Asbury Park, NJ asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for New Jersey

Q: Can I file a smalls claims suit in NJ even if the home warranty contract contains an arbitration clause?

15. Arbitration. Any disputes resulting from this Agreement or any dispute resulting to Select's home service contract service

shall be construed and enforced under the laws of the State of New Jersey. You hereby submit to the jurisdiction of the courts

of New Jersey and waive any objection to venue with respect to actions brought in such courts. Except where prohibited, you

agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Agreement shall be resolved

individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the American Arbitration Association in the State of

New Jersey. Controversies or claims shall be submitted to arbitration regardless of the theory under which they arise,

including without limitation contract, tort, common law, statutory, or regulatory duties or liability.

2 Lawyer Answers
William N. Sosis
William N. Sosis
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Hackettstown, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Arbitration clauses are matters of contract. In your case it's a "Home Warranty Contract". If the conduct of the party wanting to enforce the arbitration clause against you amounts to a material breach, then the court won't enforce the arbitration clause. A good remedy for a breach of contract is fraud. If you can rightfully allege that you were defrauded then you should be allowed to file your small claim suit.

Morris Leo Greb agrees with this answer

Morris Leo Greb
Morris Leo Greb
  • Rockaway, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: In addition, an argument may be raised that the contract was a contract of adhesion, i.e. therfe was ability to negotiate the terms.

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