Judge Noach Dear of New York City has been appointed to the New York State Supreme Court. Dear, a former NYC city councilman who is an orthodox Jew and openly pro-Israel, was appointed following two years in the civil court system.
Dear was a controversial candidate for the civil courts in 2007, after serving as a councilman for more than 20 years. Gay rights activists accused him of being anti-gay, he was plagued by rumors of corruption, and the City Bar Association labeled him “unqualified” due to his lack of legal experience.
However, after donning his judges robes in 2008, Dear became a surprise hit. In a city where almost half a million residents have been taken to court in consumer debt cases, Dear made a name for himself as the judge willing to take collection agencies to task. He insisted that agencies present clear evidence of their claims, often dismissing cases if they failed to do so, and even bargained with collectors on behalf of financially strapped debtors.
Legal rights advocates in New York praised Judge Dear for bringing the idea of due process into cases involving personal debt. Dear described his own approach as, “I like to fight for the underdog.”
In his new role, Dear will continue to preside over debt cases, and will also preside in cases involving foreclosures and real estate equity.