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Benchmarks: Journal of the New York State Unified Court System

Summer 2006

For The Record

The article “Judge Sullivan Serves as a Multi-Hatter in Chenango County,” which appeared in our last issue, said that: “Where there is no statutory provision for the election of a Surrogate or Family Court judge for a particular county, the law provide that the County Court judge will serve in those courts as well.” Judiciary Law Article 6-A, Section 184 (2) provides that “[E]xcept where a separate surrogate has been or shall be elected, the county judge of each county outside of the city of New York shall be and serve as the judge of the surrogate’s court for his county” and refers to those “elected or appointed to the office of surrogate or county judge, where there is no separate office of surrogate” (subdiv. 3).

At the request of Dutchess County Surrogate James D. Pagones, president of the Surrogate’s Association of the State of New York, we want to clarify that Article 6, Section 12 of the New York State Constitution provides, in part, as follows:

“a. The surrogate’s court is continued in each county in the state. There shall be at least one judge of the surrogate’s court in each county and such number of additional judges of the surrogate’s court as may be provided by law.

b. The judges of the surrogate’s court shall be residents of the county and shall be chosen by the electors of the county.”

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