I If you are either a pro se litigant or an attorney who has a case in the New York Family Court, you may be uncertain how the Family Court handles electronic evidence, such as emails, text messages, and Facebook instant messages at trial. As a general rule, technology advances, particularly advances in digital data …
New York Family Court
The family court was establsihed in 1962 as a court of limited jurisdiction that hears only certain types of cases, which include child custody, child support, neglect, paternity, family offfense, termination of parental rights, Juvenile Delinquency, PINS, and guardianship cases.
The family court uses somewhat simplified procedures and is centered upon the needs and welfare of children and victims of domestic violence.
The powers of the Family Court as wll as its special rules of proedure and evidence, are set out in the Family Court Act.
Each county has its own Family Court, which is staffed by an administrative judge , family court judges, along with referees, support magistrates, court attorneys, and support staff. The total number of FAmily Court Judges for the state is set by Statute. In the larger Counties of New York City, judges specialize in one type of case, such as Neglect or Juvenile Delinquency cases.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Family Courts in New York City became, for some years, more security conscious, wiht concrete barriers put up to protect against potential car bomb attacks, and with court orfficers armed with assault weapons and bullet proof vests.
Since the Covid pandemic the family court has gained the ability to conduct cases and trials virtually using Microsoft Teams.
Most of the courthouses that house the Family Court also have offices for various city and state agencies, such as Corporation Counsel, DSS, MHS , ACS, the Legal Aid Society, Safe Horizons, and others, depending on the borough or county.