This plaintiff does not want to approach the bench.
A Bronx Family Court judge abruptly took herself off a child custody case after the mum involved publicly accused the jurist of coming on to her via a swinger’s app, The Post has learned.
Judge Cynthia Lopez, 47, announced her recusal Monday during a brief virtual teleconference with parent Sidney Southerland’s lawyer, the New York Post reports.
The shocking turn of events came last week, Southerland claims when a woman by the name of “Cynthia” reached out to her on 3Fun, “the leading app for sexually free singles.”
“GM,” the woman wrote in a message just before 8am on Jan. 24, using slang for good morning. “Am Cynthia. How are you?”
Southerland — who went by the name Chyna on the app, but used her real photo — provided a screenshot of the alleged message to The Post, along with the sender’s purported profile, which shows a photo of a brown-haired woman clad only in black heels and a black negligee, sitting cross-legged on a couch.
The profile lists the woman as bisexual, with a male partner identified only as “Ant.”
The sender was not shy about what she was looking for, stating in her public profile:
“We are a full swap [couple] in an [ethical non-monogamy] dynamic looking to have some hot sexy fun with other full swap [couples] and single ladies,” she wrote. “We love thick girls just as much as we love petite girls! At the end of the day it’s all about personality. Guys at the most should be stocky and I the female, prefer males to be somewhat endowed.”
Southerland didn’t mince words in her reply:
“B***h, you know who the f**k I am,” Southerland recalled saying.
The sender promptly blocked her, but not before Southerland said she managed to snap images of the initial exchange and the profile.
“I plan to file a complaint,” Southerland added, and speculated that Judge Lopez was slow-walking her custody case because she was trying to bed her.
“She just wanted to see me. There was some kind of attraction and I am disturbed by that. I was fighting for my kids for two years and you’re giving me a hard time because of some sexual attraction,” she told The Post.
Southerland made her gripe public in a video on TikTok and X, two days after allegedly receiving the initial come-on.
“POV: you’re currently going to family court and the judge who acts like she hates you, inboxes you on a swingers dating app … a week before the next court date,” Southerland posted.
The TikTok post swiftly made its way to the city Administration for Children’s Services, which in turn referred the matter to the state Office of Court Administration. ACS would not comment.
“The Court has been made aware of this claim, and is reviewing it,” an OCA spokesman said, when asked about the judge’s alleged escapades and whether they led to her recusal.
Southerland’s legal troubles began July 28, 2021, when NYPD officers stormed her mother’s Bronx apartment and arrested her, according to a lawsuit she filed against the city in September 2022 alleging cops showed no cause.
The NYPD declined to comment on the litigation and said “There are no arrests on file” — contradicting a central claim in her litigation.
Southerland’s two young children, Saniya, now 9, and Saint, 4, were taken by ACS in February 2022 and she found herself in front of Judge Lopez that same month.
Southerland, who claims she has been married nine times, is no stranger to the law.
She pleaded guilty to assault on three occasions between 2015 and 2017.
In each case, she was given probation or mental health counselling.
In one 2017 case, Southerland was busted after an NYPD officer saw her screaming in a Facebook Live video while a bloodied man lay on the floor in the background.
“THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED WHEN A N***A CHEATS ON YOU. YOU F***ING CUT HIM. SAY MY NAME, SAY MY NAME AND I’LL F***ING CUT YOUR THROAT. I F***ING CUT YOU. YOU WANT TO CHEAT ON A N***A. YOU WANT TO F**K SOME OTHER B****ES,” she shouted, according to the criminal complaint.
In another case from 2015, the NYPD alleged she threw her then-1-year-old daughter, Saniya, into the air causing her to “land on the floor face-up,” resulting in two skull fractures, according to the criminal complaint.
Lopez served as interim civil court and family court judge for three years before being formally appointed to the job by Mayor Adams last month and has been lauded by the Latino Judges Association for her “sound judgment and legal expertise.”
Lopez will be replaced in the custody case with Judge Fiordaliza A. Rodriguez, according to Southerland’s lawyer, George Gilmer.
Judge Lopez declined to comment and directed all inquiries to OCA.
This story was published by the New York Post and was reproduced with permission