Venue, Judges, and Your Criminal Court Case

You will be processed via the state’s criminal justice system when you are arrested for a crime in New Jersey. You have certain rights guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution, including a right to a trial by jury, a right against self-incrimination, and a right to be represented by a lawyer who can help protect those rights.

The New Jersey Superior Court system is divided by counties, with several sections within each, including one focusing on criminal law. Each town is part of a particular venue wherein your trial will occur. The venue will be determined by the location where the crime was committed. 

If the crime were committed in Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Montville, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Arlington, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, or Wharton, New Jersey, your case would be heard in the Morris/Sussex County Vicinage.

The Presiding Judge is Judge Stephen J. Taylor. Other judges who may hear your case are Judge Ralph Amirata, Judge Robert M. Hanna, Judge Claudia R. Jones, and Judge Michael C. Gaus (Sussex).

If the crime occurred in Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Bound Brook, Branchburg Township, Bridgewater Township, Far Hills, Franklin Township, Green Brook Township, Hillsborough Township, Manville, Millstone, Montgomery Township, North Plainfield, Peapack-Gladstone, Raritan, Rocky Hill, Somerville, South Bound Brook, Warren Township, or Watchung, New Jersey, you could appear before a Somerset County judge.

The Presiding Judge is Peter J. Tober. Other judges include Judge Angela Borkowski (Hunterdon), Judge H. Matthew Curry (Warren), Judge Christopher A. Edwards (Somerset), Judge Julie M. Marino (Somerset), and Judge Jonathon W. Romankow (Warren/Somerset).

Your case will be heard before a Middlesex County court for crimes committed in Carteret, Cranbury, Dunellen, East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Jamesburg, Metuchen, Middlesex, Milltown, Monroe Township, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainsboro, Sayreville, South Amboy, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, South River, Spotswood, or Woodbridge, New Jersey.

The Presiding Judge is Colleen M. Flynn. Other judges who may hear your case are Judge Thomas P. Abode, Judge Thomas J. Buck, Judge Andrea G. Carter, Judge Craig L. Corson, Judge Pedro J. Jiminez, Jr., Judge Robert J. Jones, Jr., Judge Joseph Paone, and Judge Sheree V. Pitchford.

Your case will be heard in a Monmouth County court if the crime was committed in Aberdeen Township, Allenhurst, Allentown, Asbury Park, Atlantic Highlands, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Brielle, Colts Neck Township, Deal, Eatontown, Englishtown, Fair Haven, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Hazlet Township, Highlands, Holmdel Township, Howell Township, Interlaken, Keansburg, Keyport, Lake Como, Little Silver, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Manalapan Township, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Matawan, Middletown Township, Millstone Township, Monmouth Beach, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Red Bank, Roosevelt, Rumson, Sea Bright, Sea Girt, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Union Beach, Upper Freehold Township, Wall Township, or West Long Branch, New Jersey.

The Presiding Judge is Judge Jill G. O’Malley. Other judges in Monmouth County are Judge Scott C. Arnette, Judge Christie L. Bevacqua, Judge Henry R. Butehorn, Judge Chad N. Cagan, Judge Paul X. Escandon, and Judge Joseph W. Oxley.

Court appeals in New Jersey go through the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. This is an intermediate appellate court. The state Supreme Court is the highest appellate court.  Appeals come from trial courts, tax courts, and administrative agencies. 

Presiding Appellate Court Judges are Judge Jack M. Sabatino, Judge Heidi Willis Currier (Deputy Presiding Judge), Judge Allison Accurso, Judge Michael J. Haas, Judge Robert J. Gilson, Judge Thomas W. Sumners, Jr. (Chief Judge), and Judge Mary Gibbons Whipple.

Other judges in the Appellate Division include Judge Hany A. Mawla, Judge Joseph L. Marczyk, Judge Mark K. Chase t/a., Judge Lisa A. Firko, Judge Stephanie Ann Mitterhoff, Judge Ronald Susswein, Judge Francis J. Vernoia, Judge Katie A. Gummer, Judge Kay Walcott-Henderson t/a, Judge Greta Gooden Brown, Judge Arnold L. Natali, Jr., Judge Lisa A. Puglisi t/a, Judge Patrick DeAlmeida, Judge Maritza Berdote Byrne, Judge Avis Bishop-Thompson, Judge Lisa Rose, Judge Morris G. Smith, Judge Lisa Perez-Friscia t/a, Judge Jessica R. Mayer, Judge Catherine I. Enright, and Judge James R. Paganelli t/a.

The state organizes its court systems into 15 court districts or vicinages to ensure that all trials proceed despite a shortage of judges. For the most part, your case will be tried in the town’s county court where the crime was committed. However, a situation that requires your case to move to a different county could arise. Certain counties, such as Middlesex and Monmouth, are their own vicinages, meaning all cases will remain within the county. However, that is not always the case. For instance, Somerset County is part of a vicinage with both Hunterdon County and Warren County, while Morris County is part of a vicinage with Sussex County.

What Can I Expect at the Federal Level?

Most crimes are prosecuted locally, meaning you will appear before a municipal court or the New Jersey Superior Court. However, you will appear in federal court if accused of violating a federal crime.

Honorable Renée Marie Bumb is the Chief Judge of this court system, divided into three sections: Newark, Trenton, and Camden. Each section has its own group of judges.

In Newark, the judges are Judge Jessica S. Allen, Judge José R. Almonte, Judge Madeline Cox Arleo, Judge Claire C. Cecchi, Judge Stanley R. Chesler, Judge James B. Clark, III, Judge André M. Espinosa, Judge Michael E. Farbiarz, Judge Michael A. Hammer, Judge Katharine S. Hayden, Judge Edward S. Kiel, Judge William J. Martini, Judge Brian Martinotti, Judge Kevin McNulty, Judge Julien X. Neals, Judge Evelyn Padin, Judge Esther Salas, Judge John Michael Vazquez, Judge Cathy L. Waldor, Judge Leda Dunn Wettre, and Judge Susan D. Wigenton.

In Trenton, the judges are Judge Douglas E. Arpert, Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni, Judge Georgette Castner, Judge J. Brendan Day, Judge Norah McCann King, Judge Robert Kirsch, Judge Zahid N. Quraishi, Judge Peter G. Sheridan, Judge Michael A. Shipp, and Judge Rukhsanah L. Singh.

In Camden, the judges are Judge Renée Marie Bumb (Chief), Judge Ann Marie Donio, Judge Noel L. Hillman, Judge Sharon A. King, Judge Robert B. Kugler, Judge Christine P. O’Hearn, Judge Elizabeth A. Pascal, Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez, Judge Matthew J. Skahill, and Judge Karen M. Williams.

New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Can Represent You When You Are Facing Criminal Charges

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in New Jersey, it can be an overwhelming experience. Our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. have the experience to benefit you in your criminal case. Call us at 908-575-9777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our offices are located in SomervilleFreehold, and Morristown, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey, including but not limited to Somerset County, Morris County, Middlesex County, Union County, Essex County, Bergen County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, Sussex County, Passaic County, and Monmouth County.