N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 52
Similarly, the law may change during the course of the proceedings. Under our cases, whether or not relief under these prerogative writs should be granted depends on what the law is on the day the court finally disposes of it. Now, that may sound rather peculiar, but it comes up very frequently in some of the municipal ordinance cases. If, while you are litigating, the municipal body decides the thing to do is change the ordinance under attack, that is bad. You find that after you have gotten all the way through and had your writ allowed, a new ordinance has passed, and you then have to proceed to litigate on your new ordinance.
Now, in our example, when the accident trial is over the plaintiff has gotten the judgment, or the defendant has the judgment. The case is over, except for appeal. In the prerogative writs that does not always follow. In a building permit case, for example, you may, by a writ of certiorari, review the propriety of the action of the building inspector, or the board of adjustment, or the municipal body, but after the court has held those proceedings wrong and decided in your favor, you haven't gotten your building permit at all. You may have to apply for a writ of mandamus and start all over again to compel the municipality to carry out its duties.
There is an absolute right of appeal in the auto case. But you may not appeal all judgments of the Supreme Court in prerogative writ cases. Most of them you can, some of them you cannot.
We are proposing that in view of the constitutional limitations which now exist, there should be granted to the Legislature a very elastic authority to handle this matter - so that the court which, I think, desires to change these things but cannot, and the Legislature similarly, should be allowed to do it. We have suggested this - and I will read it to you, because there are one or two words that may require explanation (reading):
"Any relief or remedy now afforded by the writs of certiorari, mandamus, quo warranto, prohibition and proceedings in the nature thereof, shall be afforded in such action, in such courts, under such practice and procedure, and subject to such rights, limitations and other provisions respecting trial by jury, appeals, and other matters as may be established by law. Any such relief or remedy may be made a matter of right, when so provided by law."
We feel that if that were inserted in the Constitution it would then put in the hands of the Legislature power to act. And anything that they undertook to do, if it did not work out satisfactorily, could be changed by amendment in a subsequent year, rather than to wait until the Constitution is again amended.
VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Hannoch. When the invitation was sent to the State Bar Association, we had in mind that they would submit their report with respect to court structure. It was not our plan to get into these technical matters this early. How-
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