By Joel Stashenko and Daniel Wise
April 11, 2008
ALBANY – Stymied for a fourth straight fiscal year in securing a pay raise for state court judges, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye sued the Legislature and Governor David A. Paterson yesterday to force the first judicial salary increase in New York since 1999.
At about the time attorney Bernard W. Nussbaum was filing the complaint in Supreme Court in Manhattan at 60 Centre Street, Chief Judge Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau (sent a message to the 1,300 judges saying that the exclusion of a pay raise in the budget adopted in Albany on Wednesday was the last straw.
“At this point, we are left with no choice but to take legal action to address this intolerable situation,” the judges said. They called the need to file a suit, first threatened by the chief judge in April 2007 but often cited by her since then as a last resort, as “regrettable.”
The complaint, Kaye v. Silver, names the chief judge and the Unified Court System as plaintiffs. The defendants are Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, Mr. Paterson and the State of New York.