N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 352

Wednesday, July 9, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. BROGAN: In some you have three and four.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: I believe there are about 564 municipalities.

MR. KAPELSOHN: In some you have only one, in a very few municipalities you have more than one. In Jersey City, I believe, they have four, and in Newark, I think, they have four.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: It runs into about 2,000, that's an approximate figure.

MR. KAPELSOHN: How many municipalities are there?

VICE-CHAIRMAN: 564, that is, including townships.

MR. KAPELSOHN: 564 municipalities - well, I don't believe there are as many as 600 judges.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Well, it's a substantial number anyway.

MR. KAPELSOHN: Most of them have only one.

MR. BROGAN: Mr. Kapelsohn, you recommend the integration of all courts of original jurisdiction? For example, law, equity, probate, whatever it may be?

MR. KAPELSOHN: That's correct.

MR. BROGAN: You make that recommendation because you think that the present system has broken down?

MR. KAPELSOHN: I don't know whether you would call it broken down.

MR. BROGAN: I mean, what is wrong with the present system? I am talking about the Court of Errors and Appeals now. Everybody says it is unwieldy, and everybody can't be wrong.

MR. KAPELSOHN: At least there is one thing on which there is agreement. ... Well, one item I have mentioned, your three courts of civil jurisdiction in the counties. You are referring, I suppose, specifically to separation of the equity powers, to equity jurisdiction. I don't think it is operating efficiently. I think the equity judges are too far removed from the persons to whom they should be responsible. As far as the function and management of the Court of Chancery is concerned, I am not here complaining of any specific mistreatment personally - of myself or clients. I can refer the Committee to the Temple Report1 Temple, Ralph R. Report on the Constitutional Courts of the State of New Jersey. Submitted to the Commission on Revision of the New Jersey Constitution, July, 1942 (Trenton, 1942). filed a few years ago.

MR. BROGAN: That is the Temple Report. I am interested now in your ideas.

MR. KAPELSOHN: I haven't a copy of it with me, but I assume you are familiar with it. I can refer you to the Temple Report pointing out some of the gross failings of the Court of Chancery. That is in the nature of an indictment that I don't believe has ever been challenged. I doubt very much whether it can be. That relates to administration, pointing out, for example, that in over a 12-year period, beginning in 1930 - 1931, while the expense of operation had

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