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  • State Bar Association Report Highlights Negative Impacts of Budget Cuts on State Courts

    ALBANY, NY (01/18/2012)-- Past cuts in the funding of New York's state courts are having a negative impact on families, children, civil litigants, criminal defendants, judges, attorneys and court employees, concludes a report issued today by the New York State Bar Association.

    • Family Court cases not completed during reduced court hours may be adjourned days or weeks, disrupting children and families of divorce during their time of crisis and resulting in extra delays and expenses.

    • Criminal defendants may spend extra time in jail because they can't get a timely arraignment hearing. Mandatory midday closures of the court make it harder for their attorneys to schedule settlement conferences.

    • Litigants and attorneys have expressed concern that, in some cases, jurors are cutting short deliberations and rendering "unjust" verdicts.

    • An attorney representing a client on a motion in state Supreme Court is told not to return for at least 60 days because court clerks can't find more timely openings on an overcrowded court docket.

    • People wait in long lines to get through metal detectors at some New York City courthouses at the start of the day and again after lunch, as overcrowded court dockets and reductions in court security slow the process to the point where it creates disruptions and delays in cases.

    These are just a few examples of what has been happening in courthouses across the state as a result of state cutbacks in judicial funding. The comprehensive State Bar report documents how budget cuts endanger the effectiveness and efficiency of the courts and their ability to keep up with the growing caseloads.

    Court financing has not kept up with the growing demands on our judiciary.

    The dispensation of justice -- like the construction of a courthouse -- is hardly free," the report states. "There are substantial costs to operating the judicial system -- from running courtrooms to preserving precedents. These costs are borne by the public, which wants in return a sense of confidence in our court system. However, adequate funding is necessary to ensure that 'essential' sense of confidence."

    New York's court system has experienced a 12 percent increase in the total caseload statewide during the past decade. Yet despite that increase, the state judicial budget was reduced by $170 million during the 2011-12 fiscal year after several years of flat spending. The proposed 2012-13 budget remains at essentially the same reduced level.

    "The need to provide justice to all, particularly to the disadvantaged -- though greater than ever in this economic downturn -- is not being met," the report states. "In all of these ways, recent reductions in state court funding have been very costly."

    "Court spending reductions affect real people. They affect children, who are already burdened with family strife and violence. They affect poor people and minorities. They affect businesses seeking to expeditiously resolve disputes. They affect citizens seeking nothing more from the court system than a fair and timely resolution to their legal problems," said State Bar President Vince E. Doyle III of Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo).

    The "Report of the Executive Committee on the Impact of the Recent Budget Cuts in New York State Court Funding" draws from interviews and surveys of administrative and trial judges, local bar associations, practicing attorneys and State Bar members from all 13 judicial districts. Participants were asked detailed questions about the impact of funding cuts on the courts in their respective jurisdictions.

    "Recent reductions in state court funding have been quite costly," the report observes. "Although state fiscal restraints are very real in this economy, additional and imminent investment in the state court system is necessary. It is necessary to restore a sense of confidence in the judicial system, which ultimately is priceless."

    The report identifies a number of measures, some of which already have been implemented in some jurisdictions, to help improve the operation of the courts. Among the innovations born from austerity are cross-training of court employees, development of online research tools and forms, and increased use of e-filing and teleconferencing.

    These actions are helpful, the report concludes, but they will not by themselves solve the system's overriding problems. To improve efficiency, reduce delays and case backlogs, and ensure the overall fair administration of justice, the courts need more money, more personnel and more resources.

    Comment


    • I spoke with OCA today and they are still not sure when a recruit class will go in. OCA reported that the court's negative growth budget does not provide much room for new hires. Furthermore, court officer candidates will probably have to wait until April 2013 to get in a new recruit class according to OCA.

      We have gotten screwed BIG time. Judges are getting a 27% raise, hundreds of poor court employees got laid off, and we are in limbo about a new recruit class.

      This is greed at its worst. Judges should have waited a little longer for a retroactive raise and all the laid off court employees should have been re-hired first. The judges were able to receive a raise because off the layoffs. Former court employees no longer have a way to feed their families and judges are further lining their pockets.
      This is a messed up situation for everyone affected by this nonsense!!!

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Cravan View Post
        I spoke with OCA today and they are still not sure when a recruit class will go in. OCA reported that the court's negative growth budget does not provide much room for new hires. Furthermore, court officer candidates will probably have to wait until April 2013 to get in a new recruit class according to OCA.

        We have gotten screwed BIG time. Judges are getting a 27% raise, hundreds of poor court employees got laid off, and we are in limbo about a new recruit class.

        This is greed at its worst. Judges should have waited a little longer for a retroactive raise and all the laid off court employees should have been re-hired first. The judges were able to receive a raise because off the layoffs. Former court employees no longer have a way to feed their families and judges are further lining their pockets.
        This is a messed up situation for everyone affected by this nonsense!!!
        Feel for you bro...I don't think squeezing that last class in last year would have broke the bank for OCA but it is what it is. At least you have a reserved seat for the next academy. It's great for your future but sucks short term. If you could find income short term you'll be set.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by CivilServant14 View Post
          Feel for you bro...I don't think squeezing that last class in last year would have broke the bank for OCA but it is what it is. At least you have a reserved seat for the next academy. It's great for your future but sucks short term. If you could find income short term you'll be set.
          Thanks man. I thought that by the time I finished school in May 2012 a recruit class would have been going in. I guess I was wrong.

          What is really scary is the fact that I am not guaranteed a job. I still have to pass the pre-medical hire before I go into the academy.

          Anyhow, all I can do is move forward until OCA is ready to hire.

          I would like to thank all contributors of the forum. Let's continue to support each other during these rough times.

          Cravan

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Cravan View Post
            Thanks man. I thought that by the time I finished school in May 2012 a recruit class would have been going in. I guess I was wrong.

            What is really scary is the fact that I am not guaranteed a job. I still have to pass the pre-medical hire before I go into the academy.

            Anyhow, all I can do is move forward until OCA is ready to hire.

            I would like to thank all contributors of the forum. Let's continue to support each other during these rough times.

            Cravan
            I've had bad things happen to me during my working years and have stopped analyzing (at least tried) and just figured it was meant to be for some unknown reason. Just take advantage of the time and better yourself in some way. Time goes by quickly and before you know it you'll be looking back and remembering the ups and downs before you were appointed CO.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by CivilServant14 View Post
              I've had bad things happen to me during my working years and have stopped analyzing (at least tried) and just figured it was meant to be for some unknown reason. Just take advantage of the time and better yourself in some way. Time goes by quickly and before you know it you'll be looking back and remembering the ups and downs before you were appointed CO.
              Thanks.

              Comment


              • how long have you been waiting?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by sadsack View Post
                  how long have you been waiting?
                  Since I took the exam in 2005.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Cravan View Post
                    Since I took the exam in 2005.
                    "..If he is worth something then he will try to be worth something more as is only normal in anyone who wants to get on....”
                    ― Maurice Chevalier

                    RC Its looking more and more like 2013 for you.....

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by sadsack View Post
                      "..If he is worth something then he will try to be worth something more as is only normal in anyone who wants to get on....”
                      ― Maurice Chevalier

                      RC Its looking more and more like 2013 for you.....
                      Maybe, let's see what happens.

                      Comment


                      • what line of work have you been in while you're waiting.Seems to be a pretty long time to wait for something. must be a great job.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Cravan View Post
                          Maybe, let's see what happens.
                          So you took the test in 2005, i took it 10/09. you've been waiting for 6 years? I met my investigator in january of 2011. so im looking at 2017?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by sadsack View Post
                            what line of work have you been in while you're waiting.Seems to be a pretty long time to wait for something. must be a great job.
                            I was working in the social services field. The pay sucks and it can be very stressful at times. I also applied to other law enforcement jobs, but they too have froze hiring. The long wait in hiring has to do with the bad economy.

                            Comment


                            • Depending on how high you scored and how many recruits OCA hires for the next class, you could be in the next academy.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by sadsack View Post
                                So you took the test in 2005, i took it 10/09. you've been waiting for 6 years? I met my investigator in january of 2011. so im looking at 2017?
                                Depending on how high you scored and how many recruits OCA hires for the next class, you could be in the next academy.

                                Comment

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