With the state continuing to emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, and as it heads into a new year, legislative and bar leaders appear prepared to address a growing shortage of judges in several New Jersey Superior Court vicinages.

According to the Administrative Office of the New Jersey Courts, there were 66 judicial vacancies in the Superior Court as of Nov. 24, with Essex County accounting for 15 of them. Bergen, Hudson, Mercer and Union counties each have six vacancies; while Middlesex and Passaic counties each have five. Camden County has four, and Ocean County has three. There are two vacancies each in Atlantic, Gloucester and Warren counties; and one vacancy each in Burlington, Hunterdon, Monmouth and Somerset counties. These counties have zero vacancies, according to the AOC: Cape May, Cumberland, Morris, Salem and Sussex.