A complaint was made in the Municipal Court of Hoboken against the defendant charging that he had willfully committed an assault and battery by spitting on another, in violation of the Disorderly Persons Law, which states: "Any person who commits an assault or an assault and battery is a disorderly person." The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the statute violated his constitutional right to prosecution by indictment and trial by jury. The municipal court denied the motion. On certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court, held, the statute did not wrongfully deny defendant a jury trial. The statute refers only to simple assault and battery, which was punishable summarily at common law. Summary proceedings under the Disorderly Persons Act, which has been in existence in some form since 1799 and which for many years has contained offenses indictable at common law and more serious than assault and battery, has been challenged only once and then unsuccessfully. This acquiescence is supported by analogy to the judicially accepted practice of summary jurisdiction under municipal ordinances. State v. Maier, (N.J. 1953) 99 A. (2d) 21.
Chester F. Relyea S.Ed.,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-LEGISLATIVE-POWER TO REDUCE GRADE OF CRIMINAL OFFENSE IN ORDER TO AVOID JURY TRIAL,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol52/iss5/10