Agency Web Site: http://www.nycourts.gov/
The Judiciary is one of the three branches of New York State government. The mission of the Judiciary is to provide a forum for the fair and prompt resolution of civil and family disputes, criminal charges, disputes between citizens and the state, and challenges to government action. Other matters within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary are administration of decedents' estates, presiding over adoptions and proceedings to protect children and incapacitated persons, and regulation of the admission of lawyers to the Bar and their conduct and discipline. Each year nearly 3.5 million new cases are filed in the New York State Courts.
The Judiciary’s State Operating Funds Budget requests $2.23 billion, excluding fringe benefits, for FY 2019. This represents a cash increase of $44.4 million, or 2 percent. This increase will be dedicated to providing the courts with the resources they need to improve court operations, toward the goal of achieving excellence. With the requested increase, the Judiciary will be able to continue its efforts to ensure adequate court staffing, especially in clerk, court officer, interpreter, court reporter and other courtroom and back office positions that are critical to providing a high level of service to the public. The Judiciary would also be able to continue to incrementally restore support to a number of programs that were cut back due to budget constraints in prior years. For example, increased funding would be provided for such programs as the Justice Court Assistance Program (JCAP), Community Dispute Resolution Centers and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program. Further, the budget includes additional funding for the Attorney for the Child program, due to the anticipated increase in the cost of legal representation in Family Court resulting from the Raise the Age legislation.
Also requested in the Judiciary’s FY 2019 Budget, is an $18 million capital appropriation to allow for the modernization of infrastructure necessary to support efficient court operations. The majority of the funding would support the second year of a multi-year plan to modernize the Judiciary’s computer network. In addition, support is sought for the second year of modernization of critical security equipment, including x-ray scanning machines, magnetometers, security cameras and access control systems. Finally, funding is requested for digitization of paper records to reduce the amount of valuable court space needed for records storage, and to preserve important court records.
The Judiciary’s Budget submission is the product of the careful balancing of the Judiciary’s commitment to be a faithful steward of public monies and its fundamental duty to meet the justice needs of New Yorkers to the best of its ability. It seeks only the funding essential to ensure that the courts have the resources they need to fulfill their constitutional obligations.