Atlantic County Government: County Municipal Court Apologies Do Not Add Up
October 18, 2021
Nine Atlantic County municipalities have agreed to participate in the new Central Atlantic County Court, a consolidated regional municipal court system and the first of its kind in New Jersey.
The court is expected to begin hearing cases in January 2022 in current participating cities, including: Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, Linwood, Northfield, Ventnor, Estell Manor, Weymouth Township and Port Republic.
There are a few cities that remain on the verge of participating due to concerns about police overtime and the cost and inconvenience of travel to the court which is to be located in the historic Mays Landing courthouse for the in-person appearances.
“The data provided by the court should allay such concerns,” County Director Dennis Levinson said. âAll travel and overtime costs should be negligible. “
According to Levinson, in reports provided by Superior Court Judge Julio L. Mendez, there were 2,945 cases heard in Atlantic County during the week of Oct. 11, of which only one DWI case required investigation. appearance in person; the rest has been processed virtually. And of 4,149 cases heard the previous week at Vicinne 1 which covers both Atlantic and Cape May counties, only 11 were resolved in person, and these were also DWI cases.
“The facts speak loudly for anyone who is willing to listen,” Levinson said. “The Consolidated Court will deliver substantial savings for our taxpayers who live in the most taxed state in the country.”
As an example, Levinson said the Township of Egg Harbor could achieve annual savings of over $ 300,000, the Township of Hamilton could save almost $ 200,000 per year, while a small town like Ventnor could benefit from more than $ 150,000 in savings for taxpayers.
“The excuse of overtime and travel expenses that some cities have used just doesn’t hold water,” said Levinson. “What is more likely is their apprehension of relinquishing autonomy. It is an opportunity for Atlantic County to serve as a role model for the whole state in taking steps to consolidate services. and cut taxes. I don’t understand how our city leaders can spend this going up. “
Judge Glenn A. Grant, Acting Administrative Director of the NJ Courts, approved Atlantic County to serve as the first regional municipal court pilot program and commended Levinson and his colleagues for their tireless efforts to make this possible.
âIt was only through your combined leadership and continued persistence that this became a reality. The Atlantic County Regional Municipal Court marks a bold new step not only for Atlantic County, but for our entire municipal court system, âhe concluded.
Judge Mendez has given cities until November 1, 2021 to join as initial participants in 2022.
âIt’s not too late to make a decision that could have lasting financial benefits for our residents,â Levinson concluded.
This press release was produced by the Atlantic County Government. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.