By Rob Abruzzese
A new year means new judges in New York City, as Mayor Bill de Blasio officially appointed and reappointed 46 judges to the Family, Criminal and Civil courts. In total, 13 judges on the list are new hires, and 33, are being reappointed.
“An impartial justice system is essential to building a fairer city for all,” de Blasio said. “The 13 judges I am appointing — and the 33 I am welcoming back — will represent the people of our city with fair and effective judicial oversight of our courts.”
The newly appointed judges include Family Court Judge Elizabeth Fassler, who has practiced family law for 20 years, at the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Practice in the Bronx and the Center for Family Representation where she served as co-director of the Queens County Practice.
De Blasio appointed four Criminal Court Judges with Queens ties, including Judge Michael Hartofilis, Judge Edwin Novillo, Judge Adam Perlmutter and Judge Jeffrey Rosenblueth.
Hartofilis was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in February 2018 and has been serving on the bench in Criminal Court. Hartofilis was a proseuctor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for eight years before opening his own criminal defense practice, which he ran for 2 years.
Novillo was also first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in February 2018 and has been serving in Criminal Court. Before to his appointment, Judge Novillo served with the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Practice for more than 14 years, including as a senior staff attorney in Queens County.
Perlmutter was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in March 2018 and has been serving in Criminal Court. Perlmutter worked as a prosecutor in the Queens DA’s Office, as a solo practitioner and as a partner in various firms.
Rosenblueth was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in May 2017 and has been serving in Criminal Court. Rosenblueth was also a prosecutor in the Queens DA’s Office before he became a criminal defense attorney in private practice. He also previously served with the New York State Unified Court System as a principal law clerk in Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term.
De Blasio also appointed Judge Wanda (Wendy) Licitra and Judge Quynda Santacroce to Civil Court. Both were assigned to Criminal Court.
Licitra previously served as supervising attorney in arraignments at Queens Law Associates. Santacroce began her career as a prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office where she worked in several bureaus, including the Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau and Kew Gardens I Felony Trial Bureau. She became a Principal Court Attorney serving in Queens Criminal Court, Integrated Domestic Violence Part, and the Queens Youth Part.
Among those re-appointed were Judges Toko Serita. Judge Deborah Stevens Modica, Judge Michael Yavinsky and Judge Stephen Antignani.
Other reappointments include Judge Maria Arias and Judge Helene Sacco to the Family Court; and Judge Deepa Ambekar, Judge Jeffrey Gershuny and Judge Jonathan Shim to the Civil Court.
Reappointments in the Criminal Court include Judge Heidi Cesare, Judge Abraham Clott, Judge Lenora Gerald, Judge Joseph Gubbay, Judge Diane Kiesel, Judge Michael Kitsis, Judge Donald Leo, Judge Gene Lopez, Judge Kevin McGrath, Judge Raja Rajeswari, Judge Neil Ross, Judge Ann Scherzer, Judge Toko Serita, Judge Deborah Stevens Modica, Judge Jane Tully and Judge Alvin Yearwood.
New appointments in the Family Court include Judge Keith Brown, Judge Karen Cortes, Judge Gregory Gliedman and Judge Elizabeth Fassler.
The new Civil Court judges are Judge Linda Capitti, Judge Michael Gaffey, Judge Wanda "Wendy" Licitra, Judge Archana Rao, Judge Robert Rosenthal, Judge Quynda Santacroce, Judge Audrey Stone, Judge Jonathan Svetkey and Judge Kerry Ward.
The new Criminal Court judges include Judge Angela Badamo, Judge Beth Beller, Judge Michael Hartofilis, Judge Marisol Martinez Alonso, Judge Edwin Novillo, Judge Adam Perlmutter, Judge Jeffrey Rosenblueth, Judge Ann Thompson and Judge Jeffrey Zimmerman.