Civil – SCP, Unlawful Entry & Wrongful Distraint Application (Return of Personal Property or to Rental Premises)
Revised 04/2017, CN 10916 Page 2 of 14
Things to Think About Before You Represent Yourself in Court
Try to Get a Lawyer
The court system can be confusing and it is a
good idea to get a lawyer if you can. If you
cannot afford a lawyer, you may contact the
legal services program in your county to see if
you qualify for free legal services. The
telephone number can be found online or in
your local yellow pages under “Legal Aid” or
If you do not qualify for free legal services and
need help in locating an attorney, you can
contact the bar association in your county.
Their telephone number can also be found in
your local yellow pages. Most county bar
associations have a Lawyer Referral Service.
The county bar lawyer referral service can. The
county bar lawyer referral service can supply
you with the names of attorneys in your area
willing to handle your particular type of case
and who may sometimes consult with you at a
There are also a variety of organizations of
minority lawyers throughout New Jersey, as
well as organizations of lawyers who handle
specialized types of cases. Ask your county
court staff for a list of lawyer referral services
that include these organizations.
What You Should Expect If You
While you have the right to represent yourself in
court, you should not expect any special
treatment, help, or attention from the court.
You must still comply with the Rules of the
Court, even if you are not familiar with them.
The following is a list of some things the court
staff can and cannot do for you. Please read it
carefully before asking the court staff for help.
• We can explain and answer questions about
how the court works.
• We can tell you what the requirements are to
have your case considered by the court.
• We can give you some information from
your case file.
• We can provide you with samples of court
forms that are available.
• We can provide you with guidance on how
to fill out forms.
• We can usually answer questions about
• We cannot give you legal advice. Only your
lawyer can give you legal advice.
• We cannot tell you whether or not you
should bring your case to court.
• We cannot give you an opinion about what
will happen if you bring your case to court.
• We cannot recommend a lawyer, but we can
provide you with the telephone number of a
local lawyer referral service.
• We cannot talk to the judge for you about
what will happen in your case.
• We cannot let you talk to the judge outside
• We cannot change an order issued by a
Keep Copies of All Papers
Make and keep for yourself copies of all
completed forms and any canceled checks,
money orders, sales receipts, bills, contract
estimates, letters, leases, photographs, and other
important documents that relate to your case.
Bring all documents to court if you are notified
that an appearance is necessary.