N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 27

Tuesday, June 24, 1947 (Morning session)

TransitionDraft of Judicial Article2 Draft included in the original transcript at this point for convenience. See Appendix for detailed formal explanation furnished the Committee by Miss Seufert.


Section I

1. The judicial power shall be vested in a judicial department which shall consist of a supreme court and a general court.

2. In all matters in which there is any conflict or variance between equity and common law, equity shall prevail and, subject to rules of the supreme court, every controversy shall be fully determined by the justice hearing it.

3. The supreme court shall hold continuous yearly terms, and the general court and the divisions and sections thereof shall hold such terms as may be determined by rule of the supreme court.

Section II

1. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and six associate justices. Five members of the court shall constitute a quorum. The presiding justice shall designate a justice or justices of the general court to serve temporarily when necessary to constitute a quorum.

2. The supreme court shall exercise appellate jurisdiction in the last resort in accordance with this constitution.

3. The supreme court shall make rules governing the administration of the courts. It shall have power to make rules not inconsistent with law as to pleading, practice and evidence in each of the courts and for the admission and discipline of the bar.

Section III

1. The general court shall consist of as many judges as may be authorized by law.

2. The general court shall have original general jurisdiction throughout the state.

3. The general court shall be divided into such sections, departments, parts, or special tribunals as may be provided by law or by rule of the supreme court not inconsistent with law, provided however that there shall always be one or more law sections and an equity section. Each section shall exercise jurisdiction assigned by law or by rule not inconsistent with law and the equity section shall exercise any jurisdiction not otherwise assigned.

4. The legislature may provide by law or the supreme court may provide by rule subject to law for the appointment of especially qualified persons to serve particular sections, departments or tribunals of the general court as referees in aid of the court.

5. The legislature may authorize the governing bodies of municipalities to establish municipal tribunals with jurisdiction limited to questions arising under municipal ordinances; provided that any matter shall be transferred before trial from a municipal court to the general court at the request of either party or on order of a judge of the general court.

Section IV

1. There shall be in the general court two or more appellate divisions as prescribed by rules of the supreme court. Each appellate division shall consist of three judges of the general court assigned by the chief justice subject to the rules of the supreme court.

2. The jurisdiction of the appellate divisions shall be determined by rule of the supreme court subject to law, provided that an appeal to an appellate division may be taken from any final order, judgment or decree of the general court as a matter of right.

3. Appeals to the supreme court may be taken only:

  • (1) In capital cases and cases involving a question arising under the constitution of the United States or of this state, which appeals shall be taken directly to the supreme court;  

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