Nobody wants to spend more time than they have to in a New Jersey court of law. Usually if you’re fighting a speeding ticket or have a similarly small violation you’ll spend a few hours in a Municipal court and not have to think about it again. For most this is the only part of the judicial system they well ever have experience with. There are three other main courts that have far fewer cases but are every bit as important when it comes to shaping the legislative landscape of the garden state.
Below is a little bit about each of these other three types and a few more pieces of information should you find yourself charged with more than a simple motor vehicle violation.
Municipal – As stated above, anytime you fight a traffic ticket or any other lesser charge such as a possession or shoplifting you'll be doing so, at least to begin with, in a Municipal court. It's not often but occasionally Municipal cases get elevated to Superior. The cases are presided over by a single Judge and Juries are not involved at this level. These are not trials This type of court is known to have 'limited jurisdiction,' meaning it is only able to determine cases that happened within it's municipality.
Superior – More serious offenses such as child abuse or a charge of burglary are heard in a Superior court. There are three divisions of each of the Superior courts around the state they are Civil, Criminal, and Family Law. The Superior court is often known as a trial court since, unsurprisingly, most trials in the state take place there.
Appellate – Occasionally the outcome of a case is disputed by one of the parties, often it's a procedural mistake that is in contention. When there is a dispute in the outcome of a case it could be sent to a higher court known as the appellate court. The Appellate court consists of 32 judges who sit in panels of two or three for each case. No new evidence is introduced but the laws themselves are interpreted to consider if the outcome was fair for both parties.
Supreme – The highest court in the state is made up of a Chief Justice and six associate judges. Much like the Appellate court they often hear cases that have already been tried in Superior court and must weigh and interpret the intent of legislature when dealing with cases. These are the cases that will go on to impact future legislation for years.
If you are seeking representation for a matter in municipal or superior call today for a free consultation 800-709-1131 or fill out a contact form on our website for a no-cost consultation.We hope to hear from you today!
Official website of the New Jersey