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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Criminal Judge Drops Charges Against Federal Judge

Judge drops charges against federal judge James Peck accused of slapping his wife
The New York Daily News by MELISSA GRACE - March 16, 2009

The criminal case against a federal judge charged with slapping his wife was dismissed and sealed in a Manhattan courtroom Monday after she decided not to help prosecutors, officials said. James Peck, the bankruptcy judge overseeing the breakup of Lehman Brothers, hit his wife, Judith, in a dispute in their Park Ave. apartment, cops said. "I was defending myself," Peck, 63, told NYPD officers when they showed up at the couple's home. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky, acting on a recommendation from prosecutors, tossed the charges. "On the motion of the people, the case is dismissed and sealed," he declared. Peck, who also briefly handled bankruptcy court proceedings in the case of Bernard Madoff, did not show up in court and his lawyer, Barry Bohrer, said that because the case was now sealed he could not comment.

Prosecutors moved to dismiss for "a number of reasons, including the complaining witness being uncooperative in this case," Assistant District Attorney Melissa Sussman told Judge Yavinsky. "We cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt." The alleged violence erupted on a Saturday in January when Peck's wife of 42 years was late returning from the Hampton's, prompting an argument over a ladder she'd left in his closet. Peck told cops he was moving the ladder out when "she slapped me in the face ... I put the ladder down and slapped her back." Judith Peck, who cops said suffered "substantial pain," locked herself in a room and dialed 911. She was later treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to a police report. The judge faced a misdemeanor assault charge and a charge of harassment, a violation, and up to 90 days in jail. According to now-sealed court records, Peck told cops the two had been having problems since October.

Previous Story in The New York Times - FEBRUARY 2, 2009:

Judge in Lehman Case Is Charged With Assault

The federal court judge overseeing the bankruptcy case of Lehman Brothers was arrested on Saturday afternoon and charged with hitting his wife. United State Bankruptcy Judge James M. Peck, 63, is charged with third-degree attempted assault and second-degree harassment after a fight with his wife, Judith, in their Manhattan home, according to the complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court. It said Judge Peck slapped her in the face, causing bruising. Mrs. Peck was taken to a hospital for treatment. Judge Peck was released without bail and is scheduled to appear in court on March 16, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, told DealBook. According to The New York Post, citing unnamed sources, Judge Peck told police that he and his wife began arguing after her late arrival from the Hamptons, in Long Island. The two then hit each other, before Mrs. Peck called police. By the time police arrived, The Post said, the two were in separate rooms. As the man overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of Lehman, Judge Peck has gained an increasingly high profile. A former bankruptcy litigator at the law firms Schulte, Roth & Zabel and Duane Morris, Judge Peck is known for his patience in handling matters as complex as the Lehman case. He was sworn as a bankruptcy court judge in 2006, according to his biography at Web site for the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Manhattan. Judge Peck also briefly oversaw the bankruptcy proceeding of Bernard L. Madoff Securities, the trading operations run by the eponymous financier. But he recused himself from the case in late December, and it is now being handled by Judge Burton R. Lifland, also of the Southern District of New York. A native of New York, Judge Peck graduated from Dartmouth and New York University Law School –Michael J. de la Merced


Anonymous said...

Why wasn't this sent to the Integrated Domestic violence Court? Where is the Domestic Incident report required by law? Are the feminists letting this one slid by, because he is a judge? Equal justice for all, except for our judicial nobility.

Anonymous said...

Amazing to me that a state judge actually knows how and what section to mark to seal a case...most pretend not to know how and when to seal and depend on the clerk to do it behind the scenes..which is allowed under the cpl.
Sealing orders are ignored by many judges relative to the average cases...even when it is mandatory. I cannot tell you how many times a day I had to request a judge to mark a sealing order...with many stating...can it be sealed?
When it comes to their brethern, they get it right.
Do You think in this case, the clerk had to ask this judge to enter it, while he asked..can it be sealed?

Anonymous said...

how much cash did this cost the Judge? The coverups and obstructions get sealed, the legal system protects its own.

Anonymous said...

that judge is such a girl he probably only became a judge for the free dress

Anonymous said...

Why would a criminal case involving adults be able to be sealed anyway?

Anonymous said...

There will be a Public Hearing, held by the New York State Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination process of the Chief Justice of New York State on Friday, March 20 at 10:00 AM at the Brooklyn Bar Association, 123 Remsen Street, Brooklyn New York. (inquiries: contact Senate Judiciary Counsel, Timothy Spotts: 518 455 2788)

Anonymous said...

What did you expect JUSTICE? The fix is in as we say in Brooklyn.

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