Justice Made Local: The Future of Town and Village Courts in New York State: A Report by the Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts

September 2008
A special commission appointed by Hon. Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the Courts in the State of New York, has issued a Report: Justice Most Local, The Future of Town and Village Courts in New York State, which recommends a significant consolidation of the “centuries-old” local court system.

Am excerpt from the Overview of Findings section of the Executive Summary”

At bottom, we believe that immediate action must be taken to cure serious inefficiencies in the organization of the courts; to deter due process violations and other legal errors; and to cease the continued use of facilities that are unsafe and unfit for twenty-first century courts.

To this end, we set forth in this report proposals that we believe will fundamentally address the flaws and criticisms that have plagued the Justice Courts for over one hundred years. We believe that, unlike the reform proposals offered in past generations, these proposals are pragmatic and politically realistic enough to be accomplished in the immediate future. This is because, in contrast with most of the recommendations that have come before, ours do not require a complete dismantling of the Justice Court system, amendment of the State Constitution or elimination of non-attorney justices – steps that most members believe may be desirable in an ideal world, but that have politically doomed generations of past reforms. Instead, as discussed below, we believe that the necessary reforms should and can be achieved swiftly and effectively within the general framework of the existing system, thus avoiding many of the obstacles and intransigence that have stymied improvement for so many years.”

The Report

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