Recall Judges on Rise in NJ [AUDIO]
Many judges in New Jersey retire and return to the bench to handle more cases. They are known as recall judges, and they've been in demand more than usual lately.
More than 70 individuals agreed to serve as recall judges so far this fiscal year. In all of 2009, just 45 judges served on a recall basis.
"The primary reason for the increase this time around is vacancies," said Winnie Comfort with the state court system. "We've had a fair number of older judges retiring."
As they continue to earn their pensions, these temporary judges also make $300 per day. By law, their annual pay can not go beyond what they'd earn as a full-time judge. As of April 2013, the cost of recall judges in New Jersey for the current fiscal year was $2,750,000.
Comfort said recall judges are a very important part of court management in New Jersey, and without them, there would be "holes in the system" across the state.
Recall judges can also be used to address a backlog in cases, but according to Comfort, case load numbers have not been significantly higher in the past year or so.