Closter Boro Municipal Court

295 Closter Dock Road
Closter, NJ 07624
Office Hours: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Municipal Court Judge: Peter G. Geiger
Closter Municipal Court Administrator: Bonnie Switzer
Cases: Traffic offenses and related matters.
Website: http://www.closterboro.com/closter/Departments/Municipal%20Court/
Online Payments: http://njmcdirect.co
Tel: 201-784-0600

About Closter Boro, NJ

Closter /ˈkloʊstər/ is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 8,373, reflecting a decline of 10 (-0.1%) from the 8,383 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 289 (+3.6%) from the 8,094 counted in the 1990 Census.

The Lenni Lenape Native Americans tilled the soil, hunted in the woods, and fished in the rivers and streams before the Dutch arrived in the early 18th Century. The Dutch settlers, though, left an indelible mark on the area. Early records show that after the English takeover of New Netherland, English Governor Philip Carteret in 1669 granted a real estate speculator named Balthaser De Hart a strip of property which extended east and west from the Hudson River to the Tiena Kill, and north and south from today's Cresskill into Palisades, New York. It is within these geographical boundaries that lies what is now known as Closter. The northern half of this tract of land consisting of 1,030 acres (420 ha) (extending from what is Closter Dock Road northward) was purchased by Barent and Resolvert Nagel on April 25, 1710, who along with the Vervalen family first settled what is now Closter.

The name Closter is of Dutch origin and first appears in 1745, when Arie Arieaense purchased "A certain tract of land lying on Tappan in Orange County and in the province of New York at a certain place called Klooster" (At that time, Closter was considered part of New York State). In the Dutch language, Klooster means "a quiet place, a monastery or cloister." This location was a quiet place in 1710 when the Nagel brothers first settled it, with very few people in the immediate area. The topography gave a sense of isolation and protection, tucked behind the highest point of the Palisades and protected by limited access. Alternatively, sources indicate that the name derives from an early settler named Frederick Closter. The name was originally pronounced with an "ow" sound, phonetically, "Klowster."

Later, just before the American Revolution, these isolated settlers began to feel the imposing hand of the British Crown in their lives – not only in governmental affairs but also by the influx of English culture upon their own language and culture. And as a result the "K" in Klooster was dropped and was replaced with a "C" so the now growing village became known as Clooster.

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How to Handle Your Citation

If you are issued a ticket or citation by a police officer for any type of motor vehicle violation (e.g., speeding, parking, use of a cell phone while driving, fender bender, injury accident, driving under the influence, etc.) you will have to deal with the municipal traffic court that has jurisdiction over the place where the incident occurred.

Accepting Your Citation

If you believe that the citation issued to you by the police officer was warranted, you do not have to appear before a judge in municipal traffic court. You only have to arrange payment to the court prior to the payment due date that is written on the citation. Note that failure to pay on or before this date can have serious legal or financial consequences.

Payment Options

Each municipal traffic court maintains its own calendar of hearings. If you decide to plead guilty to the offense, it is not necessary for you to appear before the court. You do have to arrange to pay the fine before the due state. You generally have two payment options.

Pay by Mail

Send a check or money order to the address printed on your citation. Do not send cash.

Pay in Person

Again, you can pay using a check or money order, although cash or debit/credit cards might be an option. It is a good idea to call the office of the appropriate municipal traffic court in advance to verify business hours and discuss the types of acceptable payment methods.

Pay Online

A possible third option, this allows you to pay your fine using a debit or credit card. It is not offered by all local municipal traffic courts at this time, so call to ask if this option is available.

Contesting Your Citation

If you would like to contest your citation, you must schedule an appearance before the judge. Again, each municipal traffic court sets its own days and hours of business, so call ahead to verify these and to schedule your appearance. It is best to call as soon as possible because dockets can fill up fast.

Failure to Comply

If you fail to pay your citation or do not make an appointment to contest your citation, you may be subject to other fines and penalties that can be imposed by the judge. These can include additional legal charges, additional fees, suspension or loss of your driver's license, and perhaps the possibility of incarceration.

When to Contact an Attorney

Personal Injury. If you or any person in your vehicle or any other person in another involved vehicle or a bystander believes an injury has been incurred during the incident, whether that injury be minor or major.

Driving Under the Influence. If you had been drinking alcohol or taking drugs (including prescription medications) in the period leading up to the incident or if you believe a person from any other involved vehicle might have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident.

Substantial Damage. If there has been substantial damage to your vehicle or any other involved vehicle or vehicles, or if there is minor or major damage to other property (e.g., hitting a utility pole or tree, crashing through a fence or other barrier, or running into a building, etc.).

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