually doing business.

  • (c) Exceptions in Multicounty Vicinages. With the approval of the Chief Justice, the assignment judge of any multicounty vicinage may order that in lieu of laying venue in the county of the vicinage as provided by these rules, venue in any designated category of cases shall be laid in any single county within the vicinage.

Note: Source -- R.R. 4:3-2. Paragraph (a) amended December 20, 1983 to be effective December 31, 1983. Paragraph (c) adopted January 9, 1984 to be effective immediately; paragraph (a) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraph (a) amended June 29, 1990 to be effective September 4, 1990; paragraph (a) amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996; paragraph (a) amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.

4:3-3. Change of Venue in the Superior Court

  • (a) By Whom Ordered; Grounds. In actions in the Superior Court a change of venue may be ordered by the Assignment Judge or the designee of the Assignment Judge of the county in which venue is laid or by a judge of such county sitting in the Chancery Division, General Equity, or the presiding judge of the Family Part, or the designee of the Assignment Judge for the Special Civil Part, (1) if the venue is not laid in accordance with R. 4:3-2; or (2) if there is a substantial doubt that a fair and impartial trial can be had in the county where venue is laid; or (3) for the convenience of parties and witnesses in the interest of justice; or, (4) in Family Part post-judgment motions, if both parties reside outside the county of original venue and application is made to the court by either party to change venue to a county where one of the parties now resides.

  • (b) Time; Form of Order