The 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.
This Election Day (November 7, 2017), New York voters will have the opportunity to decide whether a Constitutional Convention should be held. Voters will be asked to answer the question:
“Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?”
To help voters answer this question, Modern Courts created a web page that addresses issues concerning the courts and judiciary – matters contained within the Judiciary Article (VI) of the Constitution. While we are not taking a position on whether there should be a Constitutional Convention, we believe that, if the voters approve one, there are many ways in which the Judiciary Article could be improved.
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.
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.
Modern Courts Releases Citizens’ Court Monitoring Report on 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.