Press Release – Citing a backlog of cases due to a high rate of judicial vacancies, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi has sponsored legislation to increase the age a retired justice or judge may be called back on a temporary basis. The bill, A-3587, today won unanimous approval from the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

“In Bergen County, a quarter of Superior Court judgeships currently remain unfilled forcing courtrooms to open early and close late,” said Schepisi, R-Bergen and Passaic. “Other counties are experiencing the same problem. Increasing the recall age will provide our judicial system with a bigger pool of judges which will benefit our courts and litigants whose trials are being delayed.

“The judiciary is unique in that most individuals aren’t appointed to judgeships until mid life. Someone who becomes a judge in their late 40s or early 50s is just beginning their career,” she continued. “Many are in the prime of their profession when they reach 70. For the most part, they enjoy their work and are happy to return to the bench for temporary duty. At the same time, they bring with them a career of experience.

The state often relies on retired justices and judges by temporarily recalling them to the bench to handle backlogged cases. Schepisi’s bill allows justices and judges who are collecting pensions or retirement allowances to perform recall duties until 85 years of age. Currently, they cannot be recalled past the age of 80.