N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 503


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

Chief Justice of the business done during the year and to be done? In other words, just show the state of the calendar and what they are doing. It might be a good reminder for him and it would also, of course, subject the work they've done to the public view. I think that would be beneficial.

So far as the rest goes, I have very little to say. In conclusion, I just want to repeat that I think you have done a very fine job here, and I just hope you won't weaken it by taking out any of the paragraphs or sections which provide for flexibility. You've done a good job of providing for flexibility except for the one viewpoint in which you force on us Law and Equity Divisions. Other than that, I think you've done a fine job and I hate to see any of the provisions go out which would allow for change in the future as experience and working under this Article would indicate.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Your name is Mr. Jilson?

MR. JILSON: William Jilson.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Speaking on behalf of any organization?

MR. JILSON: Speaking personally.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you. ... Mr. Glenn.

MR. ALFRED T. GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen of the Committee:

I am appearing and speaking for the New Jersey Magistrates' Association, representing the 2,500 magistrates of the State of New Jersey.

In setting up the constitutional courts we seem to have forgotten the lowest of the constitutional state courts, and incidentally, to the average citizen, one of the most important constitutional state courts, that of justice of the peace. The office of justice of the peace has been a constitutional office from time immemorial. Although not usually lawyers by profession, I think we may say that they have, for the most part, discharged their multifarious duties with becoming good sense and impartiality. Justices of the peace, as a rule and generally, perform, without any reward other than the dignity which they acquire by reason of holding the office, a large amount of work that is indispensable to the administration of law, including the initiatory stages of all criminal proceedings. Both sexes in all classes of the community have been represented on the magisterial bench irrespective, usually, of social status or political bias. Also, position or party influence have not generally regulated their selection or election.

The justice of the peace, as you ladies and gentlemen know, is the poor man's court, and incidentally, I think we may say, too, the small business man's court. Much time and money and vexatious litigation have been saved to litigants throughout the State, and also, I think we may truthfully say, to municipalities, counties and the


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