Town, Village Courts Receive State Grants To Help Upgrade Court Operations

George Winner

November 21, 2005

Bath, N.Y.-- State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) and State Assemblyman Jim Bacalles (R-C, Corning) today announced that town and village justice courts in Steuben and Yates counties have been awarded state grants to provide aid for automating court operations, enhancing or expanding court facilities or improving court services in other ways.

In a statement the lawmakers, who strongly supported the 1999 creation of the "Justice Court Assistance Program" through which the grants are being made, said: "The Legislature recognizes the importance of helping town and village justice courts enhance their operations with modern equipment and technology, superior facilities and effective management. We’re hopeful that the Justice Court Assistance Program will provide valuable resources to achieve these goals, and we’re extremely pleased that many of the courts we represent will benefit from this state aid."

New York State Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan 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 be protected, if traffic laws are to be enforced, and if citizens 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."

The state’s nearly 1500 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. Recognizing the budgetary limitations of the towns and villages that support these courts, Winner and Bacalles said that the Legislature created the Justice Court Assistance Program to provide supplementary state assistance in the form of grants to the courts.

The area legislators announced grants for Justice Courts in the following Steuben County towns and villages: town of Avoca ($2,722); town of Bath ($2,500); town of Corning ($3,300); town of Pulteney ($385); town of Troupsburg ($1,115); town of West Union ($500); and village of Savona ($2,511).

In Yates County, the Town of Jerusalem Justice Court will receive $1,718.