Brooklyn Boro

20 Judges elected or re-elected to the bench in Brooklyn

November 9, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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There were no upsets on Tuesday night among the judiciary as none were running in contested elections, but there were 20 newly elected and re-elected judges voted onto the bench.

Twelve judges, who were nominated by the Kings County Democratic Party, and were officially voted into the Kings County Supreme Court on Tuesday, included: Hon. Ellen Spodek, Hon. Richard Velasquez, Hon. Robin Shares, Hon. Aaaron Maslow, Hon. Dweynie Esther Paul, Hon. Cheryl Gonzales, Hon. Craig Walker, Hon. Susan Quirk, Hon. Anne Swern, Hon. Lorna McAllister, Hon. Patria Frias-Colon, and Hon. Cenceria Edwards.

NYS Supreme Court justices are elected to 14-year terms or until they turn 70-years-old. Once a state court judge becomes 70-years-old, they must obtain certification to continue past that age, if eligible, for three two-year periods. Under no circumstances do state court judges stay on the bench past 76.

Justice Gonzales’ election is significant as she has served as the supervising judge of the Kings County Housing Court for the past few years and will now have to be replaced as the head of that court as she moves up.

There were five judges who won county-wide elections for the Civil Court on Tuesday and those included: Hon. Robin Garson, Hon. Edward King, Hon. Pamela Patton Fynes, Hon. Pat Hayes Torres, and Hon. Sherveal Mimes. All of these except Judge Garson are newly elected judges.
The Brooklyn Civil Court hears all cases with claims for damages up to $25,000. Judges in this court sit for 10-years. Many of them will start in the Criminal Court before being assigned to the Civil Court. Some, like Judge Garson currently, will eventually be assigned to sit in the Supreme Court as acting justices.

Three other judges won district-wide elections to the Civil Court including Hon. Devin Robinson, Hon. Beverly Tatham, and Hon. Brian Gotlieb. These judges are at the same level of the judges listed above them, however, they run political campaigns in a single district instead of across Brooklyn.

Of all of the judges elected on Tuesday, perhaps the one with the toughest path to the bench was Hon. Patrick Hayes Torres, who beat out Philip Grant in the June 2022 primary 74,592 votes to 58,104.

Hon. Hector LaSalle, who serves as the presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, also won re-election to the NYS Supreme Court, 10th Judicial District.

The judges will begin serving their terms on Jan. 1. There is a training period for new judges before they begin taking cases.

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