This article is about the Support Magistrates who handle the vast majority of child support cases in the Family Court.
Support magistrates play a crucial role in New York State’s family court system by handling cases related to child support and spousal support. They are appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System and are responsible for making recommendations on support orders, conducting hearings, and issuing orders. In this article, we will explore the requirements for becoming a support magistrate, the application process, the typical backgrounds of support magistrates, and the process of being reappointed. We will also provide data on the number of support magistrates in each county of New York City and the number of cases handled per year.
Requirements for Becoming a Support Magistrate
To become a support magistrate in New York State, individuals must meet certain requirements. According to the New York State Unified Court System, applicants must be admitted to practice law in New York State for at least five years or have a minimum of five years of experience in one of several relevant fields, such as accounting, social work, or finance. They must also be a resident of the county where they will serve as a support magistrate.
Application Process For Becoming A Support Magistrate
The application process for becoming a support magistrate in New York State involves submitting a formal application and undergoing a rigorous selection process. Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and several professional references, as well as complete a comprehensive application form that includes detailed information about their education, work experience, and professional qualifications. They must also undergo an extensive background check and participate in several rounds of interviews with various stakeholders, including judges, attorneys, and court administrators.
Typical Backgrounds of Magistrates
Support magistrates in New York State come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including law, finance, social work, and accounting. According to the New York State Unified Court System, many support magistrates have experience in family law or other areas of law related to children and families. Others may have a background in financial analysis or social work, which can be helpful in determining appropriate support orders.
Process of Being Reappointed
Support magistrates in New York State are appointed for a term of four years, after which they may be reappointed for another four-year term. To be reappointed, support magistrates must undergo a performance evaluation by the Office of Court Administration and receive a positive recommendation from the administrative judge of their district. They must also meet certain continuing education requirements and comply with other professional standards.
Number of Support Magistrates in Each County of New York City
The number of support magistrates in each county of New York City varies depending on the size and population of the county. According to the New York State Unified Court System, as of 2022, there were 25 support magistrates serving in Bronx County, 26 in Kings County (Brooklyn), 17 in New York County (Manhattan), 11 in Queens County, and 9 in Richmond County (Staten Island).
Number of Cases Handled per Year
Support magistrates in New York State handle a significant number of cases each year. According to the New York State Unified Court System, in 2021, there were over 333,000 child support cases filed statewide, with support magistrates handling approximately 46% of those cases. This represents a substantial workload for support magistrates, who must carefully review each case and make recommendations for support orders based on the facts and circumstances presented.
Prominent Support Magistrates
While support magistrates generally work behind the scenes to resolve disputes related to child support and spousal support, some have gained attention for their notable rulings or actions. For example, in 2021, Support Magistrate Dale Winder of Monroe County made headlines when he ruled that a man who had donated sperm to a same-sex couple was not the legal father of their child and therefore not obligated to pay child support. The ruling was considered significant as it clarified the legal rights and responsibilities of sperm donors in New York State.
Support magistrates play an important role in New York State’s family court system by handling cases related to child support and spousal support. To become a support magistrate, individuals must meet certain requirements and undergo a rigorous application process. Support magistrates come from a variety of professional backgrounds and are appointed for a term of four years, after which they may be reappointed. While many support magistrates work quietly behind the scenes to resolve disputes, some have gained attention for notable rulings or actions. As of 2022, there were approximately 88 support magistrates serving in New York City, with a substantial workload of cases to handle each year.