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Getting a Warrant to Dispossess a Tenant in New Jersey

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What Happens After a Judgment for Possession is Granted to the Landlord?

If a landlord succeeds in obtaining a judgment for possession, the landlord is able to have the tenant evicted by a court officer. A landlord is not permitted to personally evict a tenant.

A warrant of removal can be issued after the expiration of three (3) business says (not including the court date) from the date the judgment of possession is entered. With respect to a residential tenant, once the warrant of removal is served on a residential tenant, the landlord must wait another three (3) business days before an eviction can be scheduled. For a commercial tenant, the eviction can proceed immediately after the warrant is served.

Section 2A:42-10.16 of the New Jersey Statutes sets forth New Jersey's legal requirements for Warrants of Possession. That section provides as follows:
  • 2A:42-10.16. Warrant for possession; execution
    In any proceeding for the summary dispossession of a tenant, warrant for possession issued by a court of appropriate jurisdiction:

    1. Shall include a notice to the tenant of any right to apply to the court for a stay of execution of the warrant, together with a notice advising that the tenant may be eligible for temporary housing assistance or other social services and that the tenant should contact the appropriate county welfare agency, at the address and telephone number given in the notice, to determine eligibility;

    2. Shall be executed not earlier than the third day following the day of personal service upon the tenant by the appropriate court officer. In calculating the number of days hereby required, Saturday, Sunday and court holidays shall be excluded;

    3. Shall be executed during the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., unless the court, for good cause shown, otherwise provides in its judgment for possession;

    4. Shall state the earliest date and time that the warrant may be executed, and also shall state that the warrant shall only be executed by an officer of the court; and

    5. Shall include a notice that it is illegal as a disorderly person's offense for a landlord to padlock or otherwise block entry to a rental premises while a tenant is still in possession of the premises unless such action is done in accordance with a distraint action involving a non-residential premises as permitted by law; shall state that removal of a tenant's belongings from a premises by a landlord after the eviction of a tenant may be done only in accordance with the provisions of P.L. 1999, c. 340 (C. 2A:18-72 et al.) ; shall contain a concise summary of the provisions of this section and section 3 of P.L. 2005, c. 219 (C. 2C:33-11.1) with special emphasis placed on the duties and obligations of law enforcement officers under those sections of law; and shall advise the occupant of the right to file a court proceeding pursuant to N.J.S. 2A:39-1 et seq.

Whenever a written notice, in accordance with the provisions of subsection a. of this section, is given to the tenant by the court, this shall constitute personal service in accordance with the provisions of subsection b. of this section.

At the time a warrant for possession is lawfully executed, the court officer involved shall prepare a statement of "Execution of Warrant for Possession" and shall immediately deliver the statement to the landlord or the landlord's representative by personal service. The court officer shall deliver a copy of the statement to the tenant by personal service, however, if it cannot be personally served, it may be delivered in the manner provided under N.J.S. 2A:18-54. The statement shall also be affixed to the door to the unit to which the warrant applies. The statement shall identify the warrant, the date of issuance of the warrant, the court and judge who issued the warrant, the date and time of execution of the warrant, and the name, signature and position of the person executing the warrant.

The Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part shall retain jurisdiction for a period of 10 days subsequent to the actual execution of the warrant for possession for the purpose of hearing applications by the tenant for lawful relief.
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