Judicial Process Lectures
Judicial Process in New Jersey
The Judiciary, or court system, is one of the three branches of state government in New
Jersey. The two others are the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch.
Courts are the most visible part of our legal system. Each year, about seven million new
cases are filed in New Jersey's Courts. These cases involve everything from education,
the environment, wills, crimes, contracts and car accidents to health care, taxes,
adoptions, divorces, defective products, and our basic rights as Americans, such as the
freedom of speech. The decisions that are made in our courts influence our lives in
This is an overview of the court system in New Jersey - what its job is, how it works and
how it serves the public and society. Also included are tips on how to find a court
opinion, or the written explanation of a court's decision in a case, in a law book.\
Important Principles of the Court System
In every case, New Jersey's courts strive to achieve one thing: justice. To achieve justice,
our courts must be independent, open and impartial.
Judicial independence permits judges to make decisions that they believe are correct, fair
and just even though their decisions may sometimes be unpopular.
Not only must the court system work and be fair, but it is important that people see that it
works and is fair. When people have confidence in the legal system, they will support it
and respect for the law will grow. For this reason, most court proceedings, including
trials, are open to the public.
For our courts to be fair, judges must be impartial -- that is, they may not favor either side
in a case. The goal of our courts is to provide equal treatment to all people, regardless of
their wealth, position, race, gender, religion, ethnic background or physical disability.
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Types of Courts, Types of Cases
In New Jersey, there are several different kinds of courts. They include the New Jersey