Prior to 1947, New Jersey had seventeen different courts. A profound restructuring of the court occurred in 1947, resulting in this still current structure:
As a result, New Jersey’s court system “became a national model for court reform and administrative strength,” and is considered “among the simplest and most efficient in the nation.”
In 1998, California voters passed a constitutional amendment that provided for voluntary unification of the separate courts in each county to become a single countywide court system. By January, 2001, all the counties in the state voted to unify. The following is the state’s current structure:
According to a study of the unification of the California Court System, the results of restructuring have been:
- Greater cooperation and teamwork between the judiciary, other branches of government, and the community.
- More uniformity and efficiency in case processing and more timely disposition of cases.
- Enhanced opportunities for innovation, self-evaluation and re-engineering of court operations.
- More coherence to the governance of the courts and greater understanding by other branches of government and the public.
- Courts becoming a unified entity and speaking with one voice in dealings with the public, county agencies, and the justice system partners.
- Greater public access and an increased focus on accountability and service.