Belleville, New Jersey is a township in Essex County, in the northeastern area of the state. Belleville borders the Passaic River near Newark, New Jersey’s largest city. In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Belleville’s population at 33,957. The township encompasses only 3-square miles, and Belleville is a fully built out urban municipality, more densely populated than Essex County as a whole.
Belleville’s status has changed many times over the years. Belleville was initially formed as a township in 1839 and became a city in 1874. Belleville again became a township in 1876, then a town in 1910, but reverted back to township status in 1981.
Route 7 and New Jersey Route 21 as well as County Route 506 all pass through Belleville. Nearby connections include a number of major roadways such as the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 78, Interstate 80, Interstate 280, Routes 1-9 and the Eisenhower Parkway. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, forty-one people were fatally injured in vehicle crashes in Essex County during 2009. Thirteen fatalities occurred as the result of vehicle accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers, and twenty pedestrians were killed as a result of vehicle accidents.
The Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville is conveniently located for township residents. With Clara Maass now part of the Saint Barnabas Hospital System, the area around this Medical Center will likely emerge as a hub for a variety of medical specialties as well as upscale private offices for physicians accredited with the Medical Center. The nearby city of Newark is home to four hospitals: The University Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of New Jersey and St. Michael’s Medical Center.
The township boasts over a dozen public buildings, the majority of which are located along Washington Avenue. The structure of New Jersey’s court system is among the most simple in the nation. The state has only the following types of courts: Municipal courts, Tax Court, state Superior Court, which includes the trial courts, an Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Belleville Municipal Court is in the Municipal Building at 152 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor, Belleville, NJ 07621. The Municipal courts in New Jersey are considered courts of limited jurisdiction, having responsibility for motor vehicle and parking tickets, minor criminal offenses and municipal ordinance offenses. The trial courts in Essex County are the largest and busiest trial courts in New Jersey, spread out over five locations in downtown Newark. Civil cases are heard at the Historic Courthouse, 470 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102. Typical civil cases involve contracts, personal injury, automobile accidents, employment and discrimination cases.