N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 115

Tuesday, July 1, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. McGRATH: But an ideal constitution would have as few possibilities for conflicts as possible, and then you would eliminate endless appeals?

DEAN POUND: I don't see any reason why not. In fact, the whole tendency today is in that direction, and more and more instead of handling appeals from the small cause courts, there is a provision for an appellate branch in the lower court, in which three judges can review the matters quickly and informally without having to go through the long system of appeals.

MR. McGRATH: You would have a strong administration of all courts, and in this connection, do you think that the system we have in the federal courts, is a good one?

DEAN POUND: Well, that's a good system.

MR. McGRATH: You would find in this highest court and its rule-making powers the thing which would largely minimize conflicts of jurisdiction that might arise, at least the interpretation?

DEAN POUND: Oh, yes. The only trouble is, if jurisdictional lines are constitutional, that is the difficulty.

MR. McGRATH: The thing to do is to avoid that.

DEAN POUND: Avoid that as much as possible.

MR. McGRATH: Among our administrative problems in this State, we have a great deal of zoning questions - a man wants to build a building and finds that he can't do it because of the building ordinance. That's likely to increase tremendously.

DEAN POUND: Well, that's a little different from our jurisdictional problem. That's a problem, after all, of the administration of the zoning law, and the power to do this, that or the other thing. That isn't the question of jurisdiction of the courts.

MR. McGRATH: No, I mean, would you consider it a good policy to refer those things as far as possible to some state building commissioner?

DEAN POUND: No, I don't think so, and I'll tell you why. When you have an administrative agency, dealing with questions of property and things of that kind, you run into the difficulty we have with our federal agencies. These agencies consider themselves out of all proportion. They can't see anything but their particular job; the job is so important that everything else has got to give way. And if you have an administrative agency dealing with zoning laws and questions of property, well, you have an amount of review in the end that isn't necessary. The court has continually been forced to interpret the Constitution against these administrative agencies.

MR. McGRATH: In England, notwithstanding the reforms you speak of, litigations are far more expensive than they are in this country.

DEAN POUND: Yes, and I'll tell you why. It isn't any more

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