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New Jersey Superior Courts

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New Jersey Superior Courts are the trial courts in New Jersey. There is a Superior Court in each of the state's 21 counties, and approximately 360 Superior Court trial judges across the state.[1] Superior Courts are divided into five main types: Criminal cases, civil cases, family cases and tax cases. Cases from any of these trial courts may be appealed in the Appellate Division, and Superior Court appellate decisions may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Superior Court vicinages

The Superior Courts in New Jersey are grouped into 15 vicinages, or districts.[1]

Vicinage Counties served
New Jersey Vicinage 1 Atlantic and Cape May
New Jersey Vicinage 2 Bergen County
New Jersey Vicinage 3 Burlington County
New Jersey Vicinage 4 Camden County
New Jersey Vicinage 5 Essex County
New Jersey Vicinage 6 Hudson County
New Jersey Vicinage 7 Mercer County
New Jersey Vicinage 8 Middlesex County
New Jersey Vicinage 9 Monmouth County
New Jersey Vicinage 10 Morris and Sussex
New Jersey Vicinage 11 Passaic County
New Jersey Vicinage 12 Union County
New Jersey Vicinage 13 Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren
New Jersey Vicinage 14 Ocean County
New Jersey Vicinage 15 Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem

Superior court judges

Judges for the New Jersey Superior Courts are selected via the gubernatorial appointment of judges method. They serve for a seven-year term, after which they become eligible for reappointment. If reappointed and reconfirmed by the Senate, the judges receive tenure, "which allows them to remain in their posts until they reach the age of 70".[1]

Recall judges

In New Jersey, all state judges are required to retire once they reach the age of 70.[2] However, they are often recalled to serve temporary assignments. Assignments for recall judges are for a specific vicinage and range from a few months to a few years. As of June 2013, there were 73 recalled judges serving on benches across the state. The use of recall judges has risen in the last few years; the rise has been primiarily "fueled by backlogged dockets and a political logjam slow to produce new appointments."[3] Judge Peter V. Ryan said the recall system allows the judiciary to contimue to operate in the current climate.[3]

Superior court divisions

Criminal court

"Criminal cases are those in which a defendant is accused of a serious crime, such as robbery, theft, drug possession or murder." Most criminal cases are heard by a 12 member jury trial, though some are resolved via plea bargain.[1]

Civil court

"Civil lawsuits are cases in which a plaintiff claims that he or she has been injured by the actions of the defendant." Most civil cases are heard by a 6 member jury, though some cases are settled out-of-court.[1]

Family court

"Family cases are civil cases in which the disputes involve children, spouses or domestic partners. Examples of family cases are those involving divorce, adoption, juvenile delinquency, child abuse, child support, and domestic violence. Most cases in the Family Court are decided by a judge instead of a jury."[1]

Tax court

"Tax Court judges review the decisions of county boards of taxation, which determine how much a property should be taxed. Tax Court judges also review the decisions of the State Division of Taxation on such matters as the state income tax, sales tax and business tax. There are 12 Tax Court judges in New Jersey."[1]

Appellate division

Main article: New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division

Decisions of the other four Superior Court divisions may be appealed to the Superior Court Appellate Division. "In the Appellate Division, cases are reviewed and decided by panels of two or three judges.There are no juries or witnesses in Appellate Division cases, and no new evidence is considered. Instead, lawyers make their legal arguments to the judges."[1]

External links


New JerseyNew Jersey Supreme CourtNew Jersey Superior Court, Appellate DivisionNew Jersey Superior CourtsNew Jersey Municipal CourtsNew Jersey Tax CourtUnited States District Court for the District of New JerseyUnited States bankruptcy court, District of New JerseyUnited States Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitNew Jersey countiesNew Jersey judicial newsNew Jersey judicial electionsJudicial selection in New JerseyNewJerseyTemplate.jpg