Clifton, New Jersey, in Passaic County, is 10 miles west of New York City. Clifton is in the densely populated southeastern arm of Passaic County, along with the cities of Paterson and Passaic. In 2006, Clifton encompassed 11-square miles and was home to 79,606 residents according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Clifton is just off both Route 3 and Route 46. The city is also served by the Garden State Parkway , Route 19 and Route 21. The National Highway Safety Administration reports that twenty-six people were fatally injured in vehicle crashes in Passaic County during 2009. Eight fatalities occurred as the result of vehicle accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers, and five pedestrians were killed as a result of vehicle accidents. According to City-Data, there were five fatal Clifton vehicle accidents in 2008, three of which were caused by drunken drivers.
First-class healthcare is available in neighboring Passaic County communities. Medical services serving Passaic County include the large 651-bed St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, a state designated trauma center. Designated trauma centers care for severely injured patients as well as victims of accident types known to be associated with a high risk for injury. Trauma patients include persons involved in motor vehicle crashes, falls and assaults. Caring for 120,000 patients in 2009, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department is the busiest in New Jersey.
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center is run by St. Joseph’s Healthcare, which also operates St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson and St. Mary’s Hospital, a 287–bed, non-profit acute care facility based in the City of Passaic, which also serves Clifton residents.
Hospitals in Passaic County face significant challenges in acquiring land to expand given the lack of available land in the highly urbanized county and the high land costs. In addition, New Jersey’s ratio of primary care doctors to patients is 36 percent below the national average. A study by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals (NJCTH) has warned of a shortage of doctors in New Jersey. The NJCTH also states an estimated 98,000 deaths occur annually from preventable hospital mistakes or mishaps.
Rich in its ethnic diversity, Clifton is home to many communities including Indian, Arab-American, Filipino, Korean, Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, Russian, Polish, Haitian and Spanish. One can find a large assortment of international cuisine being served by Clifton’s chefs.
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 Clifton Municipal Court is held at Clifton City Hall, 900 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07013. 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 court in Passaic County sits at the Passaic County Court House, 77 Hamilton Street, Paterson, NJ 07505. Both criminal and civil cases are heard at the trial court level. Typical civil cases involve contracts, personal injury, automobile accidents, employment and discrimination cases.
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