N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 34

MR. DIXON: It would be a minor district court?

MISS SEUFERT: I presume so. The details of the sections, of the general statewide court in departments, and any particularities - unless it is in the proposal - I would leave to the Legislature to set up. The Constitution should provide just the general principles of the whole court system, because we believe that one of the difficulties in our judicial system today is the fact that the Constitution binds our court system to a certain extent and limits it. We feel that the Judiciary Article should establish the major proposals for a state system, but leave the details of the court to the Legislature, so that the system may contract and expand, as the times demand.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Your argument is that all courts be left to the Legislature and to the control of the Superior Court?

MISS SEUFERT: That is, I believe, the previous plan.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: We now have criminal district courts, so that our Legislature has had experience in setting up criminal courts, particularly district courts based on geographical lines.

MR. PETERSON: I would like to ask Miss Seufert this: Were such a system adopted for these local municipal courts, on a statewide level, along the lines you propose, how would a motor vehicle violator from out-of-state obtain a speedy trial, unless that judge would be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Under that law a violator can ask to be taken to the nearest magistrate for immediate trial. He does not have to come back some other date.

MISS SEUFERT: I believe that the Legislature would certainly take care of that as far as state violations are concerned. I didn't mean to give the impression that these municipal courts are to be part of the state court system. They are not. Each municipality would, of course, have the power to set up its own rules and regulations for handling local violations.

MR. PETERSON: What I mean is, they would not be part of the inferior courts?

MISS SEUFERT: No, the municipal courts would not be part of the inferior courts. ... The Legislature will certainly, in setting up the administration of the entire court system, provide for the availability of a judge.

MR. McGRATH: Would you be satisfied if it were left to the Legislature, instead of putting it in the Constitution? I am speaking only of the small inferior courts.

MISS SEUFERT: Yes, we would be satisfied with that.

MR. DIXON: What would be your argument against leaving the court question up to the Supreme Court Justices themselves? Just let the Constitution establish the Supreme Court - just on those two levels, somewhere between those two levels - and place on it the

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