FOR RELEASE November 5, 2010
Robert H. Tembeckjian, Administrator
Beth S. Bar, Public Information Officer
Former Saratoga County Family Court Judge Removed from Office for Violating Litigants’ Constitutional and Statutory Rights and for Making Inappropriate Sexual Comments
The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has completed formal proceedings against Gilbert L. Abramson, a Judge of the Family Court, Saratoga County, who resigned from office last month while formal disciplinary charges were pending against him.
The Commission determined that Judge Abramson should be removed from office for repeatedly incarcerating Family Court litigants while denying them such fundamental rights as the right to be represented by counsel and the right to a hearing. In four separate cases, litigants served for periods ranging from 21 days to 268 days in jail after the judge failed to comply with the appropriate constitutional and statutory mandates.
The Commission decision is dated October 26, 2010. Removal renders a judge ineligible to hold judicial office in the future.
Judge Abramson committed these acts of misconduct despite having received a prior caution from the Commission for failing to advise litigants of the right to counsel.
“The record in its totality demonstrates [Judge Abramson’s] profound disregard for the rule of law and his continuing insensitivity to the overriding importance of protecting the rights of litigants despite the Commission’s cautionary warning and despite his assurances that he ‘dramatically changed’ his practices after that warning,” the Commission said in its determination.
The judge compounded this misconduct by making “egregious and inexcusable” comments of a sexual nature on two separate occasions to a litigant in Saratoga County Family Treatment Court.
“His gratuitous remarks, which were prompted by an innocuous caricature on a litigant’s T-shirt, were ribald and replete with sexual innuendo,” the Commission said. By making these comments about the “benign and non-sexual” image, Judge Abramson violated his obligation to be the exemplar of dignity and decorum in the courtroom and to treat those who appear in the court with courtesy and respect.
The determination can be found on the Commission’s website: