Legal Aid Society


Family Court "Transient Bench" Taking Heavy Toll on Kids

The Legal Aid Society and juvenile rights defenders throughout the city are decrying a temporary Family Court assignment process that has led to the stop-gap reappointment of Civil Court judges unfamiliar with family law and unable to perform at the same level as experts.

Critics say that the situation has in effect created a “transient bench” or rotating judges that places a heavy toll on children and families, who deserve the consistency of a single judge who has expertise in family law, as reported by the Queens Daily Eagle.

Ineffective judicial coverage can “cause ripple effects felt throughout the Family Court system,” said Dawne Mitchell, Attorney-in-Charge of the Juvenile Rights Practice at The Legal Aid Society.