By David Brand
September has been a big month for Civil Court Judge Maureen Healy.
At the beginning of the month, Healy’s daughter gave birth to her second grandchild. A few days later, the same daughter celebrated her own birthday.
And last Thursday, Healy was officially named one of four Democratic nominees for Queens Supreme Court. She will appear with Judge Ushir Pandit-Durant, Judge Larry Love and Judge Robert Caloras on the November ballot.
“It was exciting,” Healy said of the Queens County Democratic Committee meeting, where she was officially nominated.
“I’ve been hoping for it for a number of years,” she continued. “There are many intricate and interesting cases in Supreme Court and I worked there as court attorney for many years.”
Healy was elected to the civil court bench in 2005 after a successful career as principal law clerk to Justices Arthur Cooperman, Lawrence Finnegan, David Goldstein and Peter O’Donoghue.
In addition to her role as civil court judge, she serves as an acting Supreme Court justice presiding over uncontested matrimonial cases.
Healy’s Queens roots run deep. She was born in Middle Village and now lives in Douglaston. She received her undergraduate degree from St. John’s University before attending the St. John’s School of Law, where she earned the Criminal Law Award.
Inside her corner office in the fifth floor chambers of Queens Civil Court, Healy’s connection to her alma mater is evident. There are, of course, her diplomas.
There are also a few St. John’s baseball caps on display amid legal tomes. A framed print of an alumni magazine cover adorns the wall. The cover print mimics the famous New Yorker cover depicting a New Yorker’s myopic perspective of the world.
This time, however, Queens gets pride of place in the image as St. John’s School of Law, Citi Field, the Unisphere and the Long Island City waterfront dominate the page.
Healy’s appearance on the ballot this year gives special meaning to the message she has long shared with jurors and other visitors insider her courtroom.
“After each jury trial, I thank the jury for their jury service and I tell them, jury service is one of your responsibilities as a citizen,” she said. “The others are paying taxes and voting. So make sure you go vote. I usually get some laughs.”
But this year, people seem to be heeding her advice.
A record-breaking 1.5 million New Yorkers turned out to the polls for the gubernatorial primary earlier this month. That is nearly three times as many voters as 2014, Gothamist reported.
In New York City, more than 855,000 people voted in the primary compared to less than 500,000 in last year's mayoral primary.
In Queens, 182,995 of the county’s 731,337 registered Democrats — or slightly more than a quarter — cast their ballots in the gubernatorial primary.
“I think what motivates people to vote is an issue that is of interest to them and that they feel passionate about,” she said. “I think so many people think government is too big and too distant and think ‘I can’t affect it.’ But they can.”