N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 298


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Tuesday, July 8, 1947 (Morning session)

around. Of course, as you well know, in the Constitution the Court of Chancery today is the Chancellor. Now, if you change that situation around so that he, the Chancellor, was not the Court of Chancery or was not the Equity Division of the court, whatever you want to call it, you would just be adding another member there and he would still have the administrative work to do.

MR. PETERSON: A case is heard in Chancery, the decree is written by the trial judge but signed in the name of the Chancellor -

MR. VAN RIPER: Yes.

MR. PETERSON: - and, therefore, he can't review his own act. But if there were a Court of Chancery and each of the judges, each of the Vice-Chancellors, signed their own decrees, the same as you do in law, then if it goes on to appeal the Chancellor could sit as a specialist in Chancery, or in equity.

MR. VAN RIPER: My question is this - what is the necessity of having the Chancellor up there; you already have seven judges there anyhow? What's the necessity of putting another one in? The practical situation now is that you are trying to reduce it.

MR. PETERSON: In my mind it would preserve the specialization you have now.

MR. VAN RIPER: You haven't had that specialization as the result of the Chancellor being in the top court - that is the important part.

MR. PETERSON: How many equity cases go to the top court?

MR. VAN RIPER: About one-half of them.

MR. McGRATH: About half, I would say.

MR. SMITH: Mr. Van Riper, under the Revised Statutes the Judicial Council was set up to review the courts, establish their procedure and practice, make recommendations, and so forth and so on. Now, you are an ex-officio member of that Council.

MR. VAN RIPER: Yes.

MR. SMITH: It had high-sounding purposes. Whatever happened there?

MR. VAN RIPER: Well, I think we just confined it to the high-sounding purposes. You can't get into much trouble as long as you don't -

MR. SMITH: Has it been inactive over the years?

MR. VAN RIPER: Well, I think since I've been on it, and I've only been on it because of my official position - I think we've had it, well, maybe a year.

MR. McGRATH: Mr. Van Riper, getting back to the Superior Court, do you propose the same plan as in the 1944 revision - that all county judges should be members of the Superior Court?

MR. VAN RIPER: That's right.

MR. McGRATH: And all get the same salary?

MR. VAN RIPER: Yes, sir. We are in agreement on that, Judge.


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