A commission appointed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye Wednesday recommended the elimination (.pdf) of as many as 500 of the 1,250 town and village courts in New York state because of their cost, antiquated facilities or duplication of services with other justice courts.

While acknowledging that New Yorkers are in general “very supportive” of their local courts and justices, commission chairman Carey R. Dunne said that data collected by the commission on justice court caseloads, revenues and locations makes a persuasive argument for a significant consolidation of the centuries-old local court system.

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