Resolving Construction Disputes: Mediation, Small Claims Court, or Civil Suit?

So, you hired a general contractor for some additions to your business’s property or to build a new structure, and the construction is not going to your liking—so much so that you believe the contractor actually failed to hold up their end of the contract. What can you do?

You aren’t necessarily required to take the issue to court. You may have other options, including mediation and small claims court.


Engineers discussing construction of the building, rear view

Mediation gives you and your contractor options for resolution that are not legally binding. A neutral person, usually a retired judge or lawyer, will hear you both out and provide options that will hopefully direct you and the contractor to some type of settlement that’s agreeable to both of you, avoiding litigation altogether in the process.

Small Claims Court

 Small claims court is an option when others aren’t working. However, it’s limited to relatively small damage amounts. In New Jersey, the limit for any claim, other than tenants pursuing security deposit damages from landlords, is $3,000. If the damages to your business are greater, you will have to begin a civil suit.

In small claims cases the court may appoint a time for mediation of your dispute. The court will do its best to try your case on the same day if the mediation is fruitless.

Recovering Damages to Your Business in a Civil Suit

If the damages to your business resulting from a general contractor’s contract breach or failure to provide agreed-upon services force you into civil court, be sure to acquire a New Jersey business law attorney as your counsel in the case.

An experienced business law attorney can help you in your fight to win damages you deserve from a general contractor that failed to uphold their end of the construction deal.

Garland & Mason, L.L.C. – Business Attorneys


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.