Toko Serita is a New York State Acting Supreme Court Justice who presides over three problem solving courts in Queens County Criminal Court - a drug court, a mental health recovery court, as well as the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court (HTIC).  A leading judicial expert on human trafficking, since 2008 Justice Serita has presided over the oldest and largest court in this state solely dedicated to serving trafficking victims and  survivors.  She is the author of “In Our Own Backyards: The Need for a Coordinated Judicial Response to Human Trafficking,” which was published in the NYU Review of Law and Social Change (2013).  The success of the Queens HTIC later served as the impetus for the creation of similar trafficking intervention courts throughout NY State.  In 2015, Justice Serita became the chair of the statewide Human Trafficking Working Group, whose judicial members represent each of the 11 trafficking intervention courts, including the five counties comprising New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Westchester, Suffolk & Nassau Counties.

Prior to becoming a judge, Justice Serita served as the Executive Assistant to two Administrative Judges of the Supreme Court Queens County:  first, to the Hon. Steven W. Fisher, and then the Hon. Leslie G. Leach. From 1989 - 1999, Justice Serita was an appellate attorney at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Appeals Bureau, where she argued before the New York State Appellate Division, First and Second Departments, the New York Court of Appeals, and the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  She is a former co-chair of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), and was previously the Citywide Chair of the Gender Fairness Committee of the New York City Criminal Court from 2007-2010.  She is currently a member of the statewide Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, the NYS Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), and the newly formed Asian American Judges Association of New York (AAJANY), which she helped found.  Justice Serita was selected as one of ten Japanese-American leaders from the U.S. to be part of the 2014 Japanese-American Leadership Delegation (JALD), sponsored by the Japanese Foreign Ministry. She is a graduate of Vassar College and City University of New York School of Law.

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