Mayor Bill de Blasio has made 28 judicial appointments and reappointments for the New Year, including one appointment and four reappointments to Family Court; six appointments and ten reappointments to Criminal Court; and three appointments and four reappointments to Civil Court. Judges appointed or reappointed to Civil Court sit in either Family or Criminal Court. The appointments were effective January 1, 2020.
“These appointees will represent New Yorkers proudly and work tirelessly to provide oversight of our courts,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Their work is essential in ensuring that we are creating a fairer city for all.”
Family, Criminal and Civil Court are part of the New York State Unified Court System. Family Court judges hear cases related to adoption, foster care and guardianship, custody and visitation, domestic violence, abused or neglected children, and juvenile delinquency. The City’s Criminal Court handles misdemeanor cases and lesser offenses, and conducts arraignments. Two of the three judges newly appointed to Civil Court will sit in Criminal Court, one will sit in Family Court.
Two Indian Americans judges were among the appointments: Archana Rao to Criminal Court and Deepa Ambekar to Civil Court.
Judge Archana Rao was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in January 2019 and has been serving in Criminal Court. Prior to her appointment, she served with the New York County District Attorney’s Office for 17 years, most recently as the Bureau Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau. She is a graduate of Vassar College and received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.
Judge Deepa Ambekar was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in May 2018 and has been serving in Criminal Court. Prior to her appointment, she served with the New York City Council as a Senior Legislative Attorney and Counsel to the Committee on Public Safety. Judge Ambekar also served as a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received her J.D. from Rutgers Law School.