Ridgewood, New Jersey, in Bergen County, is a 5-square mile village, which is primarily a residential community that still maintains a small-town atmosphere. Ridgewood is an affluent suburban bedroom community of New York City, located approximately 20 miles northwest of Midtown Manhattan. Ridgewood, population 24,181 (2009 U.S. Census), was incorporated in 1876.
The site of many American and British camps in the Revolutionary War, Ridgewood boasts many historical sites, including the David Ackerman House, built in 1750, and Paramus Reformed Church Historic District. The historic district is bounded by Franklin Turnpike, New Jersey Route 17 and Glen Avenue.
Ridgewood is served by the nearby Newark Liberty International Airport. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail provides transportation and New Jersey Transit offers bus services. The southern terminus of Franklin Turnpike is in Ridgewood. Other roadways in Ridgewood include New Jersey Route 17 and County Route 507.
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.
In June 2010, a public meeting was held regarding the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. The hospital presented plans to double in size, and employees and officials say the 60-year-old building is in need of repair to meet patient needs. According to WABC Television, a three-year fight ended as outraged residents lost their battle; the planning board voted in favor of the hospital’s expansion plans.
Patient safety ratings from Healthgrades reflect the quality of care at a hospital by measuring how well the hospital prevents potentially avoidable complications and adverse events following surgeries and procedures. Since an estimated 98,000 deaths occur annually from preventable hospital mistakes or mishaps, such as medical malpractice, hospitals are rated in twelve specific areas of patient safety. Valley Hospital did average or better than average in ten of these areas.
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 Ridgewood Village Municipal Court is located at 131 N. Maple Ave, Ridgewood, NJ 07451. 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. Ridgewood utilizes the trial court in Bergen County, which is located at the Bergen County Justice Center, 10 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601. 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.