Judicial Branch at New York State

The Judicial branch under discussion on this paper is the Court of Appeals of the State of New York. The Court of Appeals, is the highest court in New York. The Courts of Appeals is comprised of a Chief Judge and six Associate Judges with each judge serving a 14-year term. The mandatory retirement age for the judge in this court is 70 years old. Appointment to serve in the court is through an appointment by the Governor from a list provided by the Commission on Judicial Nomination. The appointment is subject to approval by the State Senate. The chief judge is in charge of the seven-judge serving in the Court of Appeals. The Chief Judge is responsible of overseeing the entire State’s court system and also served as a member of the Judicial conference of the State of New York. Serving in this court currently as, Janet DiFiore as the Chief Judge of the court. The current associate judges to the court include Jenny Rivera, Leslie Stein, Eugen Fahey, Michael Garcia, Rowan Wilson, and Paul Feinman. 

The Courts of Appeal at New York deals with a wide range of issues of laws and has no jurisdictional limitation. The New York’s State Courts of Appeal has the final world on the cases it handles in the state unless the cases entail a Federal component calling for the contribution of the Supreme Court of the United States for the final decision. Matters that are presented at the New York Courts of appeal are often heard by two lower courts, i.e. a trial court and the appellate division. Appeals that are forwarded to this case are mainly sourced from the four departments of the New York Supreme Court (Klein, 2011). In some cases, the ability to appeal is a right which in others, permission must first be sought for appeal to be obtained. For civil cases, it is observed that the Appellate Division Panel or Court of Appeals votes on whether to allow an appeal. In criminal cases, the petition for appeal is dealt with by a single justice or judge, whose decision is considered to be final. Only in few instances can an appeal be moved from a court of first instance to the Court of Appeals thereby bypassing the Appellate Division. Such direct appeals are authorized in civil cases where the matter at hand is the constitutionality of a federal or state statute. Where the issue is a criminal case a direct appeal in compulsory where a death sentence is imposed. It is important to note that this issue is no longer relevant in New York as the law on death penalty was regarded as unconstitutional. Decisions made at the Court of Appeals have a binding authority on the lower courts in state and also bears a persuasive authority for itself in later cases. All the opinions, memorandum, and motions of Court of Appeals are published in the New York Reports. 

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Among the public issues that the New York State Court of appeals deals with include; conflict of laws, statutory interpretation, contracts, corporations, criminal laws and tort. A case the court dealt with on conflict of laws was Babcock v Jackson where it held that the law of the jurisdiction governs that bears the strongest interest in the resolution of issues presented. IN the statutory interpretation, the court decided a case, Riggs v. Palmer where it applied the social purpose rule of statutory development in the interpretation of will. In relation to contract law, an example of law by the court include Jacob & Youngs v Kent where it held that expectation damages from a breach of contract are limited to the diminution of the property’s value where the undoing of the breach was an economic waste. It has been observed that the in the recent past, the Court has written opinions in approximately 175 cases, decided over 1200 motions for leave to appeal for civil cases and 2800 criminal leave applications. 

The current judges serving at the New York State Court of Appeal have been appointed by Governor Mario. This implies hat the court has an opportunity for the governor to have legal imprint through decisions affecting the New Yorkers that will be determined through the court. It is observed that the New York court is likely to offer more protection and liberties than the US supreme court. The current selection of judges as been viewed as being comprised of coherent drawing members bearing Democrats and Republican background, with experience in law enforcement and defendant’s rights and striking a balance in ethnic and regional diversity. The New York State’s Court of Appeal has made a number of landmark judgements. Among such case is the ruling that police are not allowed to attach a GPS device to an individual without a warrant. This was later affirmed by the US Supreme Court that reached a similar decision after the state rulings. New York has a more robust laws that are stronger than the provisions under the federal statutes.

ReferencesKlein, A. (2011). Annual Report of the Clerk of the Court to the Judges of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York. Retrieved from https://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/news/annrpt/AnnRpt2011.pdf

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