Judge Heela Capell takes to social media to educate the community


Brooklyn Civil Court Judge Heela Capell has moved beyond the bench and into social media on a mission to educate and empower the public. 

Utilizing Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, Judge Capell is providing resources for conflict resolution to assist members of the community when faced with a dispute. 

“I don’t want to empower myself to protect people. I want to empower people to protect themselves,” said Judge Capell. “It’s not so much about me advocating for people, since as a judge I must be impartial. It’s about educating people to know how to resolve disputes and navigate the legal system.”  

In more than 200 videos posted across her social media accounts, Judge Capell discusses countless topics ranging from active listening techniques to emotional awareness. 

On TikTok, where Judge Capell holds the largest audience, she engages directly with viewers answering questions left in the comment section. 

Judge Capell was appointed to Housing Court in 2018 and elected to Civil Court in 2021, and is currently a candidate for New York State Supreme Court in Kings County. Her jump to social media was influenced by her experiences within the courtroom. 

With training in mediation and arbitration experience, Judge Capell wanted to bring her skills to the public. 

“I was often seeing a lot of people in my courtroom contending with different types of issues, in cases big and small, who were really struggling to speak to each other. They were frustrated and angry, and on discernibly different sides of legal disputes,” Judge Capell explained. “I knew I had the tools to convey to them, not just on how to speak legally on these matters, but additionally how to get their points across and effectively convey what remedies they were seeking. So I started making videos speaking directly to whoever would listen, and they did.”

Through her videos, Judge Capell illustrates to viewers how they can use their voices to obtain their desired resolutions, as well as how to speak with others during tense situations. By demonstrating these skills and providing additional resources, Judge Capell hopes to assist members of the community in resolving their own issues before reaching the courtroom. 

“It’s an art to be able to be clear about what you want. People can be succinct about what they want and express that clarity to opposing parties and resolve their own issues.” Judge Capell explained. “They just need to use the right language and understand some of the necessary tools available to them.” 

And while she can’t actively teach these methods in her role as a sitting judge, she can, as she puts it,  “as a private citizen show them how to do it.” 

Utilizing social media not only works to connect the Brooklyn Judge with her community, but also connects her with the wider public. The valuable skills and resources she provides can be used by anyone who finds themselves in a dispute, big or small. 

You can find her videos on Facebook and Instagram at /judgeheela or on TikTok at @judgeheela.