N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 64

Wednesday, June 25, 1947 (Morning session)

we will leave the balance of the matter with you in our report.

I might say, as we see it, there have been five separate approaches to this question of integration of the law and equity courts.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: That still doesn't meet what I have in mind. We would like you to let us have the entire court structure as the committee recommends it - as pertains to the court of appeals, the intermediate court, and the lower court. Do it extemporaneously at this stage.

We want to hear all of the proposals. We have heard four or five, and we would like to know if there are any others. Then, when we have them all, what we plan on doing is to sit down and prepare a tentative draft which will be submitted for full hearing.

MR. CONFORD: I don't think you can simply say "here is another proposal." There is no such thing as an integrated proposal. A plan is a series of recommendations on separate items.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: I understand that. What do you recommend for the Court of Appeals? What type of court do you want?

MR. CONFORD: I now speak for the majority. We recommend, as I believe everyone else does, a single integrated Court of Appeals with no one on it but judges, and the members to have no other duties or responsibilities whatever - the court to consist of seven men. The majority of the committee recommends a general court with unlimited original jurisdiction which we describe as the Supreme Court.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: What do you call your upper court?

MR. CONFORD: Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court would consist of three sections. One would be Equity and Probate, the other a Law Section, and the third an Appellate Section.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Is it your thought that the Constitution fix those sections?

MR. CONFORD: Right. The Equity and Probate section would have what is now commonly known as equity and probate, or Chancery; the Law Section would have original civil and criminal jurisdiction; the Appellate Section, appellate jurisdiction of all final or interlocutory determinations of inferior courts and final determinations of statutory tribunals. All final judgments, decrees or determinations of the Supreme Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, whether in the Equity or Law Section, would be appealable directly and as of right to the Court of Appeals. There would be no intermediate appeal so far as the final judgment of the court of original jurisdiction was concerned. Appeals from the Appellate Section of the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeals would be taken in cases where the Supreme Court made a judgment of reversal or modification, where there is a dissent in an Appellate Section, or on certification by the judge or Appellate Section rendering

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