The Fund For Modern Courts

blind-justice-300The Fund for Modern Courts is an independent, statewide court reform organization committed to improving the judicial system for all New Yorkers. The Fund for Modern Courts was founded in 1955  by concerned citizens, prominent lawyers, and business leaders. Modern Courts strives to improve the administration and quality of justice in our courts. By building relationships with legal service and advocacy organizations, community members, bar associations and state and local governments, Modern Courts works with those who want to ensure an independent, diverse and highly qualified judiciary and provide equal access to justice for all New Yorkers.

It is the only organization in New York State devoted exclusively to improving the judicial system.

Amending the Judiciary Article of the NYS Constitution

On Election Day (November 7, 2017), New Yorkers voted against holding a  Constitutional Convention.

Matters contained within the Judiciary Article (VI) of the Constitution still need improvement and may be accomplished without a Constitutional Convention.

Learn more about the Judiciary Article of the NYS Constitution.

Our ‘Immigrants and State Courts’ Website is Launched!

We have compiled a series of legal reference guides on the complex intersection of family court issues and federal immigration laws, policy, and enforcement.

These legal reference guides are created for all who use the courts. We focus on providing members of the NYS judiciary and court personnel with an accessible resource that presents the important role of state court judges. The materials are also useful for attorneys, community organizations, nonprofits, government agencies and the public.

Go to the Immigrants and State Courts website.

An Independent Judiciary is Essential to the Rule of Law

The Fund for Modern Courts believes that the President’s recent unjust criticism of a federal district court judge and his disparaging comments about the review by the United States Court of Appeals  both weakens the public’s confidence in the judiciary and undermines the rule of law. This disrespect for a co-equal branch of government threatens the constitutional principles of our democracy. Read more…

Modern Courts Releases Report : Achieving a Consistent and Legally Sound U Visa Certification Process in New York Family Courts

December 19, 2016, New York, NY – The Fund for Modern Courts today released a report entitled, Achieving a Consistent and Legally Sound U Visa Certification Process in New York Family Courts, which finds there is significant confusion within New York’s Family Court regarding the U Nonimmigrant Status (“U Visa”) certification process. The report clarifies existing applicable law and recommends ways to alleviate confusion and ensure a more consistent and predictable process for U Visa certification in the Family Court.

Achieving a Consistent and Legally Sound U Visa Certification Process in New York Family Courts: A Follow-up to Modern Courts’ 2015 Report – 2016 Read more…

Modern Courts Releases Citizens’ Court Monitoring Report on Dutchess County Family Court

Citizens’ Court Monitoring Report Dutchess County Family Court

‘Smoke-Filled Rooms’ Still Rule New York Judicial Elections

Listen to an interview with Dennis R. Hawkins, Executive Director of Modern Courts; and others on the history and the powerful role party politics has on selecting New York State judges.

WNYC Series on Judicial Elections by Kat Aaron



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