Select a State:

State of New Jersey

Methods of Judicial Selection: New Jersey

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 7
Appellate Division, Superior Court: 34
Superior Court: 371
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
Appellate Division, Superior Court: --
Superior Court: 15 vicinages*
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: county
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation***
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 7 yrs
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: 7 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: gubernatorial reappointment with senate confirmation
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: gubernatorial reappointment with senate confirmation
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: until age 70
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: until age 70
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial reappointment with senate confirmation
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: gubernatorial reappointment with senate confirmation
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: 7 yrs
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: 7 yrs
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation
Appellate Division, Superior Court: designated by chief justice
Superior Court: designated by chief justice
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: duration of service
Appellate Division, Superior Court: indefinite
Superior Court: indefinite
Qualifications
Supreme Court: admitted to state practice for 10 yrs; mandatory retirement age of 70
Appellate Division, Superior Court: **
Superior Court: admitted to state practice for 10 yrs; mandatory retirement age of 70

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article VI, Section VI of the New Jersey Constitution

*Vicinage is from the Latin vicinus and means vicinity or neighborhood. In New Jersey, there are 15 vicinages and 21 counties. A vicinage consists of one county in more populous areas and two or three counties in less populous areas.

**The chief justice of the supreme court assigns superior court judges to the appellate division. Such assignments are for fixed terms.

***According to Executive Order #36, Governor Christie utilizes a judicial advisory panel in screening potential nominees for superior court judgeships. The judicial advisory panel is composed of up to seven members, at least five of whom must be retired judges and no more than two of whom may be non-lawyers or non-practicing lawyers. Panel members serve five-year terms.

According to a compact with the governor, the judicial and prosecutorial appointments committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association conducts a confidential review of potential candidates for appointment and reappointment to the courts and rates them as “qualified” or “not qualified.” In most counties, senators allow county bar associations to be involved in identifying and screening potential judicial candidates.