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Administrative Office of the Courts Challenges Constitutionality of Recent Probation Law

For further information contact
Winnie Comfort
(609) 292-9580
For release: April 30, 2002

Richard J. Williams, J.A.D., acting in his capacity as administrative director of New Jersey's Courts, filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, In the Matter of P.L. 2001, Chapter 362, in the Law Division, Superior Court, Mercer County, on April 23, 2002.

Below is Judge Williams' statement on the complaint:

"The New Jersey Constitution calls for three branches of government, with the powers of government divided among the three, and no branch exercising the powers belonging to either of the others. It establishes the Judiciary as an independent branch of government. The constitution also exclusively vests law enforcement authority within the executive branch of government."

"In my judgment, Chapter 362 violates the separation of powers required by the constitution both by instructing the Supreme Court and the chief justice as to the administration of this branch of government and also by requiring that Judiciary employees assume law enforcement powers delegated in the constitution only to the executive branch."

"While it is with great reluctance that I filed this complaint, I believe that the constitutional concerns raised in Chapter 362 are so fundamental as to be impossible for the Judiciary to ignore."

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