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New Jersey State Courts

Courts – State Courts – New Jersey

Highest Court

The highest court in New Jersey is the Supreme Court of New Jersey.  The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Final appeal in constitutional questions, capital causes, certifications, dissents in Appellate Division, and as provided by law.

Intermediate Courts

Appellate Division of Superior Court
The Appellate Division of Superior Court consists of 34 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals from lower courts except Municipal Courts and from administrative agencies except Wage and Hour Section of Labor and Industry.

General Courts

Superior Court: Law Division and Chancery Division
The Superior Court consists of 441 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Criminal Division Jury Trial. (2) Law Division, Jury Trial – hears civil claims over $10,000. (3) Civil Division Jury Trial, Special Civil Part- hears civil cases up to $10,000, small claims up to $2,000, and summary landlord tenant. (4) General Equity Division – hears general equity matters. (5) Family Division – hears matrimonial, juvenile, support, custody, and domestic violence.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Limited Courts

Tax Court
The Tax Court consists of 12 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Local property tax assessments. (2) State tax assessments. (3) Equalization tables promulgated by the director of the Division of Taxation or the County Boards of Taxation.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Surrogates Court
The Surrogates Court consists of 21 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Uncontested probate and to serve as Deputy Clerk of Superior Court for probate matters.

Municipal Court
The Municipal Court consists of 380 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Probable cause hearings on indictable offenses, traffic, minor criminal, ordinance violations, fish and game, and navigation violations.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Court Technology Improvement Fund
The Court Technology Improvement Fund is to be used to develop, establish, operate, and maintain the computerized court information systems in the Judiciary Branch of the New Jersey State Courts.  This non lapsing fund shall receive monies from the increase in fees collected by the Judiciary pursuant to sections 25 through 32 of P.L. 2002, 34 (NJS 22A:2-1 et al.) and related increases provided by operation of N.J.S.22A:2-5 and section 2 of P.L.1993, c.74 (C.22A:5-1).
(New Jersey Statute  2B:1-6)

Assignment of Superior Court judges
A judge of the Superior Court may be assigned temporarily by the Chief Justice to any court established by statute and exercise all the powers of that court. (New Jersey Statute  2B:2-2)

Judge seeking elective office
A justice or judge of any court of this State, who becomes a candidate for an elective public office, thereby forfeits judicial office, but this section shall not apply to a surrogate. (New Jersey Statute  2B:2-3) S

For the use of “interpreting services” (services to assist a developmentally disabled person—defined in section 3 of P.L. 1977, c 82 {C.30:6D-3} and to assist a hearing impaired person), each county shall provide interpreters for cases from their Law Division and Family Part of the Chancery Division.  Interpreters shall be appointed and assigned by the Chief Justice.  Interpreters shall be considered county employees. (New Jersey Statute  2B:8-1)

Chief judge
A chief judge shall be assigned by the municipality or county when said municipality or county has one or more judge.  The chief judge shall designate the time and place of court and assign cases.
(New Jersey Statute  2B:12-8)

Presiding judge of the municipal courts
If the Chief Justice designates a judge of the Superior Court or a judge of one of the municipal courts in a vicinage to serve as presiding judge of the municipal courts for that vicinage, that judge may exercise powers delegated by the Chief Justice or established by the Rules of Court. If the presiding judge is a municipal court judge, the presiding judge shall be paid by the State for the time devoted to duties as Presiding Judge, unless that judge is also assigned duties at the request of a county, in which case compensation, pension and other benefits shall be as determined by the Assignment Judge and the governing body of the county, with the approval of the Chief Justice.
(New Jersey Statute  2B:12-9)

Inside New Jersey State Courts