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Judge Challenges NY’s Mandatory Retirement

MANHATTAN (CN) - Nassau County Supreme Court Justice William LaMarca claims the State of New York's mandatory retirement age for judges, enshrined in the state constitution, is discriminatory. LaMarca reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2003, but has successfully petitioned to extend his term twice.

In his complaint in Nassau County Court, LaMarca says the second extension expired on Dec. 31, 2009, but his 14-year elected term will not end until Dec. 31, 2015.

He sued Gov. David Paterson, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, The New York State Office of Court Administration, and Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau.

LaMarca asks that Article VI, Section 25(b) of the New York State Constitution be declared unconstitutional. He wants to serve his full term.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Charles Bernstein filed similar lawsuit challenging his state's mandatory retirement age on Dec. 29, 2009.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in September 2009 that its similar statute was unconstitutional.

New York State calls its county courts supreme courts.

LaMarca is represented by Michael Montesano.

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