N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 699


Dear Delegate:

In setting up constitutional courts, please do not forget the lowest of the constitutional state courts, and incidentally, to the average citizen, the most important state constitutional court, that of justice of the peace.

Justice of the peace has always been a constitutional office, and although justices of the peace have not usually been lawyers by profession, they have for the most part discharged their multifarious duties with becoming good sense and impartiality.

Justices of the peace perform, without any other reward than the dignity they acquire from their office, a very large amount of work indispensable to the administration of law, including the initiatory stages of all criminal proceedings.

Both sexes and all classes of the community have been represented on the magisterial bench, irrespective of social status or political bias, and creed, position or party influence have not generally regulated their selection and election.

The justice of the peace is the poor man's court, and also, the small business man's court, and much time and money and vexatious litigation has been saved to litigants, and also to municipality, county and State, through the constitutional office of justice of the peace.

In view of the above, we respectfully submit that specific provision for the constitutional office of justice of the peace should be incorporated in the Judicial Article of the proposed Constitution.

Respectfully yours,Charles S. AbottCharles Abott, PresidentNew Jersey Magistrates Assoc.

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