N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 701

LETTER OF N. W. HUNTER, Esq.

P. O. Box 104, Glen Rock, N. J. 

July 11, 1947
 Judiciary Committee New Jersey State Constitutional Convention Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey

Gentlemen:

I respectfully submit three proposals for you to consider in order to reform New Jersey's court processes. As a layman I consider these suggestions basic, and they are a result of my own experience and extensive inquiries with representative members of the Bar. If these reforms should be enacted they cannot possibly cause me any personal gain that I can foresee, but I am taking an intense personal interest in the principles involved.

I propose:

  • 1. Judges of local courts, such as the District Courts, should have their behavior readily supervised by the higher courts. I understand this has been previously recommended to the Convention.  
  • 2. The United States Constitution unequivocally guarantees a jury. I recommend that this be reaffirmed in the New Jersey State Constitution, existing partly hidden, restricting and nullifying statutes notwithstanding.  
  • 3. In all civil actions of any account, an appeal to review the facts, should be allowed the defendant, as permitted in divorce actions. This somewhat revolutionary reform for New Jersey will eliminate the Star-chamber proceedings, with proof substituted by prejudice, that now exist for a considerable minority of actions. Jury decisions are, of course, excepted from this proposal.  

I enclose newspaper clippings of letters written by myself, which the Northern New Jersey Press has kindly published. My purpose was to ventilate to the public - to a very limited extent of course - the unfair proceedings that often occur. I tried to inculcate by repetition. My version of the case Roy v Hunter, is included as an example of this. I am also sending a copy of a Newark Evening News editorial which is only slightly relevant to this letter, but shows an incident that occurred in a District Court, that was the very acme of indecency.

As I stated I am a layman with only slight court experience. Besides the case of Roy v Hunter I have been several times a juror, a technical witness in criminal arson cases a few times, and that is all. However I do think I have some slight competence to attack


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