Top row, L to R: Justice Lee A. Solomon; Justice Anne M. Patterson; Justice Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina; Judge Mary Catherine Cuff t/a; Front row, L to R: Justice Jaynee LaVecchia; Chief Justice Stuart Rabner; Justice Barry T. Albin;
The New Jersey Supreme Court is the state’s highest appellate court. It is composed of a chief justice and six associate justices. As the highest appellate court, the Supreme Court reviews cases from the lower courts. Most litigants must request that the Court hear their appeal by filing a petition for certification with the Court. The Court may agree to hear an appeal because it presents legal issues of great importance to the public or because the issue is the subject of conflicting Appellate Division decisions. In very limited circumstances, such as where a judge in the Appellate Division files a dissenting opinion, a party may appeal as of right to the Supreme Court. In deciding the cases that come before it, the Court interprets the New Jersey and the United States Constitution, New Jersey statutes, administrative regulations of the state’s governmental agencies, as well as the body of common law. The Chief Justice also serves as the administrative head for the court system, overseeing the management of the state's courts.