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Monday, June 10, 2013

NYS Judges are Suing NYS for $51 Million in Salary Increases

The case of "Pines v. State of New York" is now being argued before the Appellate Division, Second Department.  State Judges, from New York State's Supreme Court, argue that the $51,000,000.00 appropriation by the NYS Legislature is lawful.
At issue are retroactive raises of 27% between April 1, 2005 and April 1, 2009.  The raises were to increase in 4 steps from the then amount of $136,770.00 per year for Supreme Court Justices to $174,000.00 per year between April 2005 and April 2009.

The following is quoted from today's New York Law Journal:  "In her 2011 ruling in Pines, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Karen Murphy accepted the plaintiffs' argument that the Legislature's appropriation of $51 million was sufficient to make the raises legal.
Murphy said the appropriation met the requirement that has been in the state Constitution since the 1920s that judicial pay raises be "established by law" (NYLJ, Feb. 14, 2011).
"The State Constitution does not mandate a specific format for judicial salaries, and consequently, Chapter 51 is enforceable as it stands," Murphy wrote in Pines v. State of New York, 13518/10.
The lead plaintiff is Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Emily Pines. Other plaintiffs are Supreme Court Justice David Demarest in St. Lawrence County, Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Lebowitz, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Ferradino in Saratoga County, Supreme Court Justice Ralph Boniello in Niagara County and Nassau County Court Judge Joseph Calabrese."