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Law Offices of John Morelli
A Personal Injury Firm Serving All Of South Jersey

The Court System in This Country

In New Jersey, the court system is divided into two types of courts, state courts and federal courts. Each state has the authority to create the different courts under its own system. New Jersey Courts are made up of three levels of courts: the Superior Court (Law & Chancery), the Superior Court Appellate Division, and the Supreme Court. The Superior Court hears trials and the Superior Court Appellate Division is the first level of appeal. The final level of appeal is the New Jersey Supreme Court. There are 7 Justices who sit on the New Jersey Supreme Court.

State Court Judges are appointed by the Governor for an initial term of seven years. After the initial term of seven years the Governor decides whether to reappoint the Judge until the mandatory retirement age of 70. Once a Judge is reappointed, he or she has tenor until the mandatory retirement age. The federal system also has three levels, the district courts, the court of appeals and the United States Supreme Court. On the federal level, states are broken down into several geographic district courts. The federal courts of appeal hear cases from all the district courts in their area. Currently, there are 11 federal courts of appeals. Many hear cases coming out of district courts from several states. The United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. is the highest court in the land.

Only the United States Congress has the authority to pass legislation which overrules decisions of the Supreme Court. This is part of the checks and balances of power the founding fathers of this country created to ensure that no one branch of the government (legislative, judicial, or executive), had too much power. The United States Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President and serve for life. There are 9 Justices.

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