Cuomo Approves Expansion in City Court Judgeships

, New York Law Journal


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has approved an expansion in the number of City Court judgeships by the full-time equivalent of 16½ judges, or 11 percent.

The governor signed the measure Wednesday night, aides said. A6552/S4043 was overwhelmingly approved (141-1 in the Assembly and 62-1 in the Senate) during the final days of the state Legislature's 2013 session in June.

It will add one full-time judge to the City Court benches in Buffalo, Newburgh, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Troy and Yonkers and partial judgeships in 21 other cities.

The judicial increases of less than one full-time equivalent judge take effect April 1, 2014. The additions of one full-time judge in the seven cities becomes effective Jan. 1, 2015.

There are currently 143½ judges in the 61 city courts outside of New York City and the measure signed by Cuomo represented the first expansion of their roster as authorized by §2104 of the Uniform City Court Act since 2006.

The Association of City Court Judges helped organize a lobbying campaign urging Cuomo to sign the bill that involved endorsements from city and county elected officials, district attorneys and law enforcement officers and groups who advocate for the people who appear in city courts such as veterans and domestic violence victims (NYLJ, Nov. 26).

"By signing this bill, our governor has recognized the value of the city courts outside New York City, the judges serving in these courts and the communities that they serve," the head of the City Court judges' association, White Plains City Court Judge Jo Ann Friia, said Thursday. "Additional judges will help dispense justice more timely and effectively, which, in turn, will improve the quality of life in cities across the state."

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