New York Family Court System's Golden Anniversary
New York's family court system was created fifty years ago to help lower individuals' costs when undergoing family litigation and allow for more accessible advocacy for those entering an unfamiliar and often daunting legal arena. The Council on Children and the Committees on Family Court and Family Law, Domestic Violence, Children and the Law, and Juvenile Justice and the are sponsoring a program and reception on September 20th at 6:00 pm to celebrate the founding of New York's Family Court, with Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman as keynote speaker, a panel with the former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, New York City Administrative Judge Edwina-Richardson-Mendelson and Family Court Judge Carol Sherman and a featured video about the Family Court with interviews from court personnel, attorneys and judges.
The Domestic Violence Committee is Seeking Members
In the upcoming year the Domestic Violence Committee will be working on a number of projects which include training, outreach and legislation. Along with the Committee on Sex and Law, the Committee will train lawyers to make presentations in area high schools for students on dating and sexual violence. The Committee plans to address domestic violence as an international human rights violation and will continue to monitor proposed legislation at the city and state level, and comment on legislation affecting domestic violence victims. Meetings will include brainstorming ideas for additional program topics. If you are interested in applying please contact the Chair, Anna Ognibene, at AOgnibene@inmotiononline.org.
Custodial Rights to Relatives of Parents
The Committee on Matrimonial Law expressed opposition to A.10218A/S.1749C, which would amend the Domestic Relations Law to extend the right to petition for custodial rights to the parents’ relatives within the third degree of consanguinity. While the Committee supports the bill’s intent to ensure that children are protected from the trauma of being placed in the foster care system when there are relatives who can provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child, the Committee notes that the bill is overly broad in scope, would further burden the court system, and provides an opportunity for exploitation of the legal process by family members in situations where the child is living with both parents in an intact marriage, and in circumstances where custody is shared by the child’s parents.
Victims of Domestic Violence
The Committee on Domestic Violence gave testimony before the New York State Democratic Conference Public Forum urging the Legislature to support various bills which concern victims of domestic violence, including legislation that would address the issue of housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence, as well as legislation addressing the sentencing of victims who are convicted of committing crimes where abuse was a significant contributing factor to the criminal behavior.
Qualified Domestic Trusts
In a joint report, the Committees on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts and Estate and Gift Taxation expressed support for A.9481/S.6649, which would simplify the procedure for obtaining a marital deduction for a disposition to a non-US citizen surviving spouse, by providing that where a federal estate tax return is not required to be filed, it is not necessary to create a Qualified Domestic Trust in order to obtain the New York State estate tax marital deduction for transfers to a non-citizen spouse, if the disposition would otherwise qualify for the federal estate tax marital deduction.
Committee Involvement--It's Never too Late
Committees are how the City Bar’s work gets done. Working on a committee can give you great experience while opening up a number of career doors, some you may not even anticipate.
A full list of the City Bar committees along with a brief description of each and an application form can be found on the City Bar’s website. As a number of City Bar committees have more applicants than available slots, please consider applying to more than one committee.