For Immediate Release:  April 1, 2014

Contacts: Elysia Murphy emurphy@cccnewyork.org (212) 673-1800 x 18 &

Dennis R. Hawkins, Hawkins@moderncourts.org, (917)-399-4675

Statewide Coalition Applauds the NYS Legislators for Passing The Judiciary Budget Adding 20 More Family Court Judges and Eagerly Anticipates the Governor’s Approval of the Budget

The New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges is grateful to the New York State Senate and Assembly for passing a Judiciary budget that fully funds our court system and includes funding in the budget for 20 more family court judges.

“The Legislature’s vote demonstrates that our elected officials know that a fully funded Judiciary with new family court judges is needed to take on the serious challenge of addressing the current backlog that has led to long delays for families, victims of violence and children, and has effectively closed the doors to justice for those who need the courts the most.” Stephanie Gendell, Associate Executive Director at Citizens’ Committee for Children Co-Chair, New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges.

“The Coalition eagerly anticipates the Governor’s approval of the budget and his support for those who seek justice in our state’s Family Court to keep their families safe. “ Denise Kronstadt, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Advocacy, at the Fund for Modern Courts, Co-Chair, New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges.

“Without new family court judges, children, victims of domestic violence and parents will continue to suffer unconscionable delays in resolving matters of child protection, family safety and economic security,” added Denise Kronstadt.

“Once the budget is fully approved, as the Coalition expects it will be, we look forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor to expeditiously pass the legislation necessary to add the 20 more family court judges statewide,” added Stephanie Gendell.

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About the New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges:

The New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges is a coalition of over 85 organizations from all across New York State that has come together to ensure that New York State provides for more resources for Family Courts, including at least 20 more Family Court Judges statewide to provide justice for families.

Family Court is desperately short of judicial resources. While the Family Court has made extraordinary efforts to address the overwhelming needs of the children and families before it, the shortage leads to unconscionable delays; the instability, trauma and uncertainty of delays cause irreparable damage to New York’s children and grave risk to victims of domestic violence. These delays cost taxpayers money.

New York’s most vulnerable children and families depend on the Family Court system to address some of the most important decisions of their lives. Current limited resources create a backlog that has led to long delays for families, victims of violence and children, effectively closing the doors to justice for those who need it the most.

The Coalition is advocating for the approval of the Judiciary’s budget request of $5 million in SFY 14-15 for 20 more Family Court Judges and for amending the Family Court Act to add the new Judgeships throughout the state.  These additional Family Court Judges will help provide more timely access to justice for New York’s children and families.

Facebook:  NYS Coalition for More Family Court Judges

Twitter: @MoreNYFamJudges

Web site:  http://moderncourts.org/advocacy/family-court-reform/

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