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oseph M. Hoffmann, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Wills, Trusts, Estates & Planning
21 Main Street, Newton, NJ 07860
SUING GOVERNMENT ENTITIES
- The King could do no wrong and no one could rule against him. Until recently, all legal systems
had the "Doctrine of sovereign immunity." Simply stated, it said you cannot sue any government authority, entity, board
or municipality for any wrongdoing.
- New Jersey did not change this law until 1972 when it adopted the "Tort Claims Act." Many
states, and most jurisdictions still do not allow lawsuits against the government or its boards, employees, entities and agencies.
modern rationale for the law is that to allow lawsuits would overrule the ministerial decisions made by governments as to how
they used their limited resources.
- While lawsuits against governments are now allowed under our Tort Claims Act (NJSA 59:1-2),
they are strictly regulated.
- Prior to bringing any lawsuit against a government, you must file a Notice of Claim with the appropriate
municipality, board or governmental entity within 90 days of the date when the damage/injury occurred. If you
do not file the proper form in writing and within the 90 day time limit, you can never bring a lawsuit.
- Because the state owns
so many buildings, highways, reservoirs, forests and beaches, it strictly regulates the type of lawsuit that can be brought over
the conditions on public property. You can only sue if there was a "dangerous condition" where the risk of injury was
very substantial and foreseeable.
- In order to win a lawsuit for injury/damage caused by a condition of public property, you must
also prove not only the dangerous condition, but generally that the public entity actually knew about the condition and had a reasonable
time prior to the injury/damage to correct it.
Law Offices of Joseph M. Hoffmann
Attorney at Law
21 Main Street
Newton, New Jersey 07860
© 2012 Joseph M. Hoffmann, Esq. All Rights Reserved
Joseph M. Hoffmann, Esq. is a Lawyer who represents clients in New Jersey and serves:
All of Northern NJ including: Sussex County | Warren County | Morris County | Passaic County | Somerset County | Union County | Newton | Andover | Sparta | Branchville
Morristown | Vernon | Sussex | West Milford | Hopatcong | Rockaway | Dover | Mt. Olive | Hackettstown | Randolph |