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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Top Judges Propose Comprehensive Reform of NY Town and Village Courts

In the newly released Action Plan for the Justice
Courts (PDF), Chief Judge Judith Kaye and Chief
Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman propose
a comprehensive overhaul of New York town and
village courts.

The plan calls for: the appointment of supervising
judges for the state's local courts; improved training
for town and village judges; implementation of
upgrading technology in court office; recording devices
in every local court; improved oversight of revenue
collected by courts; and, better security for courtrooms.
The State Judiciary has asked for ten million dollars
in its 2007-2008 budget to fund the proposal.

According to today's Rochester Democrat and
Chronicle, the proposal is being applauded by
local judges, many of whom are eager for additional
training that will help them avoid censure or removal
by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. According to
the Democrat and Chronicle article, the commission has
moved to remove 151 judges, publicly censured 254 judges,
and admonished 210 judges since 1978.