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New Jersey Surrogate Court by County

Are you seeking a surrogate court in the state of New Jersey? Use this guide to help you navigate New Jersey surrogate courts by county.

Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks, @PatrickHicks

Head of Legal, Trust & Will

New York and New Jersey are the two U.S. states that have a Surrogate Court. So, what is a Surrogate Court? Does it have something to do with surrogacy and childbirth law? 

You would think so, but this is not the case. In New York and New Jersey, Surrogate Court is the equivalent to the Probate Court that you’d find in most other states. This type of court is a branch of the Superior Court and has limited jurisdiction. A Surrogate judge’s key duties include opening and closing uncontested probate cases. 

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the New Jersey Surrogate Court, including a directory of Surrogate Courts by county.

The State of New Jersey’s Surrogate Court

The New Jersey Surrogate Court was established by the state constitution. Each county has a Surrogate Court, and the respective judges make their rulings using state statutes.

Surrogate Courts have limited jurisdiction, meaning that they cannot take on any and all cases. They take on cases such as the probate of Wills, the administration of Wills, appointing Executors, and dealing with guardianships, adoptions, and Trusts. They can also deal with estates when an individual passes away without a Will, which is called “intestacy.” 

The New Jersey Superior Court provides oversight on the Surrogate Court. Any contests or complex estate planning cases can and will get escalated to the Superior Court. 

The roots of Surrogate Courts can be found in English history. Church officials handled certain administrative duties on behalf of the King. The bishop of each region had the agency to appoint a surrogate, a substitute, on their behalf if they were absent. Today, this authority and duty has evolved from members of the church to civil officers. This historical context was brought over to the U.S. during the colonial era, and still exists in the states of New Jersey and New York.

New Jersey Surrogate Court Search & Directory Listings

Mentioned above, the Garden State features a Surrogate in each of its 21 counties. Each of these Surrogate Courts are a department of its respective county’s government. All 21 Surrogate Courts in New Jersey are a branch of the state Superior Court, in the Chancery Division. The Surrogate Judge in each county is an elected official. They also serve as a Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part.

This means that when you go to file a Will, or file to open probate for the estate of a deceased person, you would take this action in the county in which you reside. (In some cases, you may need to do so in the county where the decedent owned property, if different from where they resided.)

Below you will find a New Jersey Surrogate’s Court directory so that you can easily look up your respective court information. 

Atlantic County

Presiding Judge: James Curcio, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.aclink.org/Surrogate/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Atlantic County Surrogate Office, 5911 Main Street, Mays Landing, NJ 08330

Surrogate Office Phone Number:  (609) 645-5800

Bergen County

Presiding Judge: Michael R. Dressler, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.bergencountysurrogate.com/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Bergen County Justice Center, Two Bergen County Plaza, Fifth Fl. – Suite 5000 Hackensack, NJ 07601

Surrogate Office Phone Number:   (201) 336-6700

Burlington County

Presiding Judge: Brian Carlin, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.co.burlington.nj.us/538/Surrogate 

Surrogate Office Address: Burlington County Courts Facility, 50 Rancocas Road, 1st floor, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (609) 265-5005

Camden County

Presiding Judge: Michelle Gentek-Mayer, Surrogate 

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.camdencounty.com/service/surrogate-court/ 

Surrogate Office Address: 

Surrogate Office Phone Number:

Cape May County

Presiding Judge: Dean Marcolongo, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://capemaycountynj.gov/545/Cape%20May%20Surrogate 

Surrogate Office Address: Camden County Surrogate Office, 509 Lakeland Road Blackwood, NJ 08012

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (856) 225-7286

Cumberland County

Presiding Judge: Douglas M. Rainear, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.co.cumberland.nj.us/countysurrogate 

Surrogate Office Address: Cape May Surrogate Office, 4 Moore Road Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (609) 463-6666

Essex County

Presiding Judge: Alturrick Kenney, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.essexsurrogate.com/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Essex County Surrogate Office, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Newark, NJ 07102

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (973) 621-4901

Gloucester County

Presiding Judge: Giuseppe Chila, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.gloucestercountynj.gov/depts/s/surrogate/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Gloucester County Surrogate, Bldg. 17 N. Broad Street Woodbury, NJ 08096

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (856) 853-3282

Hudson County

Presiding Judge: Tilo E. Rivas, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/surrogate/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Hudson County Administration Building, 595 Newark Avenue, 4th Floor, Room 407 Jersey City, NJ 07306

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (201) 795-6378

Hunterdon County

Presiding Judge: Susan J. Hoffman, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/depts/surrog/message.htm 

Surrogate Office Address: Hunterdon County Justice Center, 65 Park Avenue Flemington, NJ 08822-2900

Surrogate Office Phone Number:  (908) 788-1156

Mercer County

Presiding Judge: Diane Gerofsky, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-surrogate/the-surrogates-office 

Surrogate Office Address: Mercer County Civil Courts, Bldg. 175 South Broad Street, 4th Fl. – Room 420 Trenton, NJ 08650

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (609) 989-6331

Middlesex County

Presiding Judge: Claribel Cortes, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/Government/Departments/CS/Pages/Surrogate/Surrogate-.aspx 

Surrogate Office Address: Middlesex County Administration Bldg., 75 Bayard Street P.O. Box 790 New Brunswick, NJ 08903

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (732) 745-3055

Monmouth County

Presiding Judge: Maureen Raich, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.visitmonmouth.com/page.aspx?ID=130 

Surrogate Office Address: Monmouth County Hall of Records, 1 East Main Street Freehold, NJ 07728

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (732) 431-7330

Morris County

Presiding Judge: Heather Darling, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.morrissurrogate.com/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Administrative & Records Bldg., 10 Court Street, 5th Floor Morristown, NJ 07963-0900

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (973) 285-6500

Ocean County

Presiding Judge: Jeffrey W. Moran, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: https://www.co.ocean.nj.us/OC/surrogate/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Ocean County Courthouse, 118 Washington Street P.O. Box 2919, Toms River, NJ 08754

Surrogate Office Phone Number:  (732) 929-2011

Passaic County

Presiding Judge: Zoila Cassanova, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: https://www.passaiccountynj.org/government/elected_and_appointed_officials/passaic_county_surrogate/index.php 

Surrogate Office Address: Passaic County Courthouse, 71 Hamilton Street, Room 101 Paterson, NJ 07505

Surrogate Office Phone Number:  (973) 881-4760

Salem County

Presiding Judge: Nicki A. Burke, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://surrogate.salemcountynj.gov/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Salem County Surrogate's Court, 94 Market Street, 2nd Floor Salem, NJ 08079

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (856) 935-7510

Somerset County

Presiding Judge: Bernice M. Jalloh, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/elected-officials/surrogate 

Surrogate Office Address: Somerset County Surrogate's Office, 20 Grove Street, P.O. Box 3000 Somerville, NJ 08876

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (908) 231-7003

Sussex County

Presiding Judge: Gary R. Chiusano, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.sussexcountysurrogate.com/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Sussex County Surrogate's Court, 3 High Street, Suite #1 Newton, NJ 07860

Surrogate Office Phone Number:  (973) 579-0920

Union County

Presiding Judge: Sharda Badri, Deputy Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://ucnj.org/surrogate/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Union County Courthouse, 2 Broad Street, 2nd Floor Elizabeth, NJ 07207

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (908) 527-4280

Warren County

Presiding Judge: Kevin O'Neill, Surrogate

Link to Surrogate Website: http://www.co.warren.nj.us/surrogate/ 

Surrogate Office Address: Warren County Courthouse, 323 Front Street, Suite #1 Belvidere, NJ 07823

Surrogate Office Phone Number: (908) 475-6223

Create Your Estate Plan Today

The New Jersey Surrogate Court is a branch of the New Jersey Superior Court. There is a Surrogate Court in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. The Surrogate (the judge) is an elected official that serves for five years. The Surrogate is mainly responsible for probating Wills, formally appoints the Executor, and appoints an Administrator when necessary. Surrogates typically have limited jurisdiction, which means that they can only take on straightforward cases. If a case is particularly complex, or there are any doubts or contests, the case can be escalated to the Superior Court.

The Warren County Surrogate website encourages everyone to create a Will. It points out that absolutely everyone has an estate, and if they were to pass away without a Will, their personal property will be distributed according to New Jersey statutes. These outcomes may not align with the decedent’s wishes. Further, a Will can save your loved ones time and money. The more confusion there is surrounding your estate, the longer and costlier the probate process will be. By putting a Will in place, you can put a plan in place and make sure that your property is transferred efficiently and properly. 

If you don’t have a Will yet, don’t worry. At Trust & Will, we’ve made it our main objective to enable Americans to put a Will in place easily, and at an affordable cost. Our platform is easy to navigate, and we use intuitive questionnaires to help you build your Will and other estate planning documents. We can also help you set up something called a Trust, which is a fiduciary arrangement that removes property out of your estate. This is an appropriate option if you wish to keep some or all of your property out of the Surrogate’s Court and the probate process. 

What are you waiting for? Take a peek at what it would be like to create a Will online through Trust & Will today! Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Reach out to us today or Chat with a live member support representative! 

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Trust & Will is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice.


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