The Real Deal New York

Controversial Manhattan Housing Court judge to get the boot

Judicial panel recommends giving Susan Avery the boot, citing long list of complaints
December 04, 2017 10:00AM

Susan Avery (Credit: Facebook)

A Manhattan Housing Court judge who showed a “lack of concern” for litigants in her court and had conflicts of interest regarding her family’s real estate holdings is getting the boot.

Susan Avery, who was appointed to her $175,000-per-year job in 2012 by then-Chief Judge Gail Prudenti, is set to get axed by the end of the year following a recommendation by a panel of real estate industry and tenant organization representatives, the New York Post reported.

Avery, 52, has a long list of of complaints against her, including allowing cases involving tenants lacking heat or hot water to drag on.

“Considering the complaints against her, it’s about time for her to leave the bench,” said Alan Flacks, a local resident who has long argued for judicial reform.

The judge showed poor judgment almost immediately after taking the job, such as when she reprimanded a lawyer in with cerebral palsy for sloppy handwriting in 2013, according to a four-page report by the 14-member Advisory Council for the Housing Part of the Civil Court of New York City.

The panel also criticized Avery for “excessive multi-week adjournments” and for conflicts of interest regarding her failure to disclose that a law firm administering her family’s trust also frequently represented landlords in her court.

In 2014, Avery ruled that ripping out a radiator in a building where tenants complained the landlord hooked radiators up to their boilers was the same as repairing it.

The New York Law School graduate received a “not approved rating” by the city Bar Association twice, and was involved in a scandal in 2016 when her boyfriend allegedly made derogatory comments about a rival judge who successfully beat Avery in a race for a civil court position. [NYP]Rich Bockmann