Union City, New Jersey is a one-square mile city located roughly in the middle of Hudson County. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Union City’s population at 63,930, making Union City one of Hudson County’s largest municipalities and the most densely populated city in New Jersey. Hispanics and Latinos make up approximately 78% of Union City’s population.
Located right off the banks of the Hudson River, Union City was established eighty-five years ago when the Town of Union joined the Township of West Hoboken, becoming the city of Union City. Union City is experiencing an unprecedented period of cultural and artistic growth. The performing arts have always been an integral part of Union City. The new Union City Performing Arts Center held its grand opening concert in October 2009. The city parks also hold weekly performances of drama, comedy, poetry and music during the summer months.
The Route 495 corridor physically divides Union City into two halves, northern and southern. Union City is just two miles from New York City via Route 495 to the Lincoln Tunnel. Route 495 is a 3.45-mile freeway in Hudson County, which connects the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) in Secaucus to the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken, providing access to midtown Manhattan.
The National Highway Safety Administration reported that twenty-two people were fatally injured in vehicle crashes in Hudson County during 2009. Three 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 Hudson County vehicle accident, the victim’s family also suffers, with emotional and economic burdens that may last for years afterward. Per 2008 City-Data statistics, there were two fatal Union City vehicle accidents where five persons were fatally injured, two of the fatalities were pedestrians.
Christ Hospital in Jersey City and the Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen are the two closest hospitals for Union City residents. Hospitals in Hudson 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. Union City is built out, with no open land left.
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, due, in part, to the high cost of medical malpractice insurance for doctors in New Jersey. The NJCTH is pushing for medical malpractice law reform as New Jersey ranked third of the top ten states on a per capita basis for the amount of money paid out by insurers to cover malpractice lawsuits. However, 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 Union City Municipal Court is located at 3715 Palisades Ave., Union City, NJ 07087. 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. Union City also utilizes the trial court in Hudson County NJ, located at the Hudson County Administration Building, 595 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306. 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.