Legislation sponsored by Senator Betty Little that would authorize the creation of a second Family Court Judgeship in Warren County passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
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 recommended in 2007 the creation of 39 new Family Court judges to address the growing problem of backlogged courtrooms.
Warren County was included in subsequent legislation, which lost momentum following the state’s economic crisis beginning in 2008 and did not pass the State Legislature.
“Family Court matters are, in my opinion, the most sensitive that come before our county judges,” said Senator Betty Little. “They are often complicated and emotional situations and finding a resolution in a timely manner is obviously important. This legislation would help the Warren County system operate more effectively to the benefit of everyone, especially children affected by delays.”
Little said the proposed 2014-15 State Budget includes a $5 million supplemental appropriation for 20 new Family Court Judgeships, reflecting the executive’s recognition of the pressing need.
The legislation will now advance to the Senate floor. Companion legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Stec.