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July 26: Message from Chief Judge DiFiore

Video available with Captioning | Transcript of the Chief Judge's Message

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Latest News:

July 28, 2021
NYS Courts to Implement New Protocols in Response to Rise in COVID Cases

Albany Family Court Hosts Interns from Girls Inc.
June 29, 2021
Albany County Family Juvenile Treatment Court
Albany, New York

AlbanyFamilyCourtPhoto: from left to right, Sasha Post-Lais, an incoming Senior at Albany High School; Judge Susan Kushner, Albany County Family Court and Jasleen Saini, an incoming Junior at Shenendehowa High School.

On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, Albany Family Court took a moment to highlight the participation of two interns from the Girls Inc. Program of the Greater Capital Region.

The interns who come from local area high schools have been learning the various functions of the court over the last several weeks. Albany Family Court has accepted interns from the Girls Inc. Program for the last six years. As part of a national organization, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region is part of a leading advocacy organization that informs the community and policymakers about the unique issues facing girls today. The program looks to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold and to build skills and capabilities for a responsible, confident, and self-sufficient adulthood.

Their internship culminates in a large event and luncheon at the SUNY/Albany Performing Arts Center, where each intern presents on their experience. Their internship will conclude at the end of July.


Stewart’s Shops Donate Free Ice Cream Cone Coupons for Juvenile Court Attendees
June 29, 2021
Albany County Family Juvenile Treatment Court
Albany, New York

AlbanyFamilyCourtPhoto: From left to right: Gary Sagendorf, Central Management Unit Liaison; Robert Franklin, Asst. County Attorney; Jeff Berkun, Attorney for the Children; Sheila Jackson, Juvenile Drug Court Coordinator; Hon. Sue Kushner, Presiding Judge; Craig Richards, Juvenile Treatment Court Case Manager; Ashley Lombardo, Children’s Mental Health Services; Kathleen Schlegel, Adolescent Services Department of Children Youth and Families and Michael Mazzeo, Probation.

On June 29, 2021, Stewart’s Shops made a generous donation of 200 single scoop ice cream cone coupons to the Albany County Juvenile Treatment Court. They will be used as an incentive and to reward participants who are eligible to attend this Problem-Solving Court.

The mission of the Albany County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court is to reduce criminal behavior and treat alcohol and other substance abuse for non-violent juvenile offenders. It offers court-supervised, strength-based treatment and services while at the same time providing for public safety. The goal of the court is to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for participants to become responsible citizens.


Nassau County Judges Tour Site of New Family Court
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Mineola, New York

NassauFamilyCourtPhoto: Left to right: Robert Labaw, DPW – Chief Architect; Joseph Amerigo, DPW – Project Manager; Hon. Ellen R. Greenberg, Supervising Judge of the Nassau County Family Court; Hon. Norman St. George, Administrative Judge of Nassau County; Hon. Jeffrey A. Goodstein, Supervising Judge of the Nassau County Supreme Court Matrimonial Center; John Chiara, Acting Nassau County Attorney: Brian J. Schneider, Deputy County Executive for Parks and Public Works; Kenneth Arnold, DPW- Commissioner and Elisa Picca, DPW, Chief Deputy Commissioner

On Thursday, July 8, 2021, The Hon. Norman St. George, Administrative Judge of the 10th Judicial District, Nassau County, Supervising judges of the Family Court and Matrimonial Center and Nassau County officials, toured the construction site of what is soon to be the new Nassau County Family Court and Matrimonial Center.

The new building, which formerly housed Nassau County Social Services, is being retrofitted to provide a modern court environment to meet the needs of Nassau County court-users. The new facility will also house several Nassau County agencies. The new Family Court will now be part of the Nassau County Court campus in Mineola along with the Nassau County Supreme Court, Nassau County Court, and the Surrogate’s Court. The new facility will provide ample parking and is accessible by public transportation.


Fifth JD Promotes Remote Access to the Courts

5thCelebratesRemotePhoto: (L-R) Jean Marie Westlake, Esq., President of the Onondaga County Bar Association Foundation; Hon. James P. Murphy, Administrative Judge of the Fifth Judicial District; and Pastor Alberta Abrams at the Virtual Court Access Program at Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Syracuse, NY

As part of the court system’s continuing commitment to bridge the “digital divide,” Fifth Judicial District Administrative Judge James P. Murphy announced a Virtual Court Access Program for Syracuse area residents who lack the tools to participate in virtual court matters. Now, residents can connect with the courts in any of six locations in the Syracuse area, including the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and Interfaith Works. Each site is equipped with a computer, microphone, scanner and printer. Volunteers provide technical assistance and ensure that the court system’s COVID-19 safety protocols are observed.

NYSCO HockeyPhoto 2: (L-R) Donald C. Doerr, Esq., District Executive of the 5th Judicial District; Jean Marie Westlake; Pastor Alberta Abrams; Justice James P. Murphy; Tonya Younis, Deputy Chief Clerk of Onondaga County Family Court; Olive Sephuma, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Interfaith Works of CNY; Adol Mayen, Pro Bono Coordinator, Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.; Colby Ward, I.T. Coordinator/ Office and Building Coordinator, Interfaith Works of CNY, at the opening of the 5th Judicial District’s Virtual Court Access Program at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.

The Virtual Court Access Program is a partnership of the faith-based community, not- for-profit organizations, county government and legal services providers, including: Onondaga County Bar Foundation; Interfaith Works of CNY; Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.; Peace, Inc.; Center for Community Alternative; Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon; Onondaga County Public Libraires; Legal Services of Central New York; Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc.; Human Services Leadership Council; Hiscock Legal Aid; and Syracuse University College of Law.


July 7, 2021 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named in the 8th Judicial District


July 7, 2021 - Press Release
NYS Judicial Institute Dean Named


June 17, 2021 - Press Release
New Mt. Vernon Court Targets Young Adult Offenders


New York State Court Officers Hockey Team Wins 2021 Heroes Cup
Sunday, June 13, 2021
New England Sports Center, Marlborough, Massachusetts

NYSCO Hockey

On Sunday, June 13, 2021 the members of the New York State Court Officers Hockey team won the 2021 Heroes Cup Championship. The Heroes Cup is a weekend-long charity hockey tournament that draws hundreds of law enforcement, military, veterans, fire, and emergency medical service hockey teams from across the country.

The New York State Court Officers Hockey Team is made up of court officers and court staff from courts across New York State. The team won its semifinal playoff game before ultimately triumphing in the 2021 Heroes Cup Division Championship Game. They compiled a 5-0 record as 2021 Heroes Cup Division Champion.

The 2021 Heroes Cup Division Champion NYS Court Officers Hockey Team members are:

  • Paul Bahjour (Captain), Richmond County Criminal Court
  • Chris Biamonte, Nassau County Supreme Court
  • Joseph Burley, St. Lawrence County Court
  • Nick Cahill, Suffolk County Court
  • Matthew Coseo, Saratoga County Surrogate's Court
  • Joseph Gallagher, Bronx County Family Court
  • Rich Hahn, King's County Supreme Court Civil Term
  • Chris Heyne, Richmond County Supreme Court
  • Thomas Kenniff, United States Air Force
  • Brian Lynch (Alt. Captain), Suffolk County Court
  • John Mendocino, Kings County Supreme Court Criminal Term
  • Peter Nawrocki, Nassau County Family Court
  • Andrew Proler, Saratoga County Public Defender's Office
  • Nick Thorgersen, Richmond County Supreme Court Criminal Term

The New York State Court Officers Hockey Team was proud to represent both the Unified Court System and the Three Strohm Sisters Family Foundation founded by New York State Court Officer-Lieutenant Edward Strohm in its campaign for cancer research.


June 14, 2021 - Mask Policy Program, Revised

New Family Court Opens in New Rochelle
Thursday, June 10, 2021
26 Garden Street, New Rochelle

Judge Kathie E. Davidson and Westchester County Executive George Latimer cut the purplse ribbon.
Photo: Ribbon cutting-center L to R, Judge Kathie E. Davidson and Westchester County Executive George Latimer

On Thursday, June 10, 2021, in a ribbon cutting ceremony, Ninth Judicial District Administrative Judge the Hon. Kathie E. Davidson and Westchester County Executive George Latimer unveiled a state-of-the-art Family Court facility at 26 Garden Street in New Rochelle, adjacent to the city’s transportation hub.

The new, New Rochelle Family Court occupies the third and fourth floors of a six floor building and has two courtrooms, three hearing rooms, judge’s chambers, offices for non-judicial staff as well as for staff from the Office for Women, Department of Probation and other County agencies. The 35,000 square foot space features the latest technology and equipment, from assisted-listening capabilities to HVAC systems that provide for a good fresh-air ratio.

Courtroom inside the New Rochelle Family Court
Photo: Courtroom inside the New Rochelle Family Court

New Rochelle Family Court is one of three family courts in Westchester County, along with courts in White Plains and Yonkers. These courts hear cases involving children and families, including child neglect, child custody and support, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, adoption and guardianship, among other matters.


Monday, May 24, 2021
Full Staffing In All Court Facilities Resumes Statewide

Courts in New York State

masked person behind cashier's window
Photo: New York Criminal and Supreme Court

On Monday, May 24, 2021, all 16,000 members of New York State’s Judiciary returned to full staffing in all courthouses and other court facilities throughout New York State. This comes fifteen months after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the court system to shift to video-linked virtual courtrooms for most proceedings and drastically reduced courthouse activity.

The return to court, however, does not mean a return to the way the system operated before the pandemic. All health and safety protocols will continue including COVID-19 screenings, mandatory masking and social distancing, acrylic barriers, and strict cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

court officer and members of public by magnetometers
Photo: Kings County Supreme Court

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has said that the decision to return to full staffing is being done to support the fuller resumption of court operations, including jury trials and other proceedings in the courts. However, it does not mean a return to the densely crowded courthouses of pre-COVID days. The plan is to limit the number of people physically present in the courthouses by relying on remote technology and virtual appearances to hear those matters not requiring the physical presence of lawyers and litigants.

office workers wearing masks
Photo: Nassau County Supreme Court

In the continuing effort to provide vaccinations, the court system has partnered with New York City to provide pop-up vaccination sites on Monday, May 24th and Tuesday, May 25th. The sites are near our courthouses in three boroughs, Queens (Borough Hall Plaza), Staten Island (26 Central Avenue) and the Bronx (Lou Gehrig Plaza) and will operate from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on both days.

people standing around table
Photo: Ontario County Court

As with vaccination appointments scheduled elsewhere, employees are entitled to excused leave of up to 3.5 hours for this purpose. There will be a person at the pop-up site who can answer any employee’s questions about the vaccines.

Photo of Staten Island Vaccination Site
Photo: Pop Up Vaccination Site, Staten Island Criminal Court.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021
New Court Officer Recruit Class
New York State Captain William H. Thompson, Sergeant Thomas Jurgens, Sergeant Mitchel Wallace Court Officers Academy Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Photo of Court Officer Academy candidates receiving temperature checks
Photo: Court Officer Academy candidate receiving temperature check prior to sitting down to take the psychological exam.

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, it was announced that a new Court Officer Academy class will commence training on September 7, 2021. The class of up to seventy recruits will train at the academy’s facility at Castleton-On-Hudson. All will be required to be fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus prior to the start of training.

Several Court Officer candidates came to the New York State Captain William H. Thompson, Sergeant Thomas Jurgens, Sergeant Mitchel Wallace Court Officers Academy in Brooklyn to take the required psychological examination, part of the selection process before being chosen for the new academy class.

The rigorous, four-month basic training regimen for Court Officer-Trainees includes classroom instruction on criminal law, civil law, family law, constitutional law and arrest procedures, along with training in such areas as intermediary weapons including baton, pepper spray and firearms; proper use of force; first aid, CPR and basic life support; crowd control; tactical communications; domestic violence awareness and mandatory reporting obligations.

Graduating officers will be assigned to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Judicial Districts outside of New York City.

Photo of Court Officer Academy candidates taking exams. Photo: Court Officer Academy candidates taking exams.


May 18, 2021 - Press Release
Elder Justice Resource Guide Now Available Online

May 17, 2021 - Press Release
NY Courts Proceed with Implementation of Proposals from Special Adviser on Equal Justice in the Courts

May 7, 2021 - Press Release
New Access-to-Justice Initiative Launched in Albany

May 3, 2021
Law Day 2021 Poster

Law Day 2021 Program



Mar. 2020 to Apr. 2021
Photo of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore

"The New York State Court System provides essential justice services to the people of the State of New York. As we resume in-person operations Statewide to include non-essential matters, all essential functions of the courts remain available to ensure that New Yorkers may access the justice system during this extremely challenging time."
- Chief Judge DiFiore

NEW: Credit Card Service Fee, Eff. April 1, 2021

If you have specific questions about your juror service, a case already in court, or you need to start a court case, call: the Coronavirus Telephone Hotline: 833-503-0447.

If you have been summoned for juror service see your County's Commissioner of Jurors website for reporting instructions.

TEMPORARY ORDERS OF PROTECTION issued in any court of the New York State Unified Court System which were due to expire on or after March 19, 2020 have been extended and are considered still in effect until parties are otherwise notified.  If you have had an Order of Protection issued against you and it expired on or after March 19, it is still in effect until you are otherwise notified and you must continue to obey all conditions of that Order .

Parties will be advised of rescheduled Court dates when normal court business resumes.

Questions about the status of a particular case should be made to the court, at telephone numbers listed at the Court Locator. However, please be advised that, during this health emergency, communications may sometimes be difficult.