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Board clerk takes over family court service

ELIZABETHTOWN-The Essex County clerk to the Board of Supervisors and her office will be assigning counsel for those in need of representation in family court.

The Essex County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution through the Ways and Means Committee April 25 that would assign the duties of administration for assigned counsel for family court from the office of Judge Richard Meyer to the clerk of the board's office.

Previously, Judge Meyer was handling the assignments through his office, but in the wake of state spending cut-backs had to turn the responsibilities back to the county.

"I have met with Rick's office and the public defender's office trying to get a grasp on the whole program," County Clerk Deborah Palmer said. "What the public defender does in terms of assigning cases on the criminal court side, we will be doing for the family court side. People that now need these services in family court will come through the board clerk's office and we will look through the applications and the attorney list and appoint someone to work with them."

Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava credited Palmer for taking over the duties.

"I want to thank Deb for stepping up to the plate on this because by doing this, her office is saving the county about $50,000-to-$60,000," Scozzafava said.

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