Ridgefield, New Jersey, a borough in Bergen County, is in the northeastern part of the state. In 2009, Ridgefield was home to an estimated 10,812 residents according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Families make up 76% of the households in Ridgefield Borough, a suburban, residential community.
A section of Ridgefield named Morsemere, in the northern part of the Borough, was named in honor of Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph and the Morse code. During the mid-1800s, Mr. Morse owned vast tracts of land in the Borough.
Bergen County is one of the last remaining communities in the nation where “blue laws” that prohibit Sunday shopping are still enforced. While Bergen County residents may purchase essentials such as food and gasoline, nearly all other retail stores are closed. The blue laws have been in effect in Bergen County since the 1950s, and they were designed to give residents one day of rest from the traffic jams, noise pollution and accidents that plague county roadways. The congestion is most apparent in Paramus where the county’s largest shopping malls are located, along the intersecting highways of Route 4 and Route 17, but the law applies to all municipalities of Bergen County, including Ridgefield.
The New Jersey Turnpike, U.S. Route 1-9, U.S. Route 46, Route 63, Route 93 and Route 5 serve Ridgefield. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, twenty-six people were fatally injured in vehicle crashes in Bergen County during 2009. Eight fatalities occurred as the result of vehicle accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers, and twelve pedestrians were killed as a result of vehicle accidents. When a severe personal injury or death occurs as a result of a Bergen County vehicle accident, the victim’s family also suffers, with emotional and economic burdens that may last for years afterward. According to City-Data, there was just one fatal accident in Ridgefield in 2007.
The nearby Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck serves the residents of the borough. New Jersey’s ratio of primary care doctors to patients is 36 percent below the national average. A recent 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.
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 Ridgefield Borough Municipal Court is located at 604 Broad Ave, Ridgefield, NJ 07657. Ridgefield utilizes the trial court in Bergen County, which is located at the Bergen County Justice Center, 10 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601. 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. 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.