The law has a certain amount of ambiguity that leaves it open to interpretation. However, there are certain ironclad rules. One such rule is that a judge must appear to act impartial. Therefore, it must have come as a shock to many when a New York judge took an adversarial stance towards a man who was behind on his child support payments.
The judge not only sentenced the man to four months in jail, but also made several inappropriate remarks in his courtroom comments. In a ruling that made national news, The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division recently determined that Nassau County Judge Thomas Rademaker must be removed from the case where a defendant owed $518,000 to his former spouse.
Misstatements from the bench
There were a number of ill-conceived comments from the judge:
- The defendant “symbolized everything that is wrong with the world today.”
- The defendant was “selfish,” “lazy,” “arrogant” and “self-interested.”
- The defendant was the last person the judge would want to be in a foxhole with because “he would fold like a cheap suit.”
- The judge also said the defendant could win his release from jail if he paid his obligations.
- The judge also made it personal by comparing the defendant’s experiences to his own, and how he had overcome adversity to get where he was.
Everyone deserves a fair hearing
Regardless of the circumstances in a case, everyone deserves a fair hearing or trail and to be judged accordingly. Judges are human and can make mistakes, which is one reason for the appeals process. Nevertheless, a Board-certified Family Law expert attorney can also be a huge asset in protecting a client’s rights, particularly when a judge appears to show bias.