It is my honor as the Chair of the Fund for Modern Courts to welcome you to our website. We hope you find this site to be a useful resource for understanding the New York State court system and that you read our reports, educational guides, and archival material. Modern Courts not only educates the public but also recommends solutions and builds strong coalitions. In 2023, our signature issue is to reform and simplify our complex court system from 11 separate trial courts to three, which would provide greater access to justice for all litigants. Especially with growing awareness for the importance of racial and social justice, there has never been a better time for meaningful court reform than now.
Over the past 50+ years Modern Courts has made an important impact on our judicial system. We fought against the influence of money in judicial races and secured an appointment system for our highest court, the Court of Appeals, which cemented the foundation for a truly independent judiciary. Our work on access to justice has influenced decision-makers in all three branches of government. Whether it is reporting on the unconstitutional jailing of individuals for failing to pay fines and fees, addressing the imposing presence of ICE in our courts, rejecting a second class system of justice for the family court, or recommending changes in eviction proceedings in rural and suburban courts, Modern Courts has consistently provided independent, in-depth analysis on vital issues as well as the leadership needed for concerned citizens to make a difference.
Please join us in our effort to support and improve the New York State court system.