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Judicial vacancy qualifications deadline approaches

Several judicial vacancies exist in the Fifth and Seventh judicial districts, as recently announced in accordance with Part 150 of the rules of the chief administrator of the state courts.

The vacancies will be filled by election in November.

In the Seventh Judicial District, there are two vacancies in state Supreme Court and one each in Rochester City Court and Steuben County/Family/Surrogate’s Court.

In the Fifth Judicial District, there is one vacancy each in Onondaga County Court, Onondaga County Family Court, Syracuse City Court, Oswego County Surrogate’s Court and Lewis County/Family/Surrogate’s Court.

Independent judicial election qualification commissions have been established in each of the judicial districts. The commissions are a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates. Each is responsible for reviewing the qualifications of candidates, within its respective judicial district, who submit a questionnaire and are seeking election to the following New York state courts: Supreme, County, Surrogate’s, Family, New York City Civil, District and City.

Each commission has 15 members, comprised of lawyers and non-lawyers, named by the chief judge, the presiding justices of the Appellate Divisions, the New York State Bar Association and local bar associations.

For more information regarding the evaluation process and the candidate’s questionnaire and instructions on completing and filing, go to http://nycourts.gov/ad4 and follow the link to the IJEQC.

Candidates seeking to be evaluated by the IJEQC must submit an original and 15 copies of the completed candidate’s questionnaire and attachments to Mary Gehl Doyle, director, Fourth Department Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions, M. Dolores Denman Courthouse, 50 East Ave., Third Floor, Rochester, N.Y. 14604-2206.

All submissions are due by April 27, however, if a candidate submits a questionnaire within a sufficient period of time before the election, the commission will make every effort to accommodate the rating of the candidate.

For further information, Seventh Judicial District candidates should contact attorney A. Vincent Buzard, chair of the Commission for the Seventh Judicial District, at (585) 419-8800, or Doyle at (585) 530-3225.

Fifth Judicial District candidates should contact Judge Richard D. Simons, chair of the Commission for the Fifth Judicial District, at (315) 336-4700, or Doyle.