N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 218

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Morning session)

JUSTICE COLIE: The appeals from selected cases - I classify cases that have been decided by the intermediate court of appeals - would go up to the court of last resort.

MR. SMITH: I'm thinking of the trial court, in equity or in law at the Supreme Court level. I'm beginning above the small courts.

JUSTICE COLIE: I think they should go into that intermediate court of appeals.

MR. SMITH: You think the order of appeal should be the Supreme Court, the intermediate court of appeals, and finally the highest court of appeals?

JUSTICE COLIE: Starting from the top down, I have visualized a court of last resort, a court of appeals. Below that I visualize an intermediate court of appeals. It may sit in a number of different branches, but nevertheless, all one court - the same as the Supreme Court today sits in three parts, each part of which is the Supreme Court. And then, below that are the trial courts, such as the Circuit Court today, and the Supreme Court Circuit, and the Chancery Court.

MR. SMITH: That's as I understood you to say. Now, what about the appeals from the so-called inferior courts? The small claims courts?

JUSTICE COLIE: Well, of course there must be an appeal, and I would think the logical place to take those appeals would be to the Supreme Court.

MR. BROGAN: Appellate -

MR. SMITH: I don't -

JUSTICE COLIE: I don't visualize -

MR. BROGAN: Mr. Smith's difficulty arises out of this: Justice Case referred to this intermediate court which would have last jurisdiction in the court.

JUSTICE COLIE: Well, if that is where the difficulty arises, Mr. Smith, I conceive of the appellate court - what do you call it?

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Appellate Division.

JUSTICE COLIE: And the Supreme Court as being one court. Does that clarify things?

MR. SMITH: In part. What you are saying, in substance, is that the Appellate Division is at the second level.

JUSTICE COLIE: That's correct.

MR. SMITH: That court would hear the appeals from the courts in the same line, Chancery or law - right? Trial courts?

JUSTICE COLIE: That's correct.

MR. SMITH: And would that same Appellate Division hear the appeals from the still lower courts?

MR. EDWARD A. McGRATH: Take a concrete case, like workmen's compensation cases.

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