N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 496

Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

MRS. STUART HENDERSON: Members of the Judiciary Committee:

I am going to read my statement so that I may take as little of your time as possible.

It is with great pleasure that the League of Women Voters expresses approval of the first draft of the Judiciary Article in the proposed Constitution. At the same time, we would like to commend the Committee for the meticulous care exercised in securing a wide range of expert opinion and public reaction.

We feel that one of the most important changes in judiciary efficiency is achieved by the integrated management of the whole set-up of the courts. This is a step of great advance.

We are regretful that the Committee has thought best to continue the existence of the county court, but note gladly that it holds a combined jurisdiction, that it is under supervision, and that its jurisdiction may be transferred to the General Court by law. We have done some questioning of attorneys and potential lay litigants, though not enough to represent a scientifically planned poll. This convinces us that thoughtful persons would like to protect the growth of excrescent courts by forbidding the creation of inferior courts. But we realize that there are points beyond which general opinion has not been educated to go. We would not like to jeopardize the acceptance of the great gains made by this judiciary draft.

We shall watch with interest and some hope the publicizing of proposed appointments to the judgeships, if this method of appointment goes into effect.

We note that since there are no qualifications for judges of the county court, in which presumably juvenile court cases would be held, standards of personnel would be left to establishment by the Legislature. In the event that the jurisdiction of inferior courts might be transferred to the General Court, there would be no provision for special training for Juvenile Court judges. It is generally thought by sociologists that training in some form of social work, plus general background, plus knowledge of the law and its administration, are more desirable for persons presiding in Juvenile Court cases. Increase of juvenile cases indicates need for protection of the qualification standards of juvenile case justices. We might suggest that if paragraph 5 under the Schedule, which seems almost to belong under Section VI, were thus placed, such specification might be added to the last sentence.

We are grateful to the Committee for their good work.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much Mrs. Henderson. ... Mrs. Heinz.

MRS. W. B. HEINZ: I am Mrs. W. B. Heinz of Somerset County. Because I have spoken to your Committee earlier on behalf of the

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