[9 NJSuper Page 508] Petitioner, John F. Gladstone, is confined in the New Jersey State Prison at Trenton in Mercer County. He applies to the Morris County Court for a writ of habeas corpus. Counsel was assigned to represent the petitioner as an indigent.
Counsel disclosed to this court that the petitioner had been denied relief on May 13, 1950, in the Mercer County Court to which he had also applied for a writ of habeas corpus. These proceedings are not, however, available to this court for inspection at this time and consequently, no comment is made on this phase of the situation.
The Mercer County Court has the power and authority to issue a writ of habeas corpus as the prisoner is confined within the territorial limits of Mercer County. However, does the Morris County Court have the concurrent power and authority to issue a writ on the theory that the petitioner was sentenced by it on August 23, 1942, and again sentenced by it on December 27, 1946?
It would appear that the only legislative action with reference to the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus is set forth in R.S. 2:82-14, which provides as follows:
"The power and authority to issue writs of habeas corpus shall be and reside in:
"a. The supreme court during its sitting, or the chief justice or an associate justice, at chambers during any term or vacation of the supreme court;
"b. The judge of a court of common pleas, who shall have concurrent jurisdiction in his county with the justices of the supreme court to grant such writ in all criminal cases where a person may be confined in prison or detained in custody, and to hear and determine the same in like manner as though the application had been made before a justice of the supreme court."
By the 1947 Constitution and legislation thereunder, the County Court has been invested with the jurisdiction of the former Common Pleas Court.
R.S. 2:82-14 restricts the County Court in the granting of writs to criminal cases. Does it further restrict the County Court to cases where the petitioner is confined or detained in that particular county?
It would seem proper to construe this act so as to limit the authority and power of a County Court to those cases where the prisoner is confined within the territorial limits of the particular county. In re Van Winkle , 3 N.J. 348. The
logic of so limiting the effect of this statute is set forth in 25 Am. Juris., Habeas ...