Company/Organization: Englewood Municipal Court
Topic of Internship
In 1675, Bergen was actually just one judicial district, which soon changed in 1683, when the Provincial Assembly passed an act that created separate counties such as Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, and Monmouth. If cases need to be taken to a higher authority, they will be sent to the Superior Court of Hackensack. Hackensack was actually given the title of county seat in 1710. The oldest records of the Bergen County Board of Freeholders and Justices are dated back to May 19, 1715. In 1716 Hackensack actually built a combined courthouse and jail on Hackensack’s “Green.” Almost right after, local municipal courts were made in every town to deal with their own local problems. The N.J.S.A 2A: 8-1 has given the Municipal Court all functions, powers, duties, and jurisdictions. The Englewood Municipal Court holds jurisdiction over all traffic matters, disorderly persons offenses, and all City ordinance violations.
Summary of Internship
The experiences I have gotten at the Englewood Municipal Court have been very unique and filled with several life lessons. I observe cases that vary from DUIs, to assaults, to possession of narcotics, which all send a deep lesson to not only to the defendant, but everyone observing the case, such as myself. Not only does observing court cases give me information on the aspects of law, but I am able to interact with attorneys, prosecutors, police officers, court clerks, and even some of the defendants and criminals. Some cases can be very brief, but the more serious one can last for years! When a serious case is brought up, the judge reads the charges and then informs the defendants of their rights. If the municipal court cannot handle the case, then it is sent to the Superior Court in Hackensack. However, if the case can be handled in the municipal court, the judge demands a trial to be held, which includes attorneys, prosecutors, witnesses, and the defendants. When court is not in session, my mentor gives me some office work, from filing or finding tickets to disposing of old materials. The lessons that can be learned if one actually pays attention to all the details of each and every matter are very valuable and can be taken with you throughout your whole life. This internship definitely opens your eyes and makes you become more careful with your decisions because they could result in fines of up to thousands of dollars, being without a license for decades, or being sent to jail. No matter what I decide to choose as my career, I know that these experiences and lessons learned will always stick with me and they will help think twice before getting into any situations that could result costly.
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