NY moms sue judges over kid-sup­port ‘de­lays’

New York Post - - NEWS - Ju­lia Marsh

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.”

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