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 four million new cases are filed in the New York State Courts.
The Judiciary’s State Operating Funds Budget requests $2.18 billion, excluding fringe benefits, for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. This represents a cash increase of $42.7 million, or 2 percent. This increase will be dedicated to providing the courts with the resources they need to improve core 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 back office positions that are critical to providing a high level of service to the public. With the requested increase, staffing in these titles will be able to be increased by 200 positions over the current level. The Judiciary would also be able to start incrementally restoring support to a number of programs that were cut back beginning in 2009. For example, increasing evening hours for small claims court, providing additional funding for the Justice Court Assistance program (JCAP), and increasing funding for Community Dispute Resolution Centers and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program. All of these efforts are targeted to enhance service to the public and help the Judiciary achieve excellence in everything that it does.
Also requested in the Judiciary’s 2017-18 Budget, is a $15 million capital appropriation to be used to purchase technology and security equipment. The technology initiatives that will be supported include modernization of the Judiciary’s Wide Area Network – CourtNet – that connects to every courthouse and court office in the state, and acquisition of the Justice Court Case Management System which the Judiciary would maintain and provide to Justice Courts at no cost. The security initiatives that would be supported include the acquisition of bullet proof vests and the replacement of magnetometers and x-ray scanning machines.
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.