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Queens judges to help other boroughs

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, December 28th 2007, 4:00 AM

Courtesy of www.nydailynews.com

Two of the three new judges elected to the Queens Supreme Court are being temporarily assigned to serve outside the borough because of a shortage of judges elsewhere, court officials said.

Justices Kenneth Holder, Steven Paynter and Dennis Butler were elected on the Democratic ticket to become Queens Supreme Court Judges on Nov. 6, and are slated to begin their new assignments Wednesday.

But instead of serving in Queens Supreme Court, Paynter has been assigned to the criminal term of the Bronx Supreme Court, while Holder will be working in the criminal term of the Brooklyn Supreme Court, said Office of Court Administration spokeswoman Kali Holloway.

Butler will serve at the civil term of the Queens Supreme Courthouse in Long Island City, she said. It was unclear how long the two temporary assignments would last.

Holder, a former Queens prosecutor who was elected to a Civil Court judge post two years ago, was the last of the three to be sworn in when he held his installation ceremony at the Queens Supreme Court in Kew Gardens last week.

Holder has been a Kings County Criminal Court judge for the past year, and his departure was bemoaned as a “tremendous loss” by the court’s supervising judge, William Miller, at Holder’s installation ceremony in Queens Supreme Court.

Holder was a Queens prosecutor for 15 years, and helped develop Queens Criminal Court’s contemporary drug court system that stresses treatment over incarceration. His efforts were praised by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and Seymour James, attorney in charge of the Legal Aid Society, who helped Holder develop the program.

Paynter has spent the past two years as a Queens Criminal Court judge in the Kew Gardens courthouse. His resume shows that prior to that, he spent 11 years as a Civil Court judge in Queens and a year as a Civil Court judge in Manhattan.

“He is a talented, capable and dedicated judge who brings with him to the Supreme Court trial bench a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to doing justice,” Brown said in a statement.

Butler was most recently a judge at the small claims court of the Queens County Civil Court in Jamaica, a post he was elected to in 2002.

Butler also serves as an adjunct law professor at Fordham University, and worked as a law clerk for Queens Supreme Court judges and Surrogate judges from 1990 to 2001, his resume shows.

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