David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
Date: June 19, 2006
Strengthening the Local Justice Courts:
NEW YORK - Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced that the New York State court system will develop and implement an action plan for improving the operations of New York’s town and village justice courts. The action plan will focus in particular on problems highlighted in a report recently issued by the New York State Comptroller’s Office that identified the mishandling of money in 11 of 32 justice courts audited.
“Although the town and village justice courts are locally funded and staffed, they are an essential part of our state’s justice system,” said Judge Lippman. “We are committed to ensuring that these courts meet the most rigorous standards in budgetary management and operations.”
Judge Lippman added, “We have carefully studied the State Comptroller’s report and take very seriously the concerns raised. We are resolved to addressing any areas of weakness revealed by these audits and, to this end, are expeditiously formulating an action plan, to begin implementation within the next 90 days.”
The action plan will be developed by Lawrence Marks, Esq., Administrative Director of the Office of Court Administration, and Ronald Younkins, Esq., Chief of Operations of the Office of Court Administration. Mr. Marks and Mr. Younkins will be assisted by an advisory group consisting of sitting judges of town and village courts, leaders of the New York State Magistrates Association and other experts on New York’s justice courts.
New York has more than 1,300 town and village courts, presided over by more than 2,000 judges. They operate in all areas of New York except New York City, and hear civil and criminal cases, adjudicate misdemeanors, minor offense and traffic violations, and arraign all criminal matters.
The members of the advisory group are as follows:
Hon. Thomas R. Dias
Maryrita Dobiel, Esq.
Hon. David O. Fuller, Jr.
Hon. Diane Lufkin Schilling
Hon. Paul G. Toomey