New York’s Mandatory Retirement of Judges: A Mistake

judgesNew York judges must retire on or before September 31st in the year in which they reach seventy years of age. The statute is a mistake. It should be amended, modified, changed or eliminated completely.

Under the current system, judges who reach the mandatory retirement age can obtain up to three extensions for periods of two years. To obtain these extensions, the judge has to be re-certified that he or she is capable of continuing to work as a judge.

Numerous Judges who are forced into retirement are brilliant jurists. They still have a lot to contribute to resolving the problems faced by litigants. Forcing the most experienced and often the most dedicated judges into premature retirement does not benefit lawyers, litigants or the administration of justice.

Justice Edward A. Marin

Justice Edward A. Marin, who sits in the matrimonial part of the Supreme Court in Nassau County, was seventy years of age in 2010. I know Justice Marin to be a bright, articulate, energetic judge. I was shocked to find out he is seventy years of age. Men of Justice Marin’s caliber are simply too dedicated, too bright and too hard-working to be forced into early retirement. For more than thirty-five years, Justice Marin was an active attorney working in private practice in Nassau County. He has now been on the bench in both County Court and Supreme Court for in excess of ten years. I find Justice Marin to be a tough, bright, hardworking, respected justice. It is a shame that, in a mere six years, Justice Marin will be forced off the bench, even if he is approved for the three two-year extensions.

Amend The New York State Constitution

To deal with the mandatory retirement of judges, it will be necessary to amend the New York State Constitution. The process of amending the constitution requires two separately elected legislatures to approve the measure, and then the measure must be ratified by a majority of the voters in a state-wide referendum.

I am currently sixty years of age and I will turn sixty-one in March. I am young, energetic and still at the height of my tennis prowess. I don’t expect when I turn seventy to be considering retirement. Americans are living longer and longer and have more years of productive activity available to them in their professions than previous generations. Mandatory retirement ages for judges must be reconsidered.

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At the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, we litigate divorce proceedings on Long Island. We have extensive experience in handling matrimonial and family matters in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Our office also deals child custody cases and family court cases throughout the metropolitan New York area. We aggressively represent our clients regarding investigations concerning child abuse and child neglect. When our clients are served with orders of protection, we actively and effectively litigate these matters to have our clients returned to their homes.

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