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For over a decade Westchester County needed it, and now Westchester County Executive George Latimer will join key stakeholders to cut the ribbon on the long-awaited new Family Court site at 26 Garden Street in New Rochelle.
Latimer said: “This was a public private partnership that – most of all – made sense for the litigants who deserve the right to have their cases heard is a setting that exudes dignity and respect. Family Court deals with some of the judicial system’s most sensitive clients, and this new state of the art family court, for the people of this County, will stands for decades to come as a symbol of the power of what can be accomplished if we work together.”
The New Rochelle Family Court occupies the third and fourth floors of a six floor building and has two courtrooms, three hearing rooms, judge’s chambers, offices for non-judicial staff as well as for staff from the Office for Women, Department of Probation and other County agencies. The 35,000 square foot space features the latest technology and equipment, from assisted-listening capabilities to HVAC systems that provide for a good fresh-air ratio.
New Rochelle Family Court is one of three family courts in Westchester County, along with courts in White Plains and Yonkers. These courts hear cases involving children and families, including child neglect, child custody and support, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, adoption and guardianship, among other matters.
9th Judicial District Administrative Judge Kathie Davidson said: “I am thrilled to join with County Executive Latimer in cutting the ribbon on this beautiful, new Family Court. This state-of-the-art facility will better serve the modern-day justice needs of our local families, with its proximity to public transportation and major roadways making for easier access to the courthouse. I want to thank George Latimer and the court system’s other partners in county and local government for their hard work and support in bringing this project to fruition.”
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said: "Located in the heart of New Rochelle's burgeoning downtown and in immediate proximity to the New Rochelle Transit Center, the Family Court is ideally positioned to provide essential services to our city and region in a state of the art, modern facility. I am grateful for the County Executive's strong commitment to this priority, the steadfast support of our County legislators, the impassioned advocacy of the bench, the engagement of community leaders, and the skilled partnership of the development team."
The Board of Legislators unanimously passed a 30-year lease and plans to construct a new facility that is the best option for taxpayers, the courts, and the community due to its easy access to mass transit, central location and the ability to create a state of the art facility.
Legislator Terry Clements said: “"I am very excited that this day has finally arrived. Finding this perfect location -- with great access to mass transit -- was a collaborative effort between the County and local government, the Office of Court Administration, and the entire community. We see the results of our collaboration with this new, accessible, state-of-the-art facility. Family Court serves people with unexpected family circumstances at a difficult time in their lives. This new facility will greatly benefit the families and children of New Rochelle, Pelham, and all the areas this court will serve. Thank you to County Executive George Latimer, Judge Davidson, the developers, and everyone who has been involved in making this happen.”
Legislators Damon Maher said: "When the issue of the expiring lease on the old family court branch in New Rochelle came up, it was important to us that we find a way to keep a family court branch here in the city, to serve not only New Rochelle residents but everyone in the region in need of the court's services. What we wound up with is more than just a new, state-of-the-art court but a facility that is centrally located, with access to mass transit, that accommodates an extra judge and additional legal and social services for people who really need it, which will be a community bedrock for decades. I couldn't be more pleased."
Simone Development Companies President Joseph Simone said: “I must give credit and thanks to County Executive George Latimer, his administration and The Stagg Group for doing such a tremendous job. I am very proud to be able to provide for our County such a wonderful facility that is just across the street from a major transportation hub. It is a privilege for us to be able to create something that looks so beautiful in a location that has everything going for it. You could never find a better location for a courthouse than right here,” he added.
The Stagg Group President Mark Stagg said: “It was a lot of hard work, but we persevered and completed this project under a tight deadline from start to finish in just 14 months. We’re very proud of what we accomplished especially in light of the pandemic. I think this is probably the finest courthouse facility anywhere within 200 miles of New Rochelle. We used top-quality materials throughout to create a great experience for the public as well as the employees who will work there.”
Probation Commissioner Rocco Pozzi said: “We are thrilled to be part of this new facility that will allow the Probation Department to provide increased services to the communities that the New Rochelle Family Court serves. Families in need of our services will now be able to participate in programs in an environment that fosters rehabilitation and respect for the victims and litigants coming to the Family Court.”
Office for Women Director Robi Schlaff said: “We are so excited to now be onsite at all three family courts in Westchester. This expansion will enable us, along with our legal services partners, to better meet the needs of victims of domestic violence in this highly populated area of the County.”