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I missed a court date ? Do I have a bench warrant out for my arrest?

New Jersey |

I missed a court date of which I was to appear early last week. I had no idea that I was supposed to go to court on that date, I received no notice. I owed a supermarket $60.00 for a bounced check that I left unpaid. The Essex County Court Office called me last Friday to make me aware I had missed court and that I was to contact the plaintiff's attorney. The clerk also mentioned that a court officer was to come to my house and issue me a warrant. I called the attorney and we made a payment arrangement. He later called the Court office to drop any "charges". Do I still have a warrant out of my arrest even though I paid the settlement?
Obviously the plaintiff won and I had to dish out a $315.

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Attorney answers 2


While you do not say so, it appears that you are referring to a civil action. Even with a civil matter, when a warrant is at issue you should discuss this with an experienced defense lawyer before doing anything.

Assuming it was civil, your alternatives are to call the Court you were supposed to be in and ask if a warrant was issued; or, to call the Essex County Sheriff's Office, ask for the Warrant Squad and ask if there is a warrant for your arrest. Get the name and phone number of the person you are talking to in case you do need to turn yourself in or go to Court.

If the matter was criminal in any aspect, talk to a criminal defense lawyer BEFORE you call the Court or the Sheriff.

Lastly, if a warrant was issued, after it is resolved, check with the NJ MVC to make sure your driving privileges are not suspended for your failure to appear in Court.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.


If you missed a court date, chances are that there is a warrant. It's possible the court did not send you the correct notice but don't count on it. You should contact an attorney in your area to see if they can get the warrant removed.

Craig Epifanio