MALONE — Franklin County residents will get a second Family Court judge under a new law passed Thursday by the State Legislature.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the measure, which came seven years after a committee recommended that 39 judges be added to the state’s Family Court system.
The State Legislature’s agreement adds 25 judgeships across the state, and candidates for a majority of them will go up for vote this fall, including the one who will serve in Franklin County, said Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury).
'STRAIN ON SYSTEM'
There has been only one judge, Robert G. Main Jr., to preside over all cases in the Criminal Court, Surrogate Court and Family Court in Franklin County.
A handful of judges from neighboring counties serve here as acting judges when heavier caseloads warrant it or a conflict of interest arises.
“The number of Family Court cases and their complexity has put a tremendous strain on the judicial system,” Little said in a news release.
“When justice is delayed, families — especially children — are unfairly impacted, and bad situations can be made worse,” she said.
“This is the first major addition of Family Court judges in three decades.”
SALARY SET BY LAW
The new judge’s salary will be $119,800, according to state law.
New York State Bar Association President Glenn Lau-Kee said in a news release that creating the judgeships was long overdue.
“Circumstances that bring a child to Family Court, such as adoption, custody or delinquency, are fraught with emotion,” he said. “By seeking to increase resources for the courts, this bill will help children move ahead with their lives.
“We urge Gov. Cuomo to sign the authorization bill without delay."
The 10 other counties electing new Family Court judges this fall are Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Nassau, Oneida, Oswego, Schenectady, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester.
Nine judges will be added in New York City, and five counties — Warren, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie and Monroe — will elect new judges in November 2015 to take office on Jan. 1, 2016.
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