N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 514


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

The Constitution that we have at the present time has been in force for more than a hundred years. There has been agitation for a new Constitution for a long time. I recall 20 years ago there was similar agitation, and now we are getting a new Constitution. It seems to me that it was never so urgent that we couldn't be fair to the judges who are now in office. Any system we have in our courts certainly will not in any manner detract from or interfere with the proper administration of justice if these judges are permitted to complete their terms.

Incidentally, on the question of the county courts which this Committee intends, at least at the present time, to retain, it would seem to me that so long as we have these county courts - and when I say "so long as we have them" that doesn't mean that I don't agree with the Committee, because I do - it seems to me that they should not be deprived of their civil jurisdiction, because as you gentlemen said before, and I don't want to be repetitious, it's obvious that we who are familiar with the duties of the judges know that they have a lot of time. To take these duties away from our county judges and hand them over to the judges of the General Court would merely mean making additional work for someone else who has other work to do. I would therefore suggest that nothing would be gained by taking civil jurisdiction from competent county judges.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. ... Mr. Seiffert.

MR. MORGAN R. SEIFFERT: Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee:

I am a member of the Law Reform Committee of the New Jersey Bar Association. I have not, however, had the pleasure of speaking before this Committee, hitherto.

I wish to state sincerely that as a member of this committee I am basically in favor of the fundamental provisions of this Article as you have drawn it, and I wish sincerely to commend the Committee on the excellent results. I do, however, join in and concur in Mr. McCarter's criticism of particular articles and particular sections, with the possible exception of one or two items I will mention.

My purpose is to speak very briefly before you this morning. Now, on the more fundamental provisions, I wish to refer to only one or two of them. I wish to emphasize Mr. McCarter's remarks with respect to Section III of Article I, paragraph 2, in which the General Court - or, if Mr. McCarter's suggestion should be followed in the final draft, the "Supreme Court" - that such court should not be restricted or excluded from jurisdiction with regard to law, probate and criminal causes. It is true that normally those matters would be handled, either by rule of the court or by legislative enact-


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