Skip to main content

Off-Campus and Commuter Services

Seeking Legal Advice

There comes a point in everyone’s life when you will need the assistance of a lawyer.

As a student who is living off-campus in a seasonal or year-round rental, the need for a lawyer may become a necessity should you encounter a dispute with your landlord or roommate(s). Furthermore, off-campus students will on occasion run into legal difficulties that require the need for a lawyer.

Every year, Monmouth students who are living off-campus encounter legal issues that could include:

  • Eviction notices
  • Summonses or arrests
  • Roommate disputes
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Disputes over security deposits or rent

Where should you turn if you have a legal questions?

One place to begin your search in finding legal information about renting is the Legal Services of New Jersey Tenant’s Rights Manual.  The manual includes 16 chapters of in-depth resources, explanations and definitions that help tenants develop a fuller understanding of their rights in a rented property.

The New Jersey Courts sponsor an informative landlord/tenant FAQ page, which is another avenue to search if you have legal questions regarding renting.  Another consideration when selecting an attorney is any personal referral that you can gather from friends or family members who may have had to address a similar issue. While the internet is a good place to do some research, if you have a family friend or relative who is a lawyer, you may want to seek their advice. The person may not be able to represent you, but he/she/they may be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to finding an attorney who can address your specific legal issue.

Are there any local legal services that student may access?

Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services (OMLS) offers legal services in a broad range of matters, including housing, government assistance and benefits, limited family matters, consumer cases, and others. Certain non-profit community groups which are organized by or for low-income people may also qualify for assistance.  OMLS does not help in criminal or municipal court cases.

​Eligibility for individuals is based on household income and assets.  These guidelines are set by federal and state funding sources.  Senior citizens from Monmouth County and Ocean County may receive some legal assistance, regardless of income, due to a special grant to OMLS from the Monmouth County Office on Aging and the Ocean County Office on Senior Services.  Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services offers advice, counsel and/or representation to eligible applicants.  The level of service provided is based on the type of case.

To find out if you may be eligible for legal assistance from the Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services, please call 732-866-0020 (option 3, new clients) to be connected with a representative.

What is small claims court?

The Small Claims Section is a court in which you may sue someone (the defendant) to collect a small amount of money that you believe is owed to you. Because procedures in Small Claims are simpler than in other courts, persons usually can file and present their cases relatively quickly and inexpensively, and often without an attorney. This segment explains how to file a complaint, a counterclaim, or an appeal, and gives general information about Small Claims in New Jersey.

Tenants can take a dispute to small claims court, which may not require the need for legal representation. Small claims court is designed to address monetary claims of no more than $5,000.

Is it possible to represent yourself in court?

The short answer is yes.  However, you will be placing a great deal of responsibility on yourself, and it’s something you should thoroughly consider before making that kind of decision.

Does Monmouth University offer legal advice to students?

Students may contact the Center for Student Success (CSS), located on the lower level of the Student Center at 732-571-3487 to schedule a brief appointment with a lawyer who will provide students with legal counseling.