New Jersey
Prior to 1947, New Jersey had seventeen different courts. A profound restructuring of the court occurred in 1947, resulting in this still current structure:

From: A Court System for the Future

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:

From: A Court System for the Future

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.