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New York Court of Appeals
NY Court of Appeals emblem.svg
Seal of the New York Court of Appeals
Established 1847
Jurisdiction New York New York, United States United States
Location Albany, New York
Authorized by New York State Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Judge term length 14 years
Number of positions 7
Chief Judge
Currently Jonathan Lippman
Since February 11, 2009
The 1842 courthouse of the New York Court of Appeals in Albany, Henry Rector, architect
A view of the courthouse's neoclassical portico

The New York Court of Appeals is the highest court in the U.S. state of New York. The Court of Appeals consists of seven judges: the Chief Judge and six associate judges which are appointed by the Governor to 14-year terms. The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals is also the head of the State's court system's administration, and is thus also known as the Chief Judge of the State of New York. The present Chief Judge is Jonathan Lippman. The 1842 Neoclassical courthouse is located in New York's capital, Albany.

Contents

History

The Court of Appeals was created by the New York State Constitution of 1846 to replace both the Court for the Correction of Errors and the Court of Chancery, and had eight members. Four judges were elected by general ballot at the State elections, the other four were chosen annually from among the Supreme Court justices. The first four judges elected at the special judicial state election in June 1847 were Freeborn G. Jewett (to a term of two and a half years), Greene C. Bronson (to a term of four and a half years), Charles H. Ruggles (to a term of six and a half years), and Addison Gardiner (to a term of eight and a half years). They took office on July 5, 1847. Afterwards every two years, one judge was elected in odd-numbered years to an eight-year term.[1] In case of a vacancy, a judge was temporarily appointed by the Governor[2], and at the next odd-year state election a judge was elected for the remainder of the term.[3] The Chief Judge was always that one of the elected judges who had the shortest remaining term. Besides, the Court had a Clerk who was elected to a three-year term.

In 1869, the proposed new State Constitution was rejected by the voters, only the "Judicial Article" which re-organized the New York Court of Appeals was adopted by a small majority, with 247,240 for and 240,442 against it. The Court of Appeals was wholly re-organised, taking effect on July 4, 1870. All sitting judges were legislated out of office, and seven new judges were elected by general ballot at a special election on May 17, 1870[4]. Democrat Sanford E. Church defeated Republican Henry R. Selden for Chief Judge. The tickets for associate judges had only four names each and the voters could cast only four ballots, so that four judges were chosen by the majority[5] and two by the minority.[6] Martin Grover was the only sitting judge who was re-elected. The judges were elected to a 14-year term which most judges did not complete, since the Constitution mandated the retirement of the judges at the end of the calendar year in which they reached the age of 70. In case of a vacancy due to death or resignation, a judge was appointed by the Governor until a successor was chosen at the next State election. To replace retiring or appointed judges, all substitutes were elected to full 14-year terms.

In 1889, a "Second Division" of the Court of Appeals was established temporarily to help to decide the large number of cases. Its seven members were designated[7] by Governor David B. Hill, chosen from the New York Supreme Court's General Term benches. Chief Judge was Daniel L. Follett. Among its members were Alton B. Parker and Joseph Potter.[8] The Second Division was continued through 1890.[9] In 1891, the State Constitutional Commission, headed by William B. Hornblower drafted an amendment to abolish the Second Division.[10]

A constitutional amendment adopted in November 1899 permitted the Governor, at the request of a majority of the judges of the Court of Appeals, to designate up to four justices of the Supreme Court to serve as associate judges of the Court of Appeals until the Court's calendar was reduced below two hundred cases. This goal was reached only in 1921, and henceforth no more Supreme Court justices were designated under the amendment of 1899 to serve on the Court of Appeals.

Jacob D. Fuchsberg and Lawrence H. Cooke were the last judges elected by general ballot at the State election in November 1974. Afterwards the judges have been appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the New York State Senate.

Nomenclature

New York State Unified Court System

Court of Appeals
Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Supreme Court
Court of Claims
Surrogate's Court
New York City Courts (Civil, Criminal)

In New York, unlike most other U.S. states , New York's Supreme Court is a trial and intermediate appellate court, not the court of last resort, which sometimes leads to confusion. This is a historical hold-over in terminology: see the former Supreme Court of Judicature in England and Wales and the extant Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Another source of confusion is the title of the jurists who sit on these courts. In most states and the federal court system, members of the highest court are titled "Justices." In New York, the members of the Court of Appeals are titled "Judges," while those sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court are titled "Justices."

Current judges

Former judges

For a complete list of Chief Judges see Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.

For a complete listing of judges from 1847 to 1998 see: [1]

Former judges, who have never been Chief Judges, with an article on Wikipedia (and tenure):

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Elected were: 1849 Freeborn G. Jewett, 1851 Alexander S. Johnson, 1853 Charles H. Ruggles, 1855 Samuel L. Selden, 1857 Hiram Denio, 1859 Henry E. Davies, 1861 William B. Wright, 1863 Henry R. Selden, 1865 Ward Hunt, 1867 Martin Grover, 1869 John A. Lott
  2. ^ Appointed were: 1851 Samuel Alfred Foot in place of Greene C. Bronson resigned, 1853 Hiram Denio in place of Freeborn G. Jewett resigned, 1862 Henry R. Selden in place of Samuel L. Selden resigned, 1865 John K. Porter in place of Henry R. Selden resigned, 1868 Lewis B. Woodruff in place of John K. Porter resigned, and Charles Mason in place of William B. Wright deceased
  3. ^ Elected were: 1853 Hiram Denio for 4 years, 1855 George F. Comstock for 6 years, 1865 John K. Porter for 6 years, 1869 Robert Earl for 2 years
  4. ^ The special election in NYT on May 17, 1870
  5. ^ Elected were Democrats William F. Allen, Charles A. Rapallo, Martin Grover and Rufus W. Peckham, Sr.
  6. ^ Elected were Republicans Charles J. Folger and Charles Andrews. Defeated were Charles Mason and Robert S. Hale.
  7. ^ A "designation" is an appointment which does not require confirmation by the State Senate.
  8. ^ COMMISSION OF APPEALS.; ORGANIZATION OF THE SECOND DIVISION ON THE COURT in NYT on January 24, 1889
  9. ^ COURT OF APPEALS WORK.; PROBABILITY THAT THE SECOND DIVISION WILL BE RETAINED in NYT on December 17, 1890
  10. ^ THE COURT OF APPEALS.; THE COMMISSION WANTS THE SECOND DIVISION ABOLISHED in NYT on January 25, 1891

External links

Coordinates: 42°39′08″N 73°45′14″W / 42.652319°N 73.753946°W / 42.652319; -73.753946

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