Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the Senate passed legislation (S.5924-A) that would add one more Family Court Judge in Orange County. Current law allows Orange County to elect three family court judges. This bill increases the number of judges from three to four.
"Within only the last few years, the number of cases filed in Orange County family court have doubled," Said Senator Larkin. "Creating a position for one more family court judge will help decrease the case load in a system that is seriously backlogged and overburdened."
While justifying the need for an additional family court judge in the county, Larkin said that Orange County Family Court judges handle the highest number of cases in the Hudson Valley. In addition, these numbers are higher than most counties in the entire state.
The senator also said that Orange County is still the fastest growing county in the state. The prison inmate population for facilities in Orange County has greatly increased, thereby increasing family court cases. Of the population increase, many of the new residents have come to Orange County from the New York Metropolitan area and seem to need more family court services since they tend to be a younger population with families.
"When you are dealing with cases of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, support payments, custody, and adoption, for example, it is extremely important to resolve cases as quickly as possible, especially since an individual’s physical safety can often be at risk," said Larkin. "To expect people to wait months for their case to be heard is unacceptable, which is why we need to enact this legislation immediately."