Fund for Modern Courts is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization
dedicated to improving the administration of justice in NewYork.
Founded in 1955, and led by concerned citizens, prominent lawyers,
and leaders of the business community, Modern Courts works to make
the court system more accessible, efficient, and user-friendly for
all New Yorkers. For the last 45 years, the cornerstone of our efforts
has been the need to change New York's method of selecting judges.
From the day of our founding, we have fought to remove the influence
of money and politics from the selection process by working to institute
we also created a Task Force on Judicial Campaign Finance Reform,
which works to improve our existing elective system, while we continue
to fight for merit selection. In 1975, Modern Courts also created
the nation's first Citizen Court Monitoring program. Currently active
in 16 counties across the state, our volunteer monitors evaluate
NewYork's courts from the perspective of the ordinary citizen. In
recent years, their recommendations have been instrumental in helping
to obtain numerous improvements.
A few examples include:
of in-court child care facilities in 22 courts around the state;
New York State Office of Court Administration's implementation of
a mandatory civility training program for all non-judicial personnel.
of new courthouses in Dutchess and Rensselaer Counties to replace
badly outdated, dilapidated, and inaccessible Family Court buildings;
- In February, 2000,
creation of a task force in Schenectady County to oversee reform
of grossly outdated and inadequate court facilities and technology.
Some of our current
projects to improve the state courts include the following:
reports, users' guides, and other publications and information available
to users via this Web site;
- Creation of an on-line,
searchable public database of campaign finance information for New
York State Supreme Court races;
- Sponsorship of outreach
events to educate the public and the legal community about issues
related to court reform;
- Publication of users
guides to the courts, including a Spanish translation of our newest
publication, "Taking Action Against Abuse: A Guide to the Courts
for Victims of Domestic Violence in New York State"; and
- Assumption of the
Citizens Jury Project, an ombudservice for jurors in New York City
Modern Courts relies primarily on private
contributions to fulfill its mission to improve New York's courts.
These funds have helped to underwrite our groundbreaking Citizen
Court Monitoring program, public education and outreach, publication
of monitoring reports and users guides to the courts, and numerous
other projects. To help support our efforts by making a tax-deductible*
contribution, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.