FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia 212-267-6646, ext. 225, email@example.com
NYCLA ADOPTS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE HOUSING COURT
NOVEMBER 6, 2008 – NEW YORK, NY – The New York County Lawyers’ Association’s (NYCLA) Board of Directors has adopted the Report and Recommendations on the Housing Court prepared by NYCLA’s Task Force on Judicial Selection’s Housing Court Subcommittee. The Task Force is co-chaired by Hon. Margaret J. Finerty and Susan B. Lindenauer; Paula Galowitz chaired the Subcommittee. The report proposes a number of reforms and revisions designed to better enable the Advisory Council and the Housing Court to perform their critical roles for the residents of New York City.
Subcommittee members examined the statutory framework of the Housing Court. They investigated the appointment and reappointment process of Housing Court judges and issues related to the Advisory Council (the statutory body involved in the selection and reappointment of Housing Court Judges), the training of Housing Court judges and the disciplinary process for them. Recommendations addressed to the New York State Unified Court system included:
The process for making recommendations for membership on the Advisory Council should be more fully articulated and better publicized.
The qualifications to serve as a public-at-large member or a civic group member on the Advisory Council should be better defined.
Advisory Council members should be appointed to staggered terms to allow for new, as well as more experienced, people to commence service at the beginning of each calendar year. The report recommended that in the future one-third of the 12 members appointed by the Administrative Judge be appointed each year.
The Advisory Council should meet its statutory requirements to issue an Annual Report.
The Advisory Council should adopt clearly articulated criteria to assess whether a candidate has the attributes necessary to be a Housing Court Judge.
As part of its evaluation of Housing Court Judges for reappointment, the Advisory Council should adopt clearly articulated criteria to assess whether the Housing Court Judge should be reappointed.
Recommendations addressed to the New York Legislature were:
The salary for Housing Court judges should be increased to the same salary as that of Civil Court and Criminal Court judges.
Serious consideration should be given to increasing the term of office for Housing Court judges to a longer term on reappointment (with the initial term remaining at five years).
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual identity. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
Please Note: To download a copy of the Report, go to NYCLA’s homepage at www.nycla.org and scroll down to the News section.