N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 148

Tuesday, July 1, 1947 (Afternoon session)

that question has been certified to the law court, and the answer certified back to the equity court; and the equity court would then, in the light of that determination, decide the equitable questions.

In the 1944 proposal, if you are going to use any of it, there are some things that certainly should be clarified. There are some provisions there that I think are unintentional. They look towards a merging of the two courts, so that you would have one system, not two systems - an equity branch and a law branch - but a merging of the two courts, so that legal questions would fade out as such and you would not have any distinction between them and equitable questions. Well, if that is to be done, it should be done with everybody knowing that that is the objective. Certainly, we should not adopt provisions that are so clouded that they would permit the elimination of the distinction between law and equity as branches of jurisprudence, without a clear conception on the part of the public and the bar that that is being done.

I don't know whether I can call your attention to the particular provisions that I have in mind - I am going through my notes rather roughly and rather quickly - but if you are further interested in that, I can give you the citations as to those matters I think you should be very careful about. When I say "you should be very careful about," you will understand that I am not speaking as a schoolmaster, telling you what you should do. I am simply making the suggestion that those things are matters now deserving of your attention.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: After the conclusion of Chief Justice Case's remarks, we will welcome receipt of any comments, but I assume that Chief Justice Case is covering the recommendations of his court and, of course, with respect to the case citations, we can receive them any time while we are still deliberating.

CHIEF JUSTICE CASE: I will be glad to help in any way I can.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Personally, and I am sure I can speak for the rest of the Committee too, we want to have any help you can offer us.

CHIEF JUSTICE CASE: I think there is one thing that should be made quite clear. I was privileged this morning to have a little talk with Mr. Russell Watson, who is to appear before this Committee, about some of these matters about which I am now going to speak. He said it was the intention of the 1944 Constitution to authorize a litigant to come into, let us say, the Court of Chancery, with a bill in Chancery that doesn't belong there, and then because he is there to insist upon the court's going ahead and trying a legal question. That gives a man the election of choosing which system he wants to follow, and of going into the equity court with a law case. The thought that Mr. Watson expressed - (speaking to Mr.

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