Do I Need To Have An Attorney To File A Lawsuit?
While it is not required to hire an attorney, some states require an attorney to file an appeal. Even in states where an attorney is not required, it is strongly encouraged as the appeal filing process can be difficult to navigate. In addition, certain property owners or tenants are required to be represented by an attorney.
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania it is mandatory to have an attorney at the first level of appeal for commercial and industrial properties owned by a corporation or LLC. In New Jersey, a homeowner can file their own tax assessment appeal to the county tax board or Tax Court.
In New York, an attorney is not mandatory at the Board of Assessment Review level of appeal (first level) or continuation to the New York Trial Court level of appeal (Supreme Court). An attorney is often retained to file an appeal to the New York Supreme Court given the complexity of the proceeding. A taxpayer may not appoint a non-attorney representative in New York at the trial court level. In other states, property tax consultants and agents may be able to file provided they have a letter of authority from the owner stating that they can do so.
It is uncommon to see property owners file their own tax appeals because the appeal process in many states is often complex and time consuming – from the initial appeal filing and effective service on the taxing authority, to discovery, court appearances and trial. A self-represented Taxpayer, unfamiliar with the filing requirements, bears a special risk, which includes having the appeal dismissed and even an increase in tax assessment.
When Will My Appeal Be Heard?
Administrative level appeals are usually heard within several months of filing. In New Jersey, a Taxpayer is not required to go first to the county board of taxation unless the assessment is below $1,000,000. If the assessment is above $1,000,000, a Taxpayer can file directly to Tax Court. Many Taxpayers choose to bypass county tax boards and appeal directly to Tax Court due to the perception that the tax board will not be able to deal with industrial or commercial properties that have significant assessed values. While a county board decision is known within months, a Tax Court appeal could tax a year or longer to resolve.
For more information on Having An Attorney To File An Appeal, a complimentary consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (973) 869-5550 today.
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