NY: Trial judges would have 9 months to make decisions or be forced out of office

A deadline-to-decide bill filed in the New York Assembly last year (AB 8408 of 2014 discussed here) has been reintroduced as AB 701 of 2015. If adopted, the bill would compel trial judges to make decisions within 9 months or face removal from office.

Under the bill judges considering motions or verdicts in non-jury trials would have 9 months from submission of the motion/case to render an opinion. Failure to meet the 9 month deadline would result in the clerk of the court reporting the delay to the state’s State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The Commission would be required to remove a judge from office if

  • the judge failed to meet the 9-month deadlines 5 times or more
  • took longer than 2 years to render a decision in any one case/motion

In addition if passed AB 701 would give all judges 6 months from enactment to render decisions in all pending matters over the new 9-month deadline.

AB 701 is currently before the Assembly Judiciary Committee.