New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

For Immediate Release

12/13/11

Kate Coscarelli

Director, Media Relation

732-937-7548

New Jersey State Bar calls for prompt action to fill judicial vacancies

NEW BRUNSWICK: The New Jersey State Bar Association issued a resolution calling on the Governor and Senate to put political considerations aside and take prompt action to fill all existing judicial vacancies.

The Board of Trustees approved the position at its meeting on Dec. 9.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, New Jersey Superior Court Assignment Judge Patricia Costello has announced that all matrimonial trials and certain complex civil trials in Essex County have been suspended due to a drastic shortage of judges in that county, and

WHEREAS, the Essex vicinage, the state’s largest and busiest, now has 11 judicial vacancies, other vicinages in the state are also facing a serious shortage of judges, and the statewide total of judicial vacancies stands at approximately 47, and

WHEREAS, courts operating with sizeable caseloads and too few judges face enormous pressures to keep up with newly filed cases, let alone older matters that need attention, and

WHEREAS, the repercussions of these vacancies on the citizens of New Jersey, who rely on the court system for the fair and impartial administration of justice, have been and will continue to be the denial of access to the court system; and

WHEREAS, a persistent shortage of judges harms the delivery and quality of justice provided by the Judiciary, an independent and co-equal branch of government that on a daily basis directly serves the residents of the state, and

WHEREAS, it has been reported that potential judicial nominations to fill the existing vacancies are being held up for political reasons; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey State Bar Association has a long history of opposing the insertion of politics into judicial nominations, and

WHEREAS, the continued functioning of the Judiciary, as a co-equal branch of government, in serving the people of New Jersey should take utmost priority over other disagreements between the Governor and the Legislature, and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey State Bar Association believe the residents of New Jersey expect and deserve more,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the New Jersey State Bar Association urges the Governor and Senate to put political considerations aside and take prompt action to fill all existing judicial vacancies, thereby maintaining the integrity of New Jersey’s justice system, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New Jersey State Bar Association calls on lawyers and other legal organizations across the State of New Jersey to contact their legislators and the Governor and urge them to do the same to ensure our courts are able to provide access to justice to all New Jersey citizens.