N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 93

Wednesday, June 25, 1947 (Morning session)

work of the court as a whole, because there isn't enough litigated probate work to warrant the maintenance of a -

MR. McGRATH: Well, now, where would this man go with the $200 will, where would he go?

MR. CONFORD: Well, he would go to wherever the court would set up a division or a section for hearing those matters.

MR. McGRATH: Well, Mr. Conford, say this man with the little will was from Newton. Should he pass by the court house in Newton and drive all the way to Trenton?

MR. CONFORD: You have just mentioned the routine case of an uncontested matter. Certainly there should be an office or an officer of the probate court in each county of the State to handle routine matters of uncontested estates -

MR. McGRATH: Why pass up the county judge in Sussex County for an ordinary will case?

MR. CONFORD: You mean a will contest -

VICE-CHAIRMAN: You are not trying to fix the answer to these questions; you would leave that to the court, as I understand your plan. Actually, the problems which Judge McGrath referred to would be disposed of as justice dictates?

MR. CONFORD: That is exactly so, but I was putting myself in the position of a Chief Justice making an assignment.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: But we are still talking about the Constitution. As I understand your plan, it is calculated to leave to the court the right to fix all divisions by rules, except this one which you say should be outside of the court's power to fix by rules - which would be a separate court, established in the Constitution, with one or more judges as determined by the Legislature?

MR. CONFORD: Exactly.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: All right. Now, is there anything further this morning?

MR. McGRATH: Yes, one more question. Does your plan provide for an intermediate appellate court?

MR. CONFORD: The plan recommended by the majority of our - and I think we were pretty unanimous on this - committee provided, not for an intermediate court, but a section of the general court, a section of the Supreme Court, which would be called the Appellate Section.

MR. McGRATH: That's like the New York system.

MR. CONFORD: Except in this respect. Under the New York system practically all cases and the great bulk of final judgments in matters in the Supreme Court must first be appealed to the Appellate Division before you can go further. Our committee does not think that in the average case of a final judgment, there should be the necessity of intermediate appeal. We would make every final

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