RESOLUTION 061207-#134


Excerpt from Town of Brant Town Board Minutes from June 12, 2007

Supervisor Pero moved for the adoption of resolution 061207-#134, seconded by Councilman Gier A roll call vote was taken: 4 Ayes   0 Nays
Supervisor Pero       		Voting Aye
Councilman Gier		Voting Aye
Councilman Arrigo		Voting Aye
Councilwoman Turner		Voting Aye
WHEREAS, there has recently been negative press coverage by the New York Times and some local papers within Erie County suggesting that the Town court system is flawed and more specifically, alleging that the three hundred (300)year tradition of non-lawyer judges presiding over and within the local municipalities should be eliminated; and

	WHEREAS, there has always been a Town Court within the Town of Brant, conveniently located and accessible to our citizens; and

	WHEREAS, there are Two (2) Town Judgeships established within the Town of Brant; and

	WHEREAS, there are presently two ( 2 ) non?attorney Town Justices and zero  (0) attorney Town Justices within the Town of Brant; and

	WHEREAS, with their civil and criminal jurisdiction, the Town Justices in the Town of Brant handled many hundreds of cases in the past year; and

	WHEREAS, the Town Court of Brant in the past year of 2006 collected $188,105.50  in statutory fines, fees and surcharges on behalf of the State of New York, the County of Erie and the Town of Brant, to help fund essential public services; and

	WHEREAS, the Town Board of Brant recognizes and appreciates the professionalism, diligence, intelligence and integrity of the non-attorney or lay justices within our town who bring a specialized experience to the bench particularly with issues unique to our community who elected them; and

	Now, therefore, be it: RESOLVED, that the members of the Town Board of Brant support the continuation of the three hundred year tradition of non-lawyer or lay justices presiding in Town Courts, and it is further;

RESOLVED, that the members of the Town Board of Brant hereby oppose any requirement that Town Justices be attorneys, and it is further;

	RESOLVED, that the members of the Town Board of Brant oppose any efforts to eliminate local and convenient access to justice by our citizens; and find that the local presence of the Town Court of Brant provides a meaningful and necessary presence within our community for judicial resolution of conflicts, continued public safety of our citizens and the protection of constitutional guarantees for all of our citizens. Certified copies of this resolution shall be forwarded to the Honorable Senator Dale Volker, Honorable Assemblymen Jack Quinn, Legislator Bob Reynolds and the New York State Magistrates Association. 

I, Thea A. Ells, Town Clerk of the Town of Brant, County of Erie, New York, DO HEREBY CERTIFY, that the foregoing is a full and true transcript of regular meeting of the Town Board as held in Brant, New York on the 12th day of June 2007, as it appears on the minutes of said meeting and that said meeting was a regular meeting called and constituted and that a quorum was present.

IT WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and Seal of the Town of Brant, Erie County, New York the 15st day of June 2007.

	Thea A. Ells, Brant Town Clerk