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the several districts of the State, of the total number of seventy-six judges, only forty-seven judges, as follows: In the First District, fifteen of the twenty-two; Second District, seven of the twelve; Third District, four of the six; Fourth District, four of the six; Fifth District, four of the seven; Sixth District, four of the six; Seventh District, four of the seven, and Eighth District, five of the ten, or only fifty per cent.

These judges are distributed from the various districts to the four Appellate Divisions, as follows: Of the seven judges in the First District engaged in appellate work, four are in the Appellate Divisions of the First Department and three in the Appellate Term of New York county, so that no judge in the First District goes outside of his district to do appellate work.

The four judges of the Second District, engaged in appellate work, likewise all stay in the Second Department and do not go out of their district.

The two judges of the Third District, assigned to appellate work, sit in the Appellate Division of the Third Department, and none of them go out of their judicial district.

Of the two judges of the Fourth District, assigned to appellate work, one sits in the Third Department, in which his district is located, and the other in the First Department.

The three justices of the Fifth District, assigned to appellate work, all sit in the Fourth Department, in which their district is located.

The two judges of the Sixth District, assigned to appellate work, both sit in the Third Department, in which their district is located.

Of the three judges in the Seventh District, assigned to appellate work, one sits in the Court of Appeals and

the other two in the Fourth Department, in which their district is located.

Of the five judges in the Eighth District, assigned to appellate work, two sit in the First Department, two in the Second Department, and only one in the Fourth Department, in which his district is located.

In other words, the percentage of judges sent out of districts in their respective departments for appellate work in other departments, is as follows: First District, none; Second District, none; Third District, none; Fourth District, seventeen per cent.; Fifth District, none; Sixth District, none; Seventh District, fourteen per cent.; Eighth District, forty per cent.


The State of New York has a large judicial force and one which, without any increase, could doubtless continue for many years to meet all demands, if the work were judiciously distributed among the various courts and judges, or the judges were properly distributed amid the work, and each judge worked a reasonable number of days in the year and hours in the day. This judicial force, in courts of record, other than Surrogate's Courts, is composed of 169 judges, as follows: Court of Appeals, seven; Supreme Court, seventy-six; County Court, sixty-one; Special County Court, thirteen; City Court of New York, seven; Court of General Sessions of New York, five.

In this connection it is interesting to note that the total number of judges of record in England and Wales, including the judges of the House of Lords, county judges and special judges, is 102, for a population of about 36,000,000; whereas, in the State of New York, with a population of about 7,000,000, there are 169 judges in courts of record.

There are various reasons why the State is not getting the full benefit of the possibilities of this large judicial force, some of which are remediable and others inherent in human nature; and it will doubtless, at all times, require a certain surplus percentage of judges promptly to keep up with the work. In the first place, most of the County Courts, of which there is one in every county except New York, are, for the most part, not called upon to do anywhere near the amount of civil and criminal trial work of which they are capable, although there are many county judges of high ability and a goodly number of our supreme justices were promoted from the County Court bench. It is perhaps a matter of habit, as much as anything else, that attorneys bring suits in the Supreme Court, which could as well be tried in County Courts, and something should be done to divert litigation of lesser magnitude to these courts. It has been suggested that a considerable amount of business would be thrown into the County Courts, and thereby afford relief to the Supreme Court, if a simple code amendment were made, prohibiting a plaintiff from recovering costs in the Supreme Court in certain classes of actions of which County Courts had jurisdiction, in which judgment was demanded for a sum of money only, where the plaintiff recovered, say, less than $300, but allowing to plaintiffs costs in County Courts, where they recover over fifty dollars, as is now the case.

Another expedient that would afford some relief in Erie county, and, therefore, indirectly in the Eighth District and in the entire State, would be the creation of the office of special county judge in Erie county, whereby the Supreme Court could be relieved of much minor criminal business. This great county now has only one county judge, although thirteen other counties of the

State, each of them much smaller in population than Erie county, have special county judges.

Another and important cause for the failure of our courts to keep up with their work is found in the limited number of days in each year during which the various judges actually hold court. In the first place, Saturday and Sunday, two days in each week, are regularly eliminated, and probably there is no complaint on this score, though it would not be unreasonable to ask judges to hold court on Saturday mornings where the calendars are congested. This takes out 104 days of the 365 at the outset, leaving only 261 possible working days. Many of the trial courts then adjourn for nearly or fully three months, from about the middle or end of June until the middle or end of September, and in New York and Brooklyn to the beginning of October, taking out about sixty-five days more, exclusive of the Saturdays and Sundays, and leaving, then, only about 196 possible working days for each judge, with a holiday vacation and a few days added here and there. So it is safe to say that judges do not even attempt to hold court on more than one-half of the days in the year.

Some arguments are advanced in favor of the courts closing in July, August and September, especially in the First and Second Departments, on account of the absence of witnesses, jurymen and attorneys during the heated term; but the argument is by no means conclusive there, and has little force elsewhere against the reasonableness of having courts run snugly up to the beginning of July and open promptly on the first Monday of September. It is doubtful whether public servants in any other department can be found, who are as lavishly treated in the matter of vacations as the judges. Even school teachers have to begin work early in September.

That these generalizations may not be deemed unfair, a table is added to this paper, showing the number of days each judge of the Supreme Court, who held trial courts during the entire year of 1901, actually was occupied in all terms of court, including Civil, Criminal, Equity and Special Terms, both in his home district and by assignment in other districts. From this it is reasonably clear that the trial justices of the Supreme Court, generally speaking, are not overworked. This table has been prepared from statistics furnished by the county clerks of the several counties in the State, and every effort has been made to have it correct.

The figures in these tables show an average of a little less than 160 days on which each justice actually held court during the year 1901, which is a trifle over one-half of the working days in the year. It is true that judges require time out of court, often considerable, for work at chambers and to consider questions that are presented to them on oral hearings, and some of the justices hear cases at chambers at other times than regular court days. But a large percentage of their business can be, and is at once disposed of as it arises, and it is fair to say that many, probably most, of our trial judges could work a considerable number of days more than they do. It is also fair to the trial justices in New York county to note that most of them alternately sit in the Appellate Term to hear appeals from inferior courts, and, while they hold open court in this Appellate Term only three days in each term, for which they have been given credit in the table referred to, it requires days of consideration to dispose of the appeals heard and to write opinions, which additional number of days could not be ascertained from the records. Another serious hindrance to keeping up with the business of the State is found in the limited hours each day

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