The Assembly Judiciary Committee voted favorably on S-3049 (Sweeney)/ A-5748 (Taliaferro), which would establish a regional municipal court pilot program. Joshua Reinitz, former chair of the Municipal Court Practice Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), testified in support of the concept, but recommending amendments to the bill to include stakeholder input, specifically the NJSBA, and to require a study of the pilot program before implementing the full program.

“The municipal courts often represent an individual’s first, and hopefully only, interaction with the criminal justice system, and they deserve a system that is fair and impartial and will handle the disposition of cases with the utmost integrity and independence, which will fortify public confidence in the judicial system,” the NJSBA said in its written remarks to the committee. “A regional system that is more transparent and less financially driven will be a meaningful benefit to the public and the profession.”