Guardianship Information

Adoption Procedures


There are several reasons that result in the need for a guardian to be appointed on behalf of a minor (under the age of 18). The most common is when a minor, who is a Sussex County resident, is to receive assets, usually money, but may include stocks, bonds or real estate, in amounts greater than $5,000.00 per annum. Among the more common occurrence is if a minor is involved in an accident and receives a monetary settlement. The Superior Court of New Jersey enters a Judgment to formalize that settlement. The settlement funds are then placed in the custodial care of the Sussex County Surrogate’s Court, in the Surrogate’s Intermingled Account.



Under N.J. Court Rule 1:34-2, the Sussex County Surrogate acts as Deputy Clerk of Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part for the filing of the appropriate pleadings.

Adults are declared incapacitated in Superior Court by way of Order to Show Cause, Verified Complaint and certain required affidavits. The Court will appoint an independent attorney to represent the alleged incapacitated person. A report is generated and a plenary hearing may be required.

Upon adjudication, the Surrogate qualifies the court-appointed Guardian(s) and issues the official letters of Guardianship.

The Surrogate’s Court will also be the base for the soon to be implemented State Guardianship Monitoring Program. Under this program, volunteers will review the annual reports filed by Guardians, as well as, in some cases, the ward’s residence.

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3 High Street, Suite 1, Newton, New Jersey 07860  (In the Historic Sussex County Court House)   Phone (973)579-0920   Fax (973)579-0909
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Guardianship Information