No More Excuses: New Jersey Rejects the “Totality of Circumstances” Approach for a Late Notice of Claim against a New Jersey Public Entity

Articles & Publications

April 12, 2013

A recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court has made it worthwhile to challenge a plaintiff’s reasons for filing a Late Notice of Claim, insisting on strict adherence to the legal standard set forth by the Legislature in the Tort Claims Act. Consequently, in order for a Late Notice of Claim to be accepted, a plaintiff must prove that, in the ninety-days after an accident, she suffered “extraordinary circumstances.” If it appears that a Plaintiff could have complied with the statute in that time frame, no excuse, not even her attorney’s mistakes and her diminished health, will excuse failure to do so. Moreover, a court deciding a Motion to Accept a Late Notice of Claim cannot consider the “totality of circumstances” or “substantial compliance with statutory requirements,” and cannot bend the rules “in the interest of seeking justice.” Of Counsel Deborah Metzger Mulvey examines the case and its broader implications in “No More Excuses: New Jersey Rejects the ‘Totality of Circumstances’ Approach for a Late Notice of Claim against a New Jersey Public Entity.

View Document(s):