NY moms sue judges over kid-support ‘delays’
Eight moms have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state’s top judges, claiming lengthy delays in the Big Apple’s Family Court system prevent them from collecting child support.
The court’s own rules set a 60- to 90-day deadline to handle cases, yet “the real- ity is that these petitions are decided many more than three months or even years after the violation petition is filed,” the Manhattan Supreme Court suit says.
“The Family Court’s routine violation of its own rule prevents custodial parents, commonly mothers, from being able to provide for their children.” the suit says.
There’s a total $7 billion in child support arrears in the state, with a “staggeringly low collection rate of approximately 7 percent,” according to court papers.
The suit names Chief Judge Janet DiFiore as well as administrative judges Lawrence Marks, Carol Sherman and Jeanette Ruiz as defendants.
A spokesman for DiFiore and the other officials declined to comment on the pending litigation.
The moms want to force the Family Court system to abide by its own deadlines and also seek legal fees.
The moms’ lawyer, Rene Kathawala, said he hopes the court system doesn’t “dig their heels in,” but cooperates “with advocates and custodial parents to make the system work better for everyone.”