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Join Us in Continuing to Fight for More Family Court Judges

The New York State Family Courts are “desperately short of judicial resources.” In 2007, the Chief Judge at the time, Judith Kaye said this in her State of the Judiciary. In the years since this problem has only grown worse, particularly in light of the budget cuts the Family Court sustained in 2010.

Earlier this week, CCC testified at a New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) hearing about the impact the budget cuts and the long-unfulfilled need for more judges have had on the Family Court system. As discussed in the testimony, one key impact is that the Family Courts are reaching disposition in fewer cases each year even though court filings have come down—this means that the Courts are developing a backlog of cases. For children and families this translates into additional court delay, protracted adjournments, longer foster care stays, and longer periods of uncertainty.

But there is some good news! On November 29, 2013, the Judiciary submitted its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year to the Governor and it includes a request for 20 additional Family Court Judges statewide.

This good news is just the beginning of what will likely be a hard-fought advocacy battle. Not only does the budget request need to be approved, but the legislature will need to pass and the Governor will need to sign, a bill that amends the Family Court Act to increase the number of Judges.

CCC is gearing up for this challenge and hopes that you are too. There will be a great deal of advocacy for more Family Court Judges and Family Court resources over the coming months – and we hope you will join us.  Be sure to read your CCC emails and follow CCC on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about how you can help us achieve this victory.

You can read more about the NYCLA hearing in this New York Law Journal article.

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