Judge Miller Interviewed by New York Law Journal on Court Ruling on New No-Fault Divorce Legislation

Judge Sondra M. Miller, Appellate Lawyer and Mediator

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who has been a long-time proponent of “no fault” divorce and helped bring upon its passage in law last year, was interviewed by the New York Law Journal (2/4/2011) to comment on a recent ruling on the new law by Essex County Justice Robert J. Muller. Justice Muller is  the second judge to rule that a trial is required if a party disputes whether, under the new law, a marriage has “broken down irretrievably.” The article went on to say:


“Sondra Miller, the former Second Department justice who headed a commission appointed by former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to examine the state’s matrimonial laws, disagreed with Justice Muller’s conclusion stating that the ‘irretrievably broken’ language must be read in the context within which it was written. . . . ‘It is quite clear,’ Ms. Miller said, that the ‘purpose’ of the language referring to an oath provided by ‘one party’ was to ‘avoid litigation.’  ‘It was not the intent of the Legislature and the bill’s sponsors to avoid litigation on fault grounds only to substitute litigation upon the ground of irretrievable breakdown,’ added Ms. Miller who is now chief counsel at McCarthy Fingar in White Plains. ‘The statute was designed to avoid the expense and delay of full trials.'”