Court System

Familiar Red Hook face becomes Criminal Court Judge, by Amanda Berman, Esq., Red Hook Community Justice Center

We are thrilled to announce that Karen Gopee, Court Attorney at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, was recently appointed to serve as a NYC Criminal Court Judge.

Karen Gopee signing the judges book at City Hall. (photo courtesy Gopee)
Karen Gopee signing the judges book at City Hall. (photo courtesy Gopee)


Karen served as Judge Calabrese’s Court Attorney since 2006, playing a critical role in the Court as well as the community over the past nine years. Karen brought to her work a unique combination of compassion, fairness, and true passion for serving this community. Her commitment to the community was evident through every aspect of her work, whether in the courtroom, a conference room, or on the basketball courts of the Miccio. Many community members came to know her through her prominent role in our Housing Court, where she worked closely with Judge Calabrese, NYCHA, our Housing Resource Center, and individual tenants to address needed repairs, rental arrears and related issues in order to successfully resolve cases and assist tenants in need. She also forged community partnerships that brought opportunities to local youth and tried to bridge the gap between the Police and the Community. She brought the Manhattan District Attorney’s “Saturday Night Lights” basketball program to the Miccio, and worked with Project Boost to provide educational and theatre opportunities to youth around the City.

Karen immigrated to the United States from Trinidad at the age of one. She grew up in East New York, attended public school and graduated from Binghamton University and St. John’s Law School. She served as a Prosecutor in the Kings County District Attorney’s office for seven and half years and as a Court Attorney for the last ten years. Although she led a distinguished career before coming to Red Hook, Karen often remarks that of all of her accomplishments, she is most proud of the work she did in Red Hook. Working with Judge Calabrese, and in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation, she feels she was able to have a real impact on people’s lives by improving their court experience and addressing their underlying issues through the programs and services offered at the Justice Center.

The Justice Center will miss Karen tremendously, but we are thrilled that she has received this much deserved appointment and look forward to seeing her bring all of her talents and unique perspective to this new and important position.

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