Senator Betty Little lauded passage of legislation in the New York State Senate today that adds 25 new Family Court judgeships including in Franklin and Warren counties. The measure passed the Assembly on Thursday, June 19.
This year’s State Budget provided $5 million to add judgeships to address increasing family court caseloads, but a decision was not made at the time of budget adoption regarding which counties would qualify for the new posts.
The Senate and Assembly reached an agreement this past week that provides for the new judgeships, most of which will be effective January 1, 2015, followed by others that will become effective January 1, 2016.
“The number of family court cases and their complexity has put a tremendous strain on the judicial system,” said Senator Little. “When justice is delayed, families, especially children, are unfairly impacted and bad situations can be made worse. This is the first major addition of family court judges in three decades.”
Family Courts are the busiest courts in New York State, seeing a 60 percent increase in appearances over the past 20 years. A commission headed by former Chief Judge Judith Kaye in 2007 recommended the creation of 39 new Family Court judges to address the growing problem of backlogged courtrooms.
Little introduced legislation earlier this year to add judgeships for Franklin and Warren counties at each county’s request.
Voters will elect the new Family Court judge in Franklin County this November. The Warren County judgeship will be on the ballot in November 2015.