N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 711


(Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary by Governor Alfred E. Driscoll)

Morris Rosenberg Counsellor at Law 17 Academy Street Newark 2, N. J. 

June 11, 1947
 Hon. Alfred E. Driscoll State House Trenton, New Jersey

Dear Governor Driscoll:

As a member of the Bar of this State and of New York, in behalf of your proposal for reformation of the judiciary, I am taking the liberty of citing the abolition of the Chancery Courts as such in New York State and in the federal courts.

The Chancery Court, as you know, had founded its inception in England as the result of the existent primitive formalism of the day - when a man could find relief only if his claim was within the purview of specified writs. He could sue his neighbor for smashing a window, but had to appeal to the King to enjoin the continued smashing of his window by his neighbor. And thus the court of equity, with its jurisdiction for injunctive relief and matrimonial problems, foreclosure of mortgages, accounting matters, etc., crept into the judicial system in England and shipped to our shores in the days of Lord Berkeley and Lord Carteret.

If the business man, for one, is to have confidence in the dispensation of justice, the courts must have simplicity of operation, be expeditious, and economical to use. To have a suit instituted in a court of law and then when the defendant raises a question "equitable" in nature, to have the issue be referred to a Court of Chancery for determination, then re-referred to the court of law for completion of the suit at law, is a satire. Similarly, if the suit were brought in Chancery, a "law" issue is to be referred to a court of law, particularly if triable before a jury, there being no juries in Chancery. Why all the courtroom doors to the same hall - of justice! Why, it may be added, should a suit at law cost $10.00 to institute and a claim in Chancery $25.00, when fundamentally equity is the root of Chancery! The average divorce case requires approximately $100.00 in disbursements. Countless persons in need of matrimonial relief as divorces cannot collect the necessary sum to finance solution of their marital difficulties. In New York the

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