Bill S7722-2013

Relates to the number of judges of the family court

Relates to the number of judges of the family court in certain counties.

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  • Jun 2, 2014: REFERRED TO RULES

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BILL NUMBER:S7722

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act, in relation to the number of judges of the family court

PURPOSE OF BILL:

This measure would amend the Family Court Act to establish 3 new Family Court judgeships.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL:

Section 1: Would amend § 121 of the Family Court Act to increase the number of Family Court Judges in the City of New York from 47 to 56.

Section 2: Would amend § 131 of the Family Court Act to increase the number of Family Court Judges, each by one, in the following counties: Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Oneida, Oswego, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester.

Section 3: Would amend § 131 of the Family Court Act to increase the number of Family Court Judges, each by one, in the following counties: Delaware, Franklin and Warren.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:

Amends § 121 and § 131 of the Family Court Act.

JUSTIFICATION:

This measure would amend the Family Court Act to establish 20 new Family Court judgeships, as follows:

* In New York City, nine new judgeships, effective January 1, 2015.

* Outside New York City, one new judgeship in each of the following 11 counties, effective January 1, 2015 (with each judgeship first being filled at the November 2014 general election): Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Oneida, Oswego, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester. Further, effective January 1, 2016 (with each judgeship first being filled at the November 2015 general election): Delaware Franklin and Warren.

While the past several decades have seen increasing legislative recognition of the needs of children and families in New York, in the form of landmark statutes promoting child permanency and enhancing family justice, these salutary efforts have not been matched by provision for a corps of Family Court Judgeships sufficiently large to meet the greater caseloads and complexity of proceedings in our courts today. The consequences of this neglect, if not attended to soon, will be disturbing, indeed heartbreaking - and utterly unacceptable: justice delayed for children and families whose safety and welfare can require immediate intervention, children growing up in foster care instead of permanent homes, children graduating from Family Court to Criminal Court instead of high school and college, missed opportunities and spiraling inefficiency for juvenile and legal defense agencies.

This measure will go a long way toward redressing this unintended and lamentable condition. If enacted, it would represent the first major infusion of new Family Court Judges in New York in over three decades and begin to provide the State's family justice system with the resources needed to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill, 2014.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

$5 million for the period from January 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately, provided that the additional Family Court Judges provided by § 2 shall first be elected at the general election to be held in November 2014, and shall first take office January 1, 2015, provided further that the additional Family Court Judges provided by § 3 shall first be elected at the general election to be held in November 2015, and shall first take office January 1, 2016.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7722 IN SENATE June 2, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. BONACIC -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the family court act, in relation to the number of judg- es of the family court THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 121 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 209 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows: S 121. Number of judges. The family court within the city of New York shall consist of [forty-four judges and, as of July first, nineteen hundred ninety, shall consist of forty-five judges and, as of April first, nineteen hundred ninety-one, shall consist of forty-seven] FIFTY-SIX judges, EFFECTIVE JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN. [At least one of the persons appointed to the office of judge of the family court created by this section, shall be a resident of the county of Richmond and hereafter there] THERE shall be at least one family court judge resident in each county of the city of New York. [The amount of compensation for such new family court judges shall be equal to the compensation payable to existing family court judges in the city of New York.] S 2. Section 131 of the family court act is amended by adding a new subdivision (u) to read as follows: (U) THERE SHALL BE AN ADDITIONAL FAMILY COURT JUDGE FOR EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES: ALBANY, BROOME, CHAUTAUQUA, ERIE, MONROE, NASSAU, ONEIDA, OSWEGO, SCHENECTADY, SUFFOLK AND WESTCHESTER. THE COMPENSATION OF EACH SUCH ADDITIONAL FAMILY COURT JUDGE SHALL BE THE SAME AS THE COMPENSATION PAID TO EACH EXISTING FAMILY COURT JUDGE IN THE COUNTY FOR WHICH IT IS ESTABLISHED. S 3. Section 131 of the family court act is amended by adding a new subdivision (v) to read as follows: (V) THERE SHALL BE AN ADDITIONAL FAMILY COURT JUDGE FOR EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES: DELAWARE, FRANKLIN AND WARREN. THE COMPENSATION OF EACH SUCH ADDITIONAL FAMILY COURT JUDGE SHALL BE THE SAME AS THE COMPEN-
SATION PAID TO EACH EXISTING FAMILY COURT JUDGE IN THE COUNTY FOR WHICH IT IS ESTABLISHED. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that the additional family court judges provided for by section two of this act shall first be elected at the general election to be held in Novem- ber 2014 and shall first take office January 1, 2015; provided, further, that the additional family court judges provided for by section three of this act shall first be elected at the general election to be held in November 2015 and shall first take office January 1, 2016.

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