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Philadelphia Bar Association Backs Improvements in Family Court; Supports Women's Law Project

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Board of Governors has unanimously approved a resolution aimed at improving the delivery of justice in the Domestic Relations Division of Family Court.

The resolution expresses support for increased public accountability about funding and resources allocation in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. It also supports increased funding, personnel and resources; the provision of assistance and information for pro se litigants; improved facilities, security, scheduling and timeliness; and the fulfillment of the constitutional mandate of open court.

Carol E. Tracy, executive director of the Women's Law Project, told the Board the resolution follows several years of work by many interested parties. Earlier this year the Women's Law Project published its findings and recommendations in a report titled Justice in the Domestic Relations Division of Family Court: A Report to the Community. The report is available on the group's web site.

"The administration we're working with in Family Court is the most responsive we've worked with," Tracy told the Board, adding that the Court is dealing with significant under-funding and inadequate facilities and security. "There are people working very hard in Family Court," Tracy told the Association's governing body. "They just don't have the resources they need." Tracy said it was important to receive the Association's support for the report's major recommendations.

The resolution supports:

Margaret Klaw, the Association's Family Law Section's representative to the Board, said all issues of the report are well known to family law practitioners, adding that the Section supports of the resolution.
The full text of the resolution can be found at the Association's Web site.