New York mayor Bill de Blasio appointed two Indian origin women as judges to criminal and civil courts. Judge  Archana Rao is appointed to criminal court and Judge Deepa Ambedkar is appointed to civil court in New York.

Key Takeaways:

  • 28 judicial appointments and reappointments made by Mayor Bill de Blasio to family court, criminal court and civil court. These appointments were effective from January 1, 2019.
  • Judge Rao was appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in January 2019 and Judge Ambedkar was appointed as an Interim Civil Court judge in May 2018.
  • In 2015 New York appointed the first Indian born judge, Raja Rajeshwari as a criminal court judge. She was born in Chennai.

Judge Archana Rao

Rao is a graduate of Vassar College.  She did her Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law. Rao served with the New York County District Attorney’s Office for 17 years. Further, she also worked as the Bureau Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau.  Later, Judge Rao was appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in January 2019. As per Judge Archana’s bio on Asian Women in Business, in addition to working on street crime cases, Archana also served in the Domestic Violence Unit and welfare fraud unit. In 2013 Asian Women in Business included Judge Archana on the “Asian Women Prosecutors and the Pursuit of Justice in 2013” list.

“These appointees will represent New Yorkers proudly and work tirelessly to provide oversight of our courts”

Judge Deepa Ambedkar

Judge Ambedkar is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Further, she did her Juris degree from Rutgers Law School. Ambedkar was appointed as an Interim Civil Court judge in May 2018. Earlier she worked at the New York City Council as a Senior Legislative Attorney and Counsel to the Committee on Public Safety. The 43-year-old Judge also served as a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division where she represented defendants facing felony and misdemeanour charges.

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Appointment of Judges

28 judicial appointments and reappointments have been made by Mayor Bill de Blasio to family court, criminal court and civil court. These appointments were effective from January 1, 2019. Family Court judges hear cases related to adoption, foster care and guardianship, custody and visitation. Further, the Family Court also hears cases of domestic violence, abused or neglected children, and juvenile delinquency. The City’s Criminal Court handles misdemeanour cases and lesser offences and conducts arraignments. New York unified court system include family court, criminal court and civil court.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “These appointees will represent New Yorkers proudly and work tirelessly to provide oversight of our courts.” He further added, “Their work is essential in ensuring that we are creating a fairer city for all.”

Judge Rao was appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in January 2019 and Judge Ambedkar was appointed as an Interim Civil Court judge in May 2018.

In 2015 New York appointed the first Indian born judge, Raja Rajeswari as a criminal court judge. She was born in Chennai. As per a report by The Hindu, Rajeswari earlier worked with several bureaus like Criminal Court, Narcotics, Supreme Court, and the Sex Crimes Special Victims Bureau, where she last served as Deputy Chief.

Raja Rajeswari. Image credit: Gulf News

Read also: Sabarimala Case: SC Refers Case To Larger Seven-Judge Bench

Image credit: The Federal

Mansi is an Intern at SheThePeople.TV

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