Bill Text: NJ S3060 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Increases term of municipal court judge to five years.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-10-15 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S3060 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3060-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3060

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 15, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  DECLAN J. O'SCANLON, JR.

District 13 (Monmouth)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases term of municipal court judge to five years.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning municipal court judges and amending N.J.S.2B:12-4.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.2B:12-4 is amended to read as follows:

     2B:12-4.     Judge of municipal court; term of office; appointment.         a.         Each judge of a municipal court shall serve for a term of [three] five years from the date of appointment and until a successor is appointed and qualified.  Any appointment to fill a vacancy not caused by the expiration of term shall be made for the unexpired term only.  However, if a county or municipality requires by ordinance that the judge of the municipal court devote full time to judicial duties or limit the practice of law to non-litigated matters, the first appointment after the establishment of that requirement shall be for a full term of [three] five years. 

     b.    In municipalities governed by a mayor-council form of government, the municipal court judge shall be appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.  Each judge of a joint municipal court shall be nominated and appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.  In all other municipalities, the municipal judge shall be appointed by the governing body of the municipality.

     c.     In a county that has established a central municipal court, the judge of the central municipal court shall be nominated and appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.  In those counties having a county executive, the county executive may submit the names of judicial candidates for judge of the central municipal court  to the Governor.  In all other counties, the governing body may submit the names of judicial candidates for judge of the central municipal court  to the Governor.

(cf: P.L.1996, c.95, s.3)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to appointments made on or after the effective date.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Under current law, each judge of a municipal court serves for a term of three years from the date of appointment and until a successor is appointed and qualified.  In municipalities governed by a mayor-council form of government, the municipal court judge is appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.  The judge of a joint municipal court is nominated and appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.  In all other municipalities, the municipal judge is appointed by the governing body of the municipality.

     In a county that has established a central municipal court, the judge of the central municipal court is nominated and appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

     This bill embodies Recommendation No. 32 of the Report of the Supreme Court Committee on Municipal Court Operations, Fines, and Fees, issued June 2018.  According to the report, a longer term of appointment would result in a more experienced bench, provide further stability to the leadership of a municipal court, and represent a shared commitment from all branches of government to provide additional protection to judicial integrity and independence.

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