In the criminal court system, it’s often said that justice delayed is justice denied. But for the civil court system in Union County, justice is suspended.
A political stalemate over judicial vacancies is contributing to a shortage of judges available to hear civil cases, according to a report in the Star-Ledger. A nearly 40 percent vacancy rate among judges, a backlog of over 800 cases, and four recall justices on vacation beginning July 1st means that the Union County Courthouse will not hear any civil cases during the months of July and August, a spokesperson said. Civil cases include everything from child custody disputes and divorces to the resource-draining “I-drove-drunk-and-hurt-myself-time-to-sue-the-bar” cases for which New Jersey has become infamous.
New Jerseyans from all walks of life need access to our civil courts. Union County taxpayers are no exception. Once the political stalemates are resolved, the Legislature needs to get serious about keeping frivolous lawsuits of our civil courts, which take scarce time, money, and resources away from disputes which need judicial intervention.