The 2020 NYS Legislative session provides an opportunity to further improve justice for those who seek resolution of their legal matters in the NYS Family Court system. By simplifying the NYS Court system, we seek to advance better accessibility, understanding and trust in the NYS Court system.
Please visit the Simplify the Courts website for more information on the proposal to simplify the NYS courts, and on how to become a member of the coalition.
The New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges came together five years ago in 2014 to ensure that New York State provide for more resources for Family Courts, including at least 20 more Family Court Judges statewide to provide justice for families. And we were successful! Why? Because of the overwhelming power of more than 100 organizations who joined together and advocated. The NY Legislature and Governor passed a law that added 25 Family Court Judges to the New York State Courts.
The Coalition advocated for the approval of the Judiciary’s budget request and amending the Family Court Act to add more Family Court Judges will help provide more timely access to justice for New York’s children and families.
These Were the Members of the Coalition for More Family Court Judges!
- Vivian Fox, President, 1199 Child Care Corporation
- Assigned Counsel/Attorney for Children Panel, Kings County Family Court
- Association of the Assigned Counsel of Queens Family Court
- Bronx County Bar Association
- Bronx Defenders
- Bronx Family Court Bar Association
- Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project
- Brooklyn Defender Services
- CASA of Rockland County, Inc.
- CASA of the Southern Tier, Inc.
- Center for Community Justice
- Center for Family Representation
- Child & Family Services
- Child and Family Services Haven House
- Children’s Defense Fund – New York
- The Children’s Law Center
- Child Welfare Organizing Project
- Child Welfare Services, Westchester Institute for Human Development
- The Children’s Agenda
- The Children’s Aid Society
- Children’s Rights
- Citizens’ Committee for Children
- Committee for Hispanic Children and Families
- The Committee for Modern Courts
- Correctional Association of New York
- Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies
- Courts in Crisis
- Day One
- The Door
- Empire Justice Center
- Episcopal Social Services of New York
- Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence
- Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
- Forestdale, Inc.
- Good Shepherd Services
- Graham Windham
- Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York, Inc. (HALANY)
- Her Justice
- Hiscock Legal Aid Society
- Hope’s Door
- Human Services Council
- Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services
- Jewish Child Care Association
- Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York
- Lawyers For Children
- League of Women Voters of Broome and Tioga Counties
- League of Women Voters of the City of New York
- League of Women Voters of New York State (LWVNYS)
- League of Women Voters of Schenectady County
- League of Women Voters of Smithtown (Suffolk County)
- Leake and Watts
- The Legal Aid Society of New York
- Legal Information for Families Today
- The Legal Project
- Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of Western NY, Inc.
- The Lineage Project
- Long Islanders for Youth (LIFY)
- Mediation Matters
- MFY Legal Services
- National Center for Access to Justice
- The Network of Bar Leaders
- New York Asian Women’s Center
- New York Center for Juvenile Justice
- New York City Anti-Violence Project
- New York City Council General Welfare Chair, Stephen Levin
- New York Foundling
- New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)
- New York State Citizens’ Coalition to Children
- New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV)
- New York State Court Officers Association
- New York State LGBTQ Domestic Violence Network
- New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children
- Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp.
- NYU Family Defense Clinic
- The Osborne Association
- Pace Women’s Justice Center
- RISE – Broome County
- Safe Horizon
- Safe Space NYC
- St. Catherine’s Center for Children
- The Safe Center LI, Inc.
- Sanctuary for Families
- Sauti Yetu Center for African Women
- Schenectady Community Action Program, Inc.
- Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (SCAA)
- Sepa Mujer
- Staten Island Women’s Bar Association
- United Neighborhood Houses
- Unity House of Troy, Inc.
- Urban Justice Center, Domestic Violence Project
- Treat Me Right, Inc.
- Vera House, Inc.
- VIBS Family Violence & Rape Crisis Center
- Violence Intervention Program, Inc.
- Voices of Women Organizing Project (VOW)
- Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.
- Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc.
- The Washbourne House
- Westchester Children’s Association
- Western New York Law Center
- Worker Justice Center of New York, Inc.
- You Gotta Believe!
- Youth Represent
- YWCA of Northeastern New York
To join, go to our contact page and put in the subject line “Add my organization to the Coalition” or “We’d like more information on the Coalition.”
Modern Courts’ Family Court Task Force
Modern Courts’ Family Court Task Force issued a report to the Chief Judge of the State of New York calling for the major reforms to the Family Court in New York. The Family Court faces an ongoing crisis and emergency. This is especially true during unprecedented negative economic conditions that will further flood the already inadequate resources of Family Court. This Call to Action outlines recommended reforms that, when grounded upon strong leadership, can begin to deliver quality justice in a timely fashion to the families seeking relief in the Family Court.
The Task Force offers recommendations in the following areas:
- Administrative leadership
- Allocation of judicial resources
- Courtroom control and case management
- Judicial education and support
- Resources for litigants and technological solutions
Read the Report:
A Report to the Chief Judge
Recommendations for Leadership and Reform
Read the Family Court Help Center Report (white paper):
Equal access is a cornerstone principle of our judicial system. In New York Family Courts, where more than 80 percent of litigants proceed without counsel, that principle is at risk. Unrepresented litigants are often overwhelmed by legal complexities and procedural hurdles. Court staffs are not prepared (or, sometimes, permitted) to provide the assistance litigants may need. Given the critical importance of the issues addressed in Family Court, unrepresented litigants are in dire need of support.
This report examines the challenges faced by unrepresented litigants and the valuable role that help centers play in ensuring that such litigants can effectively advocate for their interests and the interests of their families and children. Broadly defined, help centers are operational systems that assist unrepresented litigants in navigating the court system.