Vision for the Court
My vision for the Surrogate’s Court of Kings County is that the court fairly and efficiently dispose of the matters which come before the court and adequately meet the needs of the people of Brooklyn.
I pledge to you my fellow Brooklynites that if elected I: will always be fair and impartial in the adjudication of the matters before me.
will give everyone a full and fair opportunity to be heard.
will take the time to ensure that if you are unrepresented you understand what is happening.
will take all necessary steps, to the extent provided by law, to ensure that the rights of individuals under a disability are protected.
will work to give the people of Brooklyn a better understanding of what the Surrogate’s Court does by engaging in more outreach, in the legal community and the community at large, including conducting seminars relating to the court and the types of matters that come before it.
How will I make this vision a reality; fulfilling my pledge to you?
First, to the extent permitted by law, I will administer justice in all matters and estates before me, including ensuring the preservation of generational wealth by examining any conveyances of real property to ensure properties are transferred for value and in the best interests of the estate.
Second, the Surrogate has certain supervisory and oversight responsibilities with regards to the Public Administrator’s office. The Public Administrator is responsible for administering the estates of residents of Brooklyn when no one can or will administer the estate. If elected I will monitor the Office of the Kings County Public Administrator (Public Administrator) to ensure that it finally becomes compliant with all governing statutes, rules, regulations and audit recommendations. Only in this way can the public be assured that estates under its control are properly administered and protected. The last audit by the New York City Comptroller found that the Public Administrator in Brooklyn has still failed to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities by not acting in estates’ best interests, failed to carry out its duties prudently and failed to comply with statutory rules and regulations. One example being that the Public Administrator failed to keep accurate records of the properties in its inventory (including failing to reconcile its bank register). The report can be found at www.comptroller.nyc.gov/reports. Enough is enough! If elected, I intend to require the Office to immediately come in compliance with all of the recommendations of the comptroller (including the recommendations regarding keeping proper records) and to ensure that only vetted persons have access to decedent’s property to prevent thefts.
Third, we need to ensure that the court is fully staffed proportional to the number of people it serves. Kings County has the highest population in the State of New York. As such, more staff is required to fully meet the needs of the people of Brooklyn. There are a number of positions that have remained unfilled in the Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court for years. I intend to advocate and push to get those positions filled as soon as possible, along with pushing for additional staff so that the people of Brooklyn can be better served.
Fourth, the court needs a technology update. I intend to advocate for the filing of legal papers by electronic means, and to update the computer system of our court so that public court records may be accessed electronically, as opposed to having to do so in person at the court. In addition, I intend to advocate to update our technology /computer systems generally, so that the public can be served more efficiently.
With your help we can accomplish these changes !!!
Vote Meredith R. Jones for Surrogate in the Democratic Primary on June 25, 2019