N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 212


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947 COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Morning session)

stitutional court, or should the Legislature be empowered to alter the structure of the trial tribunals?

JUSTICE COLIE: I would be inclined, Judge Brogan, to leave that largely to the Legislature. That doesn't answer your question, does it?

MR. BROGAN: Oh, yes - well, when you say largely, you are not definite.

JUSTICE COLIE: Yes, I know. I think the court of last resort -

MR. BROGAN: Must be constitutional.

JUSTICE COLIE: - must be constitutional; and I think the intermediate court of appeals should be constitutional.

MR. BROGAN: Would you like to see preserved as an intermediate court, a court constructed largely as the present Supreme Court is constructed?

JUSTICE COLIE: You mean as to numbers, or as to jurisdiction?

MR. BROGAN: As to jurisdiction. I don't want to make this question too broad, but it has been suggested here that such appellate jurisdiction be retained in a court that we call a Supreme Court for present purposes, not the court of last resort, and it is to have control of prerogative writs and the practice therein and the returns made thereto.

JUSTICE COLIE: I would think so, yes.

MR. BROGAN: Do you favor the retention of prerogative writs, or do you favor this omnibus arrangement proposed by Mr. Hannoch - that there be a review, call it by what name you like, of any matters of jurisdiction, not necessarily limited jurisdiction, but judgments of tribunals like the Workmen's Compensation Bureau, or the various state bureaus or boards, like the Dental Board, or the Medical Board, and whatnot.

JUSTICE COLIE: Judge Brogan, that brings me to something - I'm very glad you mentioned this. I think that this is a tempest in a teapot.

MR. BROGAN: You mean the fuss about prerogative writs?

JUSTICE COLIE: I do, sir. I think that prerogative writs do have a place. I think there exists today all of the adequate mechanics to permit of a person going before the Supreme Court and asking for one kind of a writ and coming out with the other. That's there today.

MR. BROGAN: Yes, I understand that.

JUSTICE COLIE: And I know that because I have exercised it myself. So that merely by changing the procedure of asking for a specific writ, which may be denied you and another writ given, so that you come in on, let us call it a rule to show cause, asking for whatever the court thinks is the right remedy - I don't understand what they are talking about, sir, frankly.


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