Hon. Lumarie Maldonado Cruz was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Judge Maldonado Cruz moved to the Bronx, New York with her mother at the age of 16 looking for a better life, with nothing but a suitcase. She wasted no time and at the age of 17 she graduated High School.
At the age of 23, Judge Maldonado Cruz found herself a single mother, living on welfare. Refusing to be marginalized and discounted, she applied and was accepted to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with the understanding that only with a solid education she would be able to break the cycle of poverty, violence and self-helplessness.
At the age of 27, armed with a bachelor’s degree on Judicial Studies, two children and a husband, Judge Maldonado Cruz enrolled in CUNY School of law and in 2003, as a mother of three, she began her legal career as a solo practitioner. She specialized in Elder law with a focus on Medicaid Planning and Trust and Estates.
She was then afforded the opportunity to join the New York City Civil Court, as Court attorney to Justice Julia Rodriguez.
Later, Judge Maldonado Cruz joined the ranks of the New York State Assembly, as Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Hon. Naomi Rivera.
In 2008, she was afforded the opportunity to join the prestigious Appellate Division First Department, as Staff Counsel to the Character and Fitness Committee, where she worked for 10 years before deciding to, against all odds, run for a seat in the New York City Civil Court.
On June 25, 2019, she overwhelmingly won the democratic primary, securing the Democratic Party nomination for New York City Civil Court. On January 2020, Judge Maldonado Cruz was sworn in as the only Puerto Rican woman to win the only countywide contested judicial race in Queens County.
She currently sits in New York County Criminal Term.