NYC Bar Committee Opposes Criminal Court Fees – Amy Goldenberg (Closter NJ) – Medium
Closter, NJ, resident Amy Goldenberg passed the Universal Bar Exam in 2017. In addition to clerking for the New Jersey Superior Court, Amy Goldenberg is a member of the Bergen Bar Association and the New York Bar Association, where she sits on the Criminal Court Committee.
Members of the Criminal Court Committee examine cases brought before the New York Supreme Court and Criminal Courts and support the City Bar Judiciary Committee’s review of incoming judicial candidates. The Criminal Court Committee often presents its findings before lawmakers to advocate for specific changes to the criminal legal system.
After reviewing the impact of mandatory court fees in 2018, the Criminal Court Committee recommended the elimination of this practice. According to the committee’s findings, mandatory fees cause an undue financial burden and can result in prison time for people who cannot afford to pay.
Since the majority of fees are levied against people accused of nonviolent, poverty-related crimes, fees can inadvertently function as a form of punishment and push vulnerable people into even more dire situations. The Criminal Court Committee suggests reforms that would reduce negative consequences for indigent defendants.