N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 299

Tuesday, July 8, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. McGRATH: Let's get back to facts. A Cape May judge would then be getting as much as a judge in Essex County, $15,000, is that right?

MR. VAN RIPER: That's right, and he would be entitled to it if he is doing the same calibre of work.

MR. McGRATH: Wait a minute. He gets $15,000 now instead of $5,000, and the State pays him instead of the county, but you said that the Constitution should provide that there be one judge in each county.

MR. VAN RIPER: Appointed from the county, that's right.

MR. McGRATH: Well, then, if somebody said, "Go up to Essex County; they are busy," wouldn't he say, "Oh, no, the Constitution says I'm appointed to Cape May and I'm going to sit here and enjoy myself"?

MR. VAN RIPER: No, I don't think he'd do anything of the kind.

MR. McGRATH: Well, wouldn't he have a right to do it?

MR. VAN RIPER: No, I don't think he would, because I think he'd be subject to the powers of the administrative judge of that court and to the Chief Justice.

MR. McGRATH: You would send him up to Essex County to try cases there?

MR. VAN RIPER: Outside of his doing his work in Cape May, certainly. And, as far as his getting the same salary is concerned, Judge, I think it's only fair that he get the same salary if he does the same type of work. You are either going to have judges on a full-time basis or not on a full-time basis.

MR. McGRATH: Let's get back to the point under discussion. Aren't you overlooking entirely the standards and the importance and the necessity of having a judge in each county. For instance, suppose in an extradition case you came in with the man who is to be extradited; the prosecutor says, "Well, I'm sorry, but the judge has been assigned to Essex County for a whole month. You can't bother him." Or the surrogate has a question on a will where some person comes in and says, "I'd like to have this discussed," and the surrogate says, "Well, the judge is in Essex County." Or an insane person has to be sent to the lunatic asylum immediately and they say, "Well, the judge is up in Essex County today, you'll have to wait." In other words, isn't it a fact that county judges do a great deal and possibly most of their work, not in the court room but in their chambers?

MR. VAN RIPER: They do do a lot, that's true. I suppose you could conjure up a lot of those problematical situations, Judge, but I wouldn't be afraid of them as a practical thing. I can't imagine any judge who is able enough to be designated as the presiding judge of the Law Division, for instance, who couldn't envisage all

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