Position Statement – 2023
The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) supports the passage of S.6492, which would increase the number of family court judges in the city of New York to seventy-two and provides for an additional two family court judges in Westchester and Rockland counties and one in Erie and Niagara counties.
The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, created to promote equal access and full participation in the court system by persons and communities of color, recently released a report on the crisis in New York City’s Family Court. Among other things, the Commission recommended an increase in the number of family court judges statewide, especially in New York City. New judges will provide caseload relief to existing judges and reduce the system’s reliance on other judges temporarily assigned to family court.
Additional judges will promote more timely adjudication of cases and allow family courts to continue to work through the backlog created during the pandemic. While increasing the number of family court judges in these counties is a much-needed step, WBASNY would encourage the legislature to expand the relief throughout the State, as more family court judges are needed in all jurisdictions. WBASNY believes that additional clerks and court officers are also needed to ensure the success of this expansion.