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New York StateUnified Court System

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions


Q1 ] My W-2 for last year reports my annual income as $85,000.00. I thought that your instructions say that I must file a financial disclosure statement if my annual salary is in excess of $90,020.00. I am not a judge or a policy-maker for the purposes of financial disclosure. Why do I have to file?

A ] Because our instructions state that your rate of annual compensation must be in excess of $90,020.00. If you are a full-time employee at any time in the current year, you must file a financial disclosure statement for last year if your rate of annual compensation was in excess of $90,020.00, regardless of what you actually earn. Your rate of annual compensation can be found in the upper right hand corner of your pay stub, in the box entitled "Pay Rate".

Q2 ] I went on an unpaid leave in March of last year and I am still on leave this year. My rate of compensation is $95,000.00. Do I have to file?

A ] Yes. You must file even though you are on an unpaid leave, because you remain an employee of the Unified Court System.

Q3 ] I have been working part-time since last November, and will earn less than $90,020.00 this year. I am not a judge or a policy-maker for the purposes of financial disclosure. Do I have to file?

A ] No. Because you are a part-time, nonjudicial employee who is not a policy-maker for the purposes of financial disclosure, and you will earn less than $90,020.00 this year, you do not have to file a statement for last year.

Q4 ] I am a new full time employee, who just started employment with the Unified Court System in June of this year. My rate of annual compensation is more than $90,020.00. Do I have to file a statement for last year, and if so, when?

A ] Yes. Because your rate of annual compensation exceeds $90,020.00, you must file a statement for last year, regardless of when you commenced employment this year. Because you commenced employment after May 15th, you must file within 30 days of the date you commenced employment.

Q5 ] My spouse and I separated last March, with the intention of terminating our marriage. Do I have to report information pertaining to my spouse in the financial disclosure statement I must file this year?

A ] No. If you are separated from your spouse, with the intention of terminating your marriage, as of the date you file your financial disclosure statement, you are not required to report information pertaining to your spouse, other than his or her name.

Q6 ] Do I have to report the value of my New York State Deferred Compensation Plan?

A ] Yes, in question 11, if the value exceeded $1,000.00 as of last December 31.

Q7 ] Do I have to report my spouse's income from his or her employment?

A ] Yes, in question 13, if the amount of income exceeded $1,000.00 last year. You must report the income even if your spouse files his or her own financial disclosure statement.

Q8 ] Do I have to report the value of my certificates of deposit?

A ] Yes. You must report the income from the certificates in question 13, if it exceeded $1,000.00 last year. You must also report the total value of the certificates in question 16, if the value exceeded $1,000.00 as of last December 31.

Q9 ] Do I have to itemize the individual stocks held in my brokerage account?

A ] Yes. You must itemize and identify the securities, valued in excess of $1,000.00 as of last December 31, held for your benefit by a brokerage firm or nominee unless the securities are held in a mutual fund, a money market fund or an investment fund (including an IRA). If the securities are held in a fund, other than a mutual fund, identify the type of fund in addition to the name of the financial institution where the fund is held. If the securities are held in a mutual fund by a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution offering investment options other than (in addition to) mutual funds, you must also report the name of the mutual fund.

Q10 ] Can I attach statements/reports from financial institutions to my financial disclosure statement?

A ] Do not attach tax returns, statements regarding IRAs and other retirement accounts, or statements regarding money market accounts. If you attach such documents to your financial disclosure statement, they will be returned to you. You must report the requisite information regarding these accounts in the response area for the appropriate question in your financial disclosure statement. You may attach brokerage statements regarding other accounts. If you do so, all information in these statements, other than monetary values and amount, will be made available for public inspection. We recommend that you delete from brokerage statements all information that is not required to be reported, including but not limited to home addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, account numbers, and names of brokers.

Q11 ] Do I have to report my, and my spouse's, credit card debts?

A ] Yes, you must report each credit card debt that exceeded $5,000.00 as of the date you filed your statement.

Q12 ] Why was my statement returned to me when all my responses were complete and correct?

A ] The Commission reviews every statement to ensure that it is complete and that it does not contain any apparent inaccuracies. Each incomplete or apparently inaccurate statement is returned to the filer for revision. On occasion, a response that appears to be inaccurate on its face, or based on our experience of the way most filers respond, is, in fact, correct.

Q13 ] What happens if I refuse to file a statement, or if I file a deficient statement?

A ] If you fail to file a financial disclosure statement or if you file a deficient statement, you will be given a fifteen day period to cure your deficiency.

If you fail to file or cure the deficiency within the specified time period the Commission is required to send a notice of delinquency: (a) to the reporting person; and (b) in the case of a judge or justice, to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, or (c) in the case of a nonjudicial officer or employee, to the Chief Administrator of the Courts.

Since 1991, as a result of our Notices and the actions taken by the State Commission and the Chief Administrator, every person required to file has done so.

Q14 ] I am a law clerk. I became a candidate for public election to judicial office in August of this year. In May of this year, I had filed an annual statement of financial disclosure for last year. Do I have to file another statement as a candidate?

A ] No. When you filed your annual statement of financial disclosure in May, you satisfied all filing requirements for the current year.

Q15 ] I am a law clerk. I became a candidate for public election to judicial office in August of this year. I was not required to file an annual statement of financial disclosure for last year because I received an annual salary at a rate less than $88,256.00. Do I now have to file a statement for last year?

A ] Yes. You must file, as a judicial candidate, within 20 days of becoming a candidate. You must obtain a financial disclosure form and filing instructions for judicial candidates from our office or from our website.

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