|Minor Character: Miami|
|Family||Marta Agenta (biological daughter)|
|Occupation||Criminal court judge|
|Portrayed By||William Allen Young|
|First Appearance||After the Fall|
Joseph Ratner is a disgraced former Florida trial judge and enemy of [[Horatio Caine]]. He appeared in seasons three through five of CSI: Miami.
After the Fall
During the time he was having sex with a prostitute named Donna Scott he killed her by giving her a lethal amount of nitrous oxide. After that, he called his former court clerk, Edward Mathis and had him hide the murder weapon and told him to hide the body where the Surf-side Strangler, a serial killer that targets prostitutes, buried his victims. He then hired Stanley Hemming to steal a disk that had Judge Isaac Greenhill having sex with the same prostitute from Mathis' apartment on it. Ratner prepared everything so as to frame Isaac for the murder as both the Surf-side Strangler and Stanley Hemming cases were handled by Isaac and Mathis was his former clerk too.
Unfortunately during the robbery of the disc Stanley Hemming tripped while climbing down from the balcony and fell on top of a man named Michael Johnson, killing him. To make matters worse Mathis tried to take advantage of the situation and commit insurance fraud by saying his grandmother's ring was stolen and tried to pawn it, which failed and CSIs caught him. After Stanley got away he hired a man named Doug Ramsey to retrieve his climbing equipment but failed as Horatio caught him in time. All the evidence was coming together and all the conspirators were being revealed and caught one by one. Eventually the CSIs figure out Ratner's plan and arrest him for murder.
He is able to use legal maneuvering to get away with murder and continues his work as a criminal court judge. He has the chance to pay Horatio back for his arrest when he comes to his court looking to imprison a serial killer named Walter Resden. He releases Resden from prison despite Horatio telling the judge that he would have blood on his hands, doing so out of pure spite. After that Resden goes on to kill three more people after he is released and is eventually caught by Horatio.
He later took over a civil court case was involving Apius Conglomerate wanting to buy all the houses on Cobalt Drive. Ratner sees this as an opportunity to make a lot of money using eminent domain and allows the purchase of houses at fifty percent of cost. He did this with everyone except an ex-con named Gary Logan who he gave the full asking price in exchange for killing his daughter. Gary does this and hides the body in his backyard.
Things however began to unravel when another man turns up dead next door and Gary digs up the body and hides it on his boat to throw it out to sea. The CSIs eventually find the body and figure out what Ratner is up to with the houses and help the people win back their houses. They later find out about Ratner orchestrating the murder of his own daughter but he didn't believe her at the time because in his mind, there was no way a teenage runaway could be related to him. Luckily, a DNA match later revealed the truth and Ratner was eventually arrested in his own former chambers for murder. This time the evidence was not dismissed and Ratner was sent to prison.
- Edward Mathis (accomplice in murder)
- Stanley Hemming (accomplice in framing a man for murder)
- Doug Ramsey (accomplice in framing a man for murder)
- William Preston (accomplice in real-estate scam)
- Timothy Nash (man who vandalized the property for a reduced cost)
- Gary Logan (hitman)
- Donna Scott (overdosed her on nitrous oxide)
Victims by Proxy
- The following were killed by people as a result of actions caused by Ratner:
- Michael Johnson (accidentally killed when Stanley Hemming fell on him while stealing a disk for Ratner)
- Clint Holtz (strangled to death with a belt by Walter Resden)
- Beverly Holtz (stabbed twice in the abdomen by Walter Resden)
- Oscar Vega (strangled to death with a belt by Walter Resden)
- Marta Agenta (beaten to death with a pry bar by Gary Logan)