Assemblywoman Galef Forum Looks at Making Local Courts More Efficient

Consolidation could mean tax savings
January 25, 2010

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will host a panel of judges, lawyers and judicial experts from the area for a conversation about local court consolidation, on Thursday, February 4th at 7:30 pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor.

The experts include New York State 9th Judicial District Administrative Judge Alan D. Scheinkman, New York State Supreme Court Judge Francesca E. Connolly, Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts’ Chief Counsel Elliot Moskowitz, and Fund for Modern Courts’ Deputy Executive Director and Director of Advocacy Denise Kronstadt.

“There are 12 local courts in my Assembly District alone,” Galef says. “This is the time to determine if and how we can coordinate our court systems to develop savings,” she asserts. “It is critical for our courts to operate efficiently and doing so should be able to help the bottom line as well.”

Administrative Judge Scheinkman said: “The city, town and village courts are the front-lines of our justice system. These are the courts that deal with the problems of every day life, from traffic infractions to landlord/tenant disputes, to small claims cases. The judiciary is committed to improving the safety, accessibility and efficiency of these courts. Our justice court facilities are, in too many cases, antiquated and, at times, there is duplication of effort between town and village courts. We need to carefully examine opportunities for court consolidation so that we can modernize our justice courts and, simultaneously, conserve taxpayer resources, with the goal of delivering quality justice at the lowest possible cost.”

This forum is part of a continuing series of town hall-style meetings Galef has held which are intended to bring the community into the conversation about sharing services and reducing levels of government with the goal of achieving savings for taxpayers. Galef invites the public to join these esteemed judicial experts for this important and timely discussion on how local court consolidation could improve efficiency in the justice system and save taxpayers’ money.