Legislature's Resolution Supports Civil Gideon

, New York Law Journal


While the Legislature's just-completed regular session included bills expanding efiling and refining pre- and post-divorce maintenance guidelines, court administrators say a symbolic gesture by the Senate and Assembly will have lasting significance as well.

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What's being said

  • Shoe Tofall

    The "symbolic" and "aspirational" nature of the resolutions passed by the legislature, which court administrators tout as ensuring that the public policy of this state embraces the payment of civil legal services for the poor, reveals just the opposite. For far too long, OCA has relied upon these phony resolutions to justify their unconstitsustional acts in gifting away budgeted judiciary funds to civil legal service providers.The involvement of the court system in these unaccounted for give-aways violates the separation of powers doctrine and various provisions of our state constitution which vest, in the legislature alone, the right to provide for the needy and prohibit the gifting of public funds of any kind to any person, entity or cause. While the legislature is obviously pleased to escape its constitutional obligations and pass along its work to the judiciary, the gifting of public funds by the state‘s top judges is more than appalling. Rather than fund the business of the courts, and those who are employed to carry it out, OCA and it highest ranking judicial members have prioritized their unconstitutional give-aways to civil legal service providers. Instead of focusing on the needs of the courts, which are ever increasing and very much unfulfilled due to "financial constraints", the judiciary‘s top leaders prefer to spend their time and efforts on selecting, from among their favorite groups of civil legal service providers, which of those groups shall receive budgeted judiciary funds which now total some 70 million dollars a year! How very vastly absurd! And if you think that neither the Chief Judge nor the other top ranking judicial officials, like the board of judges, would ever act in an unconstitutional manner, think again. Just last week, the Appellate Division, Third Department declared a policy rule adopted by the board of judges aimed at removing the certification eligibility of double dipping judges, unconstitutional and violative of state and federal statutes. Cant‘ wait for the change that‘s coming in 2016.

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