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Kevin Castel

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Kevin Castel
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #18
Station:   New York, NY
Service:
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   09/22/2003 - Present
Preceded by:   Lawrence McKenna
Personal History
Born:   1950
Hometown:   Jamaica, NY
Undergraduate:   St. John's U., B.S., 1972
Law School:   St. John's U. School of Law, J.D., 1975

Kevin Castel is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He joined the court in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.

Early life and education

Born in Jamaica, New York, Castel graduated from St. John`s University - New York with his bachelor's degree in 1972, and later graduated from St. John`s University of New York Law with a Juris Doctor in 1975.[1]

Professional career

Castel began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Kevin Duffy of the Southern District of New York from 1975 to 1977 before entering private practice in New York City until 2003.[1]

Judicial career

Southern District of New York

Castel was nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George W. Bush on March 5, 2003, to a seat vacated by Lawrence McKenna as McKenna assumed senior status. Castel was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 17, 2003, on a majority vote and received commission on September 22, 2003.[2]

Notable cases

Judge allows case against NYPD in fatal shooting of unarmed man to continue (2014)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Bah v. City of New York, 13-cv-6690)

On May 1, 2014, Judge Castel ruled that a negligence lawsuit filed by the family of a mentally-ill man shot and killed by the New York Police Department (NYPD) may move forward in court.[3]


In the underlying case, in 2012, NYPD officers entered the apartment of Mohamed Bah, an emotionally unstable man, after his mother called 911 to get him medical attention. The police claimed that upon their arrival, Bah allegedly started to swing a knife at them. Once inside, officers attempted to subdue Bah with Tasers. One officer accidentally struck another officer with his Taser, prompting the second officer to believe he'd been stabbed by Bah.[3] Officers then fired ten shots at Bah, and hit him eight times, wounding him fatally. Bah's survivors filed a $70 million suit against the City and the NYPD, with claims that the officers were negligent and unlawfully entered Bah's apartment.[4]


In his ruling on the matter, Judge Castel dismissed the family's claims of negligence, but allowed allegations of unlawful entry and improper supervision to stand, noting, "Based on the facts alleged, it is plausible that immediate action was not necessary as the [Emergency Service Unit] officers, at minimum, may have been able to enlist Mrs. Bah’s help in speaking with Bah and did not have reason to believe that Bah posed a threat to anyone." A spokesperson for the New York City Law Department pledged that the City's attorneys would "vigorously defend this lawsuit.”[3][4]

USA v. John Gotti, Jr. (2009)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ((dead link) USA v. John Gotti, Jr., 8:08-cr 00312.T.23EAJ)

In 2009, Judge Castel presided in the John "Junior" Gotti case on charges of conspiring and drug trafficking, under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1962(d).[5] [6] This was the fourth trial of Gotti; the three previous trials ended with hung juries.[7]

On July 8, 2009 Judge Castel denied requests to throw out a racketeering indictment and grant bond to Gotti while he was awaiting trial in September of 2009. The motion was made as Gotti had health problems, including kidney stones. Attorneys for Gotti made the request due to complaints of the lack of attention towards the issue at the correctional facility.[7]

On December 1, 2009, Judge Castel declared a mistrial in the case of John "Junior" Gotti. This happened after a jury was deadlocked for eleven days in trying to reach a verdict. It was reported that the jury could not find unanimous consent in reaching a verdict.[8]

For more information on the case, see generally:

See also

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Lawrence McKenna
Southern District of New York
2003–Current
Succeeded by:
NA


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