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Another Bad NYS Judge. Judge jailed people without a hearing

November 6, 2010

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has called for removal of a Saratoga County Family Court judge who recently resigned while disciplinary charges were still pending for jailing people while denying their rights to a hearing and an attorney.

In a ruling released Friday, the commission said that in four cases Judge Gilbert Abramson jailed people for periods ranging from 21 to 268 days after he failed to comply with constitutional and statutory mandates guaranteeing their “fundamental rights.”

Formal removal, subject to review by the Court of Appeals, would keep Abramson from future office.

Abramson, who lost a Republican primary, resigned last month. He was a judge for 10 years and before that he worked for the state Senate.

The commission cited six cases where Abramson acknowleged summarily sending people to jail for nonpayment of support. It noted he’d been warned previously about not advising people they had a right to an attorney and cited another complaint that he made inappropriate suggestive comments to a woman because of the T-shirt she wore in court.

JUDGE sends people to jail without a hearing.

Judge’s attorney says the people who went to jail “There were no people who lost any substantive rights,” Roche said.

Since 1978, the commission has issued 161 determinations of removal against judges in New York. Out of 91 total challenges, the Court of Appeals has upheld commission sanctions in 75 cases. The appeals court has upheld 66 removals and reduced 10 to lesser punishments of censure or admonition.

One Family Court Judge Down — How many more to go?

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