On Friday, March 22, 2024, Clark Municipal Court Judge Antonio Inacio filed his answer to a formal complaint issued by the New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC).

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Judge Antonio Inacio,” with case numbers ACJC 2023-109 &
ACJC 2024-018.

The four-count complaint against Judge Inacio alleges that he violated the New Jersey Code of Judicial Conduct on several occasions. Judge Inacio fully admitted to all of the factual allegations and claims of judicial misconduct presented in the complaint.

The first count accuses Judge Inacio of casting reasonable doubt on his impartiality by presiding over cases involving Clark Township police officers and a code enforcement officer that he had previously represented in his private law practice. It is alleged that between 2014 and 2022, Judge Inacio disposed of over 130 tickets that had been issued by four officers and one code enforcement officer who were previously his clients.

Count two claims that on multiple occasions in June 2023, Judge Inacio interpreted court proceedings from English to Spanish without using a certified interpreter, in violation of the state’s Language Access Plan. Both the Municipal Division Manager and Presiding Judge for Municipal Courts had observed this and informed Judge Inacio it was not the preferred practice.

Count three alleges that during an August 2020 case, Judge Inacio made inappropriate and discourteous comments to a defendant about his lack of employment and relationship status.

The final count accuses Judge Inacio of failing to self-report to the proper disciplinary authorities when he was named as a respondent in a March 2023 attorney ethics complaint that alleged dishonest conduct.

In his answer, Judge Inacio admitted to all the factual allegations and claims of judicial misconduct. He provided some context and mitigating explanations for his actions. While acknowledging responsibility, he maintained none of the officers or code enforcement officers testified in the cases he presided over. Regarding the comments to a defendant, he said they were meant to be lighthearted. Judge Inacio also said he was unaware that he had to self-report the ethics complaint as a judge.

The ACJC will now determine appropriate discipline for Judge Inacio based on the established violations of the judicial code of conduct. His answer indicates he has taken corrective actions and will adhere strictly to all rules going forward in his role on the municipal bench.

Judge Inacio’s courtroom is located at 315 Westfield Avenue, Clark, NJ 07066, and can be reached at 732-381-5395.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.