N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 32

MISS SEUFERT: I think it would have been possible, Mr. Chairman, but I think that practically it would have been very difficult to accomplish.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: What you are saying is that we should strive to set up that type of a system under the Constitution to avoid legislative changes from time to time?

MISS SEUFERT: Yes, that would be the main reason, but we do believe that it is as essential a part of the court system as any other provision. If there is going to be a unification, we recommend that it be a complete unification of the system.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: It seems to me to be more advisable, under the proposed Constitution, not to fix all details, but to leave to the Legislature power to change it from time to time.

MISS SEUFERT: Well, we do provide in our proposal that the Legislature have the power to set up any districts or departments within this system, as it finds necessary.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: So that in this unification of the court system as proposed, the Legislature still could provide for police courts within the different municipalities?

MISS SEUFERT: But within the proposed system. I would like to point out this, Mr. Chairman, that this integration plan does not include the municipal courts. The municipal courts, we feel, are purely a part of the administration of the municipality, and we provide in our constitutional proposal that these municipal courts should be part of the municipal government, limited in their jurisdiction to the determination of municipal ordinances only. In that way, this unified court plan system would not interfere with our policy of home rule for municipalities, for these courts would consider only matters pertaining to municipal ordinances. They would, however, under our proposal here, be subject to the administrative authority of the court. There would be supervision of these municipal courts by our chief judicial supervisor in this system.

Now, the second major point we feel that is necessary -

MR. BROGAN: What would happen under that system to a disorderly conduct charge?

MISS SEUFERT: A disorderly conduct charge, if based on a municipal ordinance, would probably go into the municipal court, unless the State Legislature had set up a special section for that. I presume the local ordinances would take care of such minor crimes.

MR. BROGAN: If it was just a drunk and disorderly charge?

MISS SEUFERT: That would depend on whether it was a violation of the statute or a municipal ordinance.

MR. BROGAN: If it were under the statute?

MISS SEUFERT: If it were under the statute, it would probably go into the lower criminal court, which would be part of the state

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