2018-01-31 / Features

John Katsanos Inducted As Civil Court Judge


Judge John C.V. Katsanos. Judge John C.V. Katsanos. The induction of Judge John C.V. Katsanos was held on January 23, at the Queens County Civil Court, in Jamaica. The Hon. Jeremy S. Weinstein, Administrative Judge of the NYS Supreme Court presided over the ceremonial occasion, and NYS Senator Michael Gianaris served as the event’s host. Judge Weinstein made note of Judge Katsanos’ professional accomplishments and how, in a short amount of time, he has impressed his colleagues at the court on which Katsanos now serves.

Congress Member Joseph Crowley returned from Washington, DC to attend the special occasion and highlighted Judge Katsanos’ civic-mindedness, commitment to his family and dedication to the law.

Immediately prior to his election last year, Katsanos served as the Chair of the Consumer Affairs, and Legal, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Committees of Queens Community Board 1, and the Chair of the United Community Civic Association. Judge Katsanos also had an extensive career in private practice and government service after earning his law degree at St. John’s Law School and Master of Studies in Law (MSL) in Taxation from New York University School of Law.


US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis administering the oath to Judge John Katsanos, with mother, Paula; wife, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, and daughter, Eleni holding the Bible. US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis administering the oath to Judge John Katsanos, with mother, Paula; wife, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, and daughter, Eleni holding the Bible. Judge Katsanos began his career as a federal law clerk for retired Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas at the United States Court of International Trade. The Honorable Timothy Stanceu, Chief Judge of the Court of International Trade, was in attendance and spoke about Judge Katsanos’ reputation as a dedicated law clerk and attorney with genuine empathy and compassion.

The Consul General of Greece in New York, Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, also in attendance, conveyed a personal message from the President of Greece. During his remarks, Congress Member Crowley highlighted the significance of having a judge of Hellenic descent serving Queens County.


(L. to r.): NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, who hosted the event; NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides, Judge John C.V. Katsanos, his wife, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, and House Democratic Caucus Chair Member Joe Crowley. (L. to r.): NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, who hosted the event; NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides, Judge John C.V. Katsanos, his wife, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, and House Democratic Caucus Chair Member Joe Crowley. During his remarks, Judge Katsanos spoke about his family’s immigration story, coming to New York in 1963, before moving to Florence, South Carolina where he was born. Judge Katsanos said:

“The mid to late ‘60s was an important time in the Civil Rights Movement, when many milestones were reached. The Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965, the Supreme Court overturned state laws that restricted interracial marriages in 1967, and the Fair Housing Act was signed into law in 1968. Nonetheless, this was still a very divisive period in our society, particularly down South.

“I still remember the stories my mother would tell me about neighbors who encouraged her to sit in front of the local bus and not intermingle with anyone who did not look like her. In defiance, she would always sit in the back and followed her instinct to greet all of her fellow passengers, even in her broken, limited English.

“She always instilled in me the concept of fundamental fairness and treating everyone with kindness and respect—she would say ‘treat others the way that you want to be treated.’”

Judge Katsanos has been married to Assembly Member Aravella Simotas since 2004, and they have a young daughter, Eleni Evageline Katsanos, who attends kindergarten in Astoria. Senator Gianaris, who strongly supported the Judge’s elevation to the bench, noted that “John Katsanos will be a judge of which our community can be proud. He is a distinguished attorney and community leader and will now bring his talents to the bench. The people of Queens are lucky to have John in public service.”

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