Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) to allow current and retired Administrative Law Judges to perform marriages and civil unions has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“Nearly every judge and local public official in New Jersey had the ability to perform marriages except for administrative law judges, until now,” Senator Cardinale said. “This law will give these professionals the same ability, as well as the ability to perform civil unions, and give New Jerseyans even more options when they want to get married.”
Under current law, judges at the federal, county and municipal level can perform marriage and civil union ceremonies. County surrogates, county clerks, current and former mayors, and certified civil celebrants can as well.
Administrative law judges work with the Office of Administrative Law where they oversee contested cases for state agencies and offer initial decisions. They are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The bill, S-1967, gives them the ability to perform marriages and civil unions.
“There is no reason an Administrative Law Judge should not to have the ability to perform marriages and civil unions,” Senator Cardinale said. “This will provide greater convenience and better access to marriage for residents across New Jersey.”