State Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today notified Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,I,C-Schenectady) that the town of Milton justice court has been awarded a $2,722 Justice Court Assistance program grant to purchase equipment to assist in its operation.
“Town courts perform a great service to our communities,” said Tedisco. “They faithfully serve the people of the towns in which they sit and help keep our communities safe in an efficient and relatively inexpensive manner.”
Lippman said, “The importance of the Justice Court Assistance program cannot be overstated. Modern, well-equipped town and village court operations are essential if justice is to be administered fairly in our state’s smaller communities, if crime victims are to continue to enjoy access to an inexpensive forum for the resolution of small claims matters. This program will ensure that the justice court, which dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, continues as a viable and valuable institution into the 21st century.”
New York’s nearly 1,500 justice courts preside over non-felony criminal and motor vehicle prosecutions, small civil claims and landlord-tenant disputes. They provide a significant source of local and state revenue, and their ability to process cases and information promptly is essential to maintaining a statewide comprehensive criminal history database. Court income also helps fund programs that protect domestic violence victims and keep drunk drivers off the road.
Justice courts often have few resources to depend on – reflecting the budgetary limitations of the towns and villages that support them. Recognizing this, the state Legislature in 1999 established the Justice Court Assistance program to provide supplementary state assistance in the form of small monetary grants to town and village justice courts. These grants make it possible for justice courts to acquire computers and other essential electronic equipment, maintain a dignified appearance and enhance the training and legal material available to judges and clerks.