September 25, 2006
New York's Town and Village Courts: Judicial Abuses and Errors and the Failure to Curb Them
In In Tiny Courts of New York, Abuses of Law and Power, the New York Times kicks off the first of a three part series that examines New York Stat's town and village court systems.
Some of the courtrooms are not even courtrooms: tiny offices or basement rooms without a judge’s bench or jury box. Sometimes the public is not admitted, witnesses are not sworn to tell the truth, and there is no word-for-word record of the proceedings.
Nearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many — truck drivers, sewer workers or laborers — have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles. Some never got through high school, and at least one went no further than grade school.
But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York State. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse.
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[in pre-launch status, as we search for a shlep team -- can you contribute?] The New York Times started a three-part series called Broken Bench, yesterday, about the second class system of justice afforded by the justice courts of ... [Read More]
Tracked on Sep 25, 2006 10:54:28 AM
Thanks for pointing to this important article. By using the New York Times Link Generator, http://nytimes.blogspace.com/genlink, you can give it (and most NYT articles) a permanent link.
Here's the single-page permanent link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/25/nyregion/25courts.html?ei=5090&en=4701aab85cbb73bf&ex=1316836800&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all .
Posted by: david giacalone | Sep 25, 2006 9:42:03 AM