Governor Chris Christie announced yesterday that he has nominated Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon for reappointment to the bench. Should Escandon be be confirmed by the State Senate, he will be a tenured Judge eligible to serve until the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Escandon was appointed to the Superior Court in 2009 by Governor Jon Corzine. His service on the bench became a matter of public controversy when Governor Chris Christie lent a sympathetic ear to Rachel Alintoff, whose divorce was being presided over by Escandon, during a Town Hall Meeting in Garfield, Bergen County, on May 2, 2012. Alintoff complained to Christie that Escandon stripped her of her parental rights as a punishment for seeking an Order of Protection against her estranged husband in New York and that the Judge ordered her estranged husband, who she said makes over $500,000 per year on Wall Street, to provide only $1000 per month in support for her and her son.
Five women whose divorce cases were heard by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon are petitioning the New Jersey General Assembly to impeach the Judge they say violated their rights of due process and equal protection.
WABC-NY first reported the story of the impeachment petition.
Under the New Jersey Constitution, the General Assembly has the sole power to impeach judges by majority vote of the members. Should a judge be impeached by the Assembly, a trial is held in the Senate. A conviction and removal from office requires the vote of two-thirds of the Senate members.
Patricia Madison aka Patricia Pisciotti, Rachel Alintoff, Tameka Hunt, Paula Diaz Antonopoulos Wolfe, and Kristen Williams are represented by Robert A. Tandy, Esq., a Woodcliff Lake civil rights and employment attorney.
The women argue that they have no recourse against Escandon, other than impeachment and removal from office, for violating their civil rights due to the broad immunities granted Judges. They make the following allegations in their petition: