Provides for additional family court judges in the city of New York and in the counties of Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8957A
SPONSOR: Weinstein (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act, in relation to
judges of the family court
This measure is being introduced at the request of the Chief Judge of
This measure would amend the Family Court Act to establish 21 new Family
Court judgeships, as follows:
* in New York City, seven new judgeships, effective January 1, 2011.
* outside New York City, one new judgeship in each of the following
fourteen counties, effective January 1, 2011 (with each judgeship first
being filled at the November 2010 general election): Albany, Broome,
Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St.
Lawrence, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester.
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 justice 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-
This measure would take effect immediately.
Legislative History: None. New proposal.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2009-2010 Regular Sessions
June 16, 2009
Introduced by M. of A. WEINSTEIN, SCARBOROUGH, JOHN, O'DONNELL, DESTITO,
DINOWITZ, PAULIN, TITONE, PERALTA, ROSENTHAL, CLARK, SCHIMEL, CANES-
TRARI -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BING, BRENNAN, CAHILL, CARROZ-
ZA, COOK, CYMBROWITZ, DelMONTE, ESPAILLAT, FARRELL, GORDON, GOTTFRIED,
HEASTIE, HYER-SPENCER, JAFFEE, KELLNER, LUPARDO, MARKEY, MAYERSOHN,
McENENY, MILLMAN, NOLAN, O'MARA, PEOPLES-STOKES, REILLY, N. RIVERA,
SAYWARD, SCHROEDER, SWEENEY, TITUS, WEISENBERG -- (at request of the
Office of Court Administration) -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Judiciary -- recommitted to the Committee on Judiciary in
accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill
amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
AN ACT to amend the family court act, in relation to judges of the fami-
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 121 of the family court act, as amended by chapter
2 209 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 121. Number of judges. The family court within the city of New York
4 shall consist of [forty-four judges and, as of July first, nineteen
5 hundred ninety, shall consist of forty-five judges and, as of April
6 first, nineteen hundred ninety-one, shall consist of forty-seven]
7 fifty-four judges, effective January first, two thousand eleven. [At
8 least one of the persons appointed to the office of judge of the family
9 court created by this section, shall be a resident of the county of
10 Richmond and hereafter there] There shall be at least one family court
11 judge resident in each county of the city of New York. [The amount of
12 compensation for such new family court judges shall be equal to the
13 compensation payable to existing family court judges in the city of New
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 8957--A 2
1 § 2. Section 131 of the family court act is amended by adding a new
2 subdivision (u) to read as follows:
3 (u) There shall be an additional family court judge for each of the
4 following counties: Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Monroe,
5 Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Schenectady, Suffolk and
6 Westchester. The compensation of each such additional family court judge
7 shall be the same as the compensation paid to each existing family court
8 judge in the county for which it is established.
9 § 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2011; provided, however,
10 the additional family court judges provided for by section two of this
11 act shall first be elected at the general election to be held in Novem-
12 ber 2010 and shall first take office January 1, 2011.