Friday, March 25, 2011

Governor Cuomo! Are you taking our Judicial Hearing Officers away?

Full disclosure:  I am a fiscal conservative and strongly supportive of our Governor’s strict budgetary measures.  “We need to make sacrifices.”  Indeed, I cheerfully applaud the sacrificial slaughter of our ponderous state bureaucracy; however, I strongly question the wisdom of discontinuing the Judicial Hearing Officer (“JHO”) program.  The JHOs are a group of retired judges who help the New York State Court system manage its heavy case load.  JHOs play an extremely important role in the foreclosure context as they facilitate the progress of cases in the foreclosure conference parts wherein homeowners are given an opportunity to settle with their banks via loan modifications.  JHOs also preside over traverse hearings and play an important role in the disposition of matrimonial matters.

I work closely with JHOs almost daily in each of the five boroughs of the  City of New York.  I find the JHOs to be essential to the efficient working of our court system.  To cut the JHO program would be catastrophic, and would probably make the system much more costly both to the State and to the people whom it serves.  Kings County in particular would fall apart without its JHOs.  Especial kudos to the Hon. Michael V. Ajello (JHO) of Richmond County and the Hon. Lewis Douglass (JHO), both of whom I find to be particularly helpful.

For more on the JHO issue, see article below.

Group of Hardworking Retired NY Judges Face Layoffs

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