NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10139
SPONSOR: Rules (Weinstein)
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 25 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, Franklin, Nassau, Oneida, Oswego, Schenecta-
dy, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester.
Section 3: Would amend § 131 of the Family Court Act to increase the
number of family court judges in 2016, each by one, in the following
counties: Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, and Warren.
Section 4: Establishes a special petitioning period for the judges to be
elected in November, 2014.
Section 5: Includes a severability clause.
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 estab-
lish 25 new Family Court judgeships.
While the past several decades have seen increasing legislative recogni-
tion 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 conse-
quences 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 ineffi-
ciency 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 communi-
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 judges created by
section two will first take office on January 1,2015 and the judges
created by section,3 will first take office on January 1, 2016.