N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 518

Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

the reason that I know that counsel could not do anything for me. The counsel who holds the solution of my problem of the foreclosure case refused to represent me. Therefore, I had to try to study my own case and be my own lawyer up to the present time. I decided, as I read in the paper that this Judiciary Committee was inviting people to come and ask questions and give opinions, that I would come here today to ask this legal question.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: I might say, Mrs. Rubin, that your question is not properly addressed to us since we are considering merely the provisions of the Judicial Article of the Constitution. Further, however, your problem is subject to answer within the Civil Rights Committee. There is a good body of law which guarantees to an individual the right to appear as lawyer pro se, within the due process clause. However, I don't think that this Committee wants to go into that subject further. If you have any desire to discuss the subject individually, I am sure that many lawyers of the Committee will be glad to talk to you after our hearing is through.

MRS. RUBIN: Well, pardon me, but how about this question? Under the constitutional law of the State of New Jersey, does the law not permit a person to represent himself in his own behalf, or has the court a right to refuse?

VICE-CHAIRMAN: My personal opinion is that, within the due process clause, you have a right to appear for yourself. I say it is not the province of our Committee to go into questions of that kind because that particular item would not come within our Judicial Article in any event. Does that answer your question?

MRS. RUBIN: Well, I do not quite understand. I'll be frank about it.

MR. McGRATH: Every person has a right to appear for himself in this State in any court, and we have not done anything to change that in this Committee, as far as I understand. Is that what you want to know?

MRS. RUBIN: Yes, sir. Thank you.


MR. LAWRENCE A. CARTON, JR.: Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee:

My name is Lawrence A. Carton, Jr. I am a member of the New Jersey Bar, a member of the Monmouth County Bar Association and a member of the law firm of Roberts, Pillsbury, Carton and Sorenson, of Atlantic Highlands. I come here as an individual, and not as representing any group, but merely in the interests of expressing what I think may represent the viewpoint of some of the younger or intermediately younger lawyers in our area.

In the first place, I want to commend the Committee on what I think is an outstanding job. The document that you have pro-

Previous Page in Book ********* Table of Contents *********** Next Page in Book