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New Jersey Legal Resources: Courts

A guide to the Statutory, Judicial and Regulatory Sources of Law for the State of New Jersey


Use the BLS Catalog SARA to identify material about your New Jersey research topic. Use an advanced keyword search and link on any of the listed subject headings to explore further.

See "This Honorable Court": The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1789-2000.

Federal Courts in New Jersey

United State Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit:

via Villanova Center for Information Law & Policy - access back to the 1994 term

via FindLaw - also provides access back to 1996, with more searching options.

United States District Court, District of New Jersey

Decisions of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey via Rutgers School of Law - Camden (Coverage starts with October 1998 opinions.)

United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey - Useful information on this site includes local bankruptcy rules, forms, local rules, bankruptcy statistics, a guide to personal bankruptcy, filing fees and telephone listings for the Newark, Trenton and Camden courts.

NJ Court Decisions & Proceedings

  • Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions (at Judiciary site): This site gives just the current week's and previous week's released opinions. Includes Appellate Division opinions not approved for publication, as well as those approved.
  • Opinions of the N.J. Courts (at Rutgers-Camden Law Library): Supreme Court from March 1994 forward, Appellate Division and Tax Court from Sept. 1995 forward. Includes unpublished App. Div. opinions from Sept.20,2005 forward.
  • New Jersey Lawyer Decisions database. Squibs of the most recent two weeks' worth of decisions are freely browsable, and the squibs and lengthy digests of earlier cases (when complete to be from 1997 forward) can be freely searched. The database includes unpublished opinions. Squibs and digests retrieved by searches can be fully displayed for free. Subscribers can also display and download the full opinions.
  • Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions Expected for Release This page, also at the Judiciary site, lists Supreme Court and Appellate Division opinions scheduled for release the next day--including Appellate Division opinions not approved for publication. At the bottom of the page are links to monthly cumulations of these lists, from January 2004 forward.
  • Trial Court Decisions (These are decisions of the Law Division and Chancery Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, on civil matters, not approved for publication, which are posted at the judge's discretion, for the convenience of attorneys and litigants, for a six-week period only.)
  • Trial Court Opinions Approved for Publication (at Judiciary site): Gives opinions of the trial divisions of the Superior Court approved for publication during the current week and previous week.
  • Supreme Court Arguments. Live webcast and thirty-day archive of arguments before the Supreme Court, in streaming video. Also includes the opinions under appeal.
  • Supreme Court of N.J. Oral Arguments Archive (at Rutgers-Newark Law Library). Archive of arguments older than thirty days, starting January 2005. Also includes the opinions under appeal.
  • The Calendars and Schedules on the Judiciary website include:
    • Supreme Court Agendas which give the legal questions presented by the cases argued in the current court year.;
    • Appellate Division Calendar (current three weeks); and
    • Civil Motion Calendar Search, covers motion calendars for the Law Division Civil Part and Special Civil Part and the Chancery Division General Equity Part, for a six-week period from two weeks before the current date to four weeks after the current date.
  • New Jersey Lawyer: NJL News Online: The free access portion of this site includes a "Full-Text Decisions Index, " which can be used to determine order numbers for full-text copies of decisions from March 1998 forward, including selected unpublished cases that were summarized in New Jersey Lawyer.   You need to know party names to start with.
  • Supreme Court Case Files, 1686-1849 (N.J. Div. of Archives & Records Management): an index to the case files by names, county, case type, and year.
  • Cases adjudged in the Supreme Court of New Jersey relative to the manumission of Negroes and others holden in bondage ("Bloomfield's Manumission Cases") (1794) (at the Univ.of Virginia Electronic Text Center)

Specialized Federal Courts

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

(Court of Last Resort; Appeal from Administrative Agency)

7 justices sit en banc

Case Types:

  • Mandatory jurisdiction in civil, capital criminal, criminal, administrative agency, juvenile, disciplinary, original proceeding cases
  • Discretionary jurisdiction in civil, noncapital criminal, administrative agency appeals, juvenile, disciplinary, certified questions from federal courts, interlocutory decision cases

Appellate Division of Superior Court

Appellate Division of Superior Court

(Intermediate Appellate Court; Appeal from Administrative Agency) 

33 judges sit in 8 parts

 Case Types:

  • Mandatory jurisdiction in civil, noncapital criminal, juvenile, administrative agency cases
  • Discretionary jurisdiction in interlocutory decision cases

Superior Court: Civil, Family, Equity & Criminal Divisions

Superior Court: Civil, Family, General Equity, and Criminal Divisions

(General Jurisdiction Court)

408 judges (15 vicinages in 21 counties)  

Jury trials in most cases

 Case Types:

  • Exclusive civil ($0 – no maximum; special civil part: $0 - $15,000) (uncontested estate cases are handled by the surrogates); Small claims jurisdiction (up to $3,000; up to $5,000 for security deposit demand cases)
  • Exclusive domestic relations
  • Felony; Exclusive criminal appeals
  • Exclusive juvenile

Municipal Courts

Municipal Courts

(Limited Jurisdiction Court)

365 judges (534 courts, of which 18 were multi-municipal)

No jury trials

Case Types:

  • Felony,* misdemeanor
  • Exclusive traffic/other violations

* Felony cases are handled on first appearance in the Municipal Courts and then are transferred through the county Prosecutor’s office to the Superior Court.

Tax Court

Tax Court**

Case Types:

  • State/local tax matters

(Limited Jurisdiction Court; Appeal from Administrative Agency)

12 judges

No jury trials

** Tax court is considered a limited jurisdiction court because of its specialized subject matter. Nevertheless, it receives appeals from administrative bodies and its cases are appealed to the intermediate appellate court. Tax court judges have the same general qualifications and terms of service as superior court judges and can be cross assigned.

NJ Court Opinions on the Web

Court Opinions: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Tax Court
Maintained by Rutgers Law School - Camden. Complete text. Coverage since March 1994 for Supreme Court, since September 1995 for Appellate Division. Searchable by keyword.
Recent Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions via New Jersey Judiciary.
Full text of opinions issued by the New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division for the current week.
Unpublished Appellate Opinions via New Jersey Judiciary.
Recent Trial Court Decisions via New Jersey Judiciary.
Some trial court decisions issued by the New Jersey Superior Court. Decisions are made available for six weeks.