Justice Ingrid Joseph proud to sit on judicial bench

Guyanese-born Justice Ingrid Joseph says she’s “privileged and blessed” that she gets “to do work that I love” by sitting on the judicial bench in Brooklyn and Queens.

Joseph — who was elected as a Supreme Court Justice of the State of New York during the Midterm Elections on Nov. 6, for a 14-year-term, which begins on Jan. 2, 2019 and ends Dec. 31, 2033 — said her plan, as a judge, is “to do justice wherever I can.

“To give everyone who appears before me an opportunity to be heard and to render decisions that are thoughtful, fair, balanced and in keeping with the law,” she told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview on Friday, Dec. 7.

“I choose the law as my career because I like helping to solve problems, and I wanted to be a judge because the courts are often the only avenue some people have to address societal issues,” Justice Joseph added. “I also like the intellectual challenge of mastering new areas of the law and using it to render justice.

“When I sit on the bench, I represent first and foremost the members of the Joseph family; then I am a woman, a Caribbean / South American / Afro American / and a five-footer; but, mostly, I represent someone who wants to help to resolve the issues of the community,” she continued.

Joseph was first elected as a countywide judge to the Civil Court in 2008. That Civil Court seat was slated as vacancy 18 on the ballot in the Democratic Primary Election on Sept. 13.

There were two incumbents (current sitting judges) seeking re-election to Countywide Civil Court seats: Joseph and Loren Bailey. The contenders for those seats were Sheryl Orwell and Saul Cohen.

According to the Board of Elections’ Unofficial Election Night Results, a total of 388,119 votes were cast. Joseph received 133,372 votes; Bailey 118,520; 88,366 votes and Cohen 45,995 votes; with 1866 write-in votes.

After her first election in 2008, Joseph said she began her tenure as a judge in January 2009, serving for nine years and nine months before her re-election.

During her 10 years in Civil Court in Brooklyn and Queens, Joseph said she presided over cases (personal injury trials and motions, name changes and small claims); Family court in Brooklyn (custody and visitation); and the Supreme Court in Brooklyn (matrimonial).

In addition to her duties as a civil court judge, Joseph said she was appointed acting justice of the Supreme Court in 2012, working for seven years in that capacity.

She was promoted to supervising judge of the Civil Court in January 2017.

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