N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 451


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Morning session)

Circuit Court of our state." Now, when the body of the law has risen to such a degree of respect that it is regarded throughout the land with this type of importance, I think caution should be the watchword of any committee or any group of men which sets about trying to change the system that has produced such important results not only to us but to those in other parts of the country.

The suggestion is made that in the federal courts they have one judge who sits in law and equity. Well, they do. I think no one will deny that the field of equity is distinctly limited in the federal district courts. They deal with relatively few equity matters as compared with the legal matters that come before them. Moreover, they feel bound by the decisions of the state, so that the law of the equity courts of New Jersey is in reality the law of the federal court. Finally, they don't come in contact, because of the very nature of the fact that it is a federal court, with the problems the people meet in their daily lives to the extent that our courts do. I think, therefore, that it does not furnish any persuasive argument for the abolition of our Court of Chancery that in the federal courts they have one judge who attempts to administer both fields.

It has also been suggested that there are judges who can administer both fields - Judge Learned Hand has been mentioned during the hearings in this Committee, I believe, as a man who administers in both fields exceptionally well. Undoubtedly, that is true. We are thinking of what the average jurist can do, and no one could suggest, in my humble opinion, that the average jurist in a court of original jurisdiction could be equally able in all fields or that he could compare with the degree of expertness that we achieve under our system.

Mr. Chairman, may I ask how much more time I have?

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Go right ahead.

MR. KREMER: There are certain things that our bar association stands for. We are for a separate Court of Appeals. We feel with everyone that this duplication of effort is responsible for great delays and overburdens the court. There should be a separate Court of Appeals which, we think, should be composed of one chief and six judges, one-half of whom, three of whom, should be drawn from the field of equity when the new Constitution is set up, and three from the field of law.

We believe that the Court of Chancery should be vested with the original jurisdiction of the Prerogative Courts. We believe that the county courts should be retained and that the accumulation of names and nomenclature should be done away with - that these names, General, Quarter Sessions,Oyer and Terminer, should be abolished; that the Circuit Court, as such, no longer performs any necessary functions and that there should be one county court vested


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