Bronx, NY: Broken Elevators in Courthouse Swing Decisions in Child Custody Cases

Statutes and cases set out the factors that should determine child welfare adjudications by courts.

But there are often other factors, just as influential, that are not set out in the law – and not known or anticipated by the lawmakers.

Such as the broken-down elevators in the Bronx Family Court.

Although there are four elevators in the building, only one or two are typically in service in a courthouse that serves 3,000 people a day.

Lines to get on an elevator to a courtroom for a hearing can stretch two city blocks and take hours to progess through.

At best, it leads to postponements of hearings – for example, for return of child custody – sometimes for months.

At worst, it leads to people missing their hearings – sometimes with huge penalties – for example, defaults leading to loss of child custody.

Read more in this New York Times article: At Bronx Court, Elevator Woes Slow Justice – and be glad if you don’t have a case pending in the Bronx Family Court.