Judge Josephs is accused of conspiring with the immigrant’s lawyer to help the immigrant escape capture by an ICE agent. The agent was waiting in the courthouse, one floor below Judge Josephs’ courtroom, apparently prepared to detain the immigrant as they attempted to exit the building. To avoid this, Judge Josephs allegedly instructed a court officer to lead the immigrant and his lawyer through the back entrance to the courthouse, allowing them to leave without crossing paths with the ICE agent.
To defend herself, Josephs has argued that she is protected by the doctrine of “judicial immunity,” which states that a judge cannot be held legally liable for acts undertaken in the course of their official duties. She has filed a motion to have the charges dismissed, arguing that permitting the immigrant to leave through the back entrance, and thus allowing them to escape capture, was simply a part of her acting in her discretion as a District Court Judge. Federal prosecutors disagree, arguing that she was acting outside her official authority, and thus shouldn’t be protected by judicial immunity. It remains to be seen how the court will rule on her motion, however.
If you are a non-citizen seeking a visa, permanent residency or other immigration relief, please call the attorneys at Bretz & Coven LLP. We will help you through the difficult process of applying for a green card, protecting your rights and giving you the best chance possible at attaining legal status. To schedule a consultation with our New York immigration lawyers, call (212) 267-2555 or visit our contact page.