NY courts begin to feel effects of budget cuts
New York: New York state courts are just beginning to feel the effects of the $170 million cut to their budget for 2011's operating costs. The cuts have already resulted in the courts laying off 58 full-time and 16 temporary employees, the first time the court has downsized in 20 years. These layoffs were just a foreshadowing of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's projected 500 layoffs.
The layoffs were not the only financial measure being taken by the court to reduce costs. Courts in Western New York have had to resort to early courthouse closures, eliminating night hearings for small claims disputes and reducing contracts to social workers and charitable groups which aid the court in handling family and domestic cases. In addition, the 8th Judicial District has already cut a program which employed retired judges for jury selection, asbestos cases and other minor cases. Scott Schwartz, president of the Bar Association of Erie County, expressed his worries about the cuts, stating, "If people are looking for expeditious resolution to various civil matters, their expectations may not be met and it may result in a financial hardship under particular circumstances."
- New York Law Journal, "Budget Cuts Buffet State Court System" 4/21/2011
- Buffalo News, "Courts feel first hits of state budget cuts" 4/17/2011
|This article was written by Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod, an Assistant Staff Writer for the Federal Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at joshua.meyer-gutbrod.|