New York

State/Local Funding

  • The New York Judiciary is a state funded system. 
  • The state pays for the Appellate Courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts and for the salaries of trial court judges, support staff and clerical staff.  The state pays for technology equipment and the operating expenses for the courts and for local courthouses and equipment.

State Revenue and Appropriations

  • New York’s total state and federal grant appropriation was increased from $2.536 billion in FY12 to $2.539 billion in FY13.  The state general fund appropriation decreased from $2.305 billion to $2.301 billion; the percent of the state general fund appropriation allocated to the Judiciary remained at approximately 2%.
  • The FY13 budget includes additional funds for civil legal services.
  • The budget situation in the next three years is likely to get worse.

Funding Principles for Judicial Administration

  • The judicial branch presents the judiciary’s budget request directly to the legislative body without prior approval by the executive branch.
  • The judicial branch has budget authority to manage and administer appropriated funds without restrictions of detailed budget line items.
  • The FY13 budget does not enable the courts to provide nor enhance necessary technology to meet the demands of the public. 
  • The introduction of technologies has enabled the courts and others to provide and receive enhanced court services.

Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times

Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses: 

Over the past four years, the number of judges has remained the same.  The number of trial court staff has been reduced by 10% and the number of central office staff has been reduced by 10%; trial court operating expenses have remained the same.    In the coming year, the number of trial court  and central office staff persons will continue to be down 10%.

Compensation:  Over the past four years, salaries of judges and court staff have been frozen.

Service Reductions: 

  • Over the past four years, the New York courts have reduced hours of operation, had staff layoffs and have delayed filling vacancies in the clerks’ offices and in judicial support positions.  They have reduced the use of retired judges. 
  • These reductions in court services have resulted in reduced service to the public, limited access to court services, increased delays and backlogs and court counters remained closed to the public in some districts.

Reports and Articles

Gavel to Gavel

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